BootsnAll Travel Network



Fishing May 4, 2005

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Just for the sake of eliminating the first timers luck theory and to work on my fishing expertise I decided to give my new Fishin Hole another shot. With a little history dealing with Tarpon and flats fish like snook, I knew that my window of opportunity is very thin. Both of these fish are generally night feeders so I had to isolate my time to sun down. Sure night time lasts 10 hours, but live bait doesnít in a kool aid pitcher. Basically, I have narrowed down my window of opportunity to sun down until about a hour later. Sun down gives me the opportunity to catch some bait before they stop biting. The bait I am targeting is Pilchards. They are running about 3 to 4 inches. Since I donít feel like dropping $50 on a cast net that I would only get to use a couple of times, I decided to use a Sabiki Rig. Sabiki rigs are basically a leader with little size 8 flies attached every 10″. The whole rig consists of about 6 flies. I have used them in the past to catch other types of bait fish like pinfish, blue runners, and turbos. At the bottom of the rig I have switched from using a standard bell sinker to a eye bolt from Home Depot. I find that in rocky bottoms there is less chance of snagging because the tapered, thin stud wonít get caught up so much. After tossing it out, I would just twitch it as I slowly reel it in. The Pilchards feel like little vibrators on the end of the line and you can actually feel the magnified buzz as each hook gets bitten. What I did learn is that by reeling in as soon as I feel a bite rather than letting the rig sit I got a lot less deep hooking on the baits. These guys are very delicate, so a light lip hook is best. Too deep and they will die quickly. I use a Kool Aid pitcher instead of a big bucket because I donít like to haul a lot of crap, plus I only need a half dozen for the short time frame that I fish. Any longer than that and the Pilchards are going to die and they are pretty much useless when fishing for Tarpon or Snook (both are prey fish, look at how their mouths are structured.)

The rigs that I am using are a pair of 7′ Star Rods with Penn 5500 SS series reels. I run 20lb Fire Line with 30# flourocarbon leader. I lie to free line live bait so no weight. Hooks are 3/0 to 5/0 Gamagatzu hooks. Yea, Iím a fishing geek.
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If you check the pictures, the salt pond area is where I fish for bait and at night the Snook and Tarpon come out of the mangroves and flats areas. For Tarpon they hang our just past the rock pier. I have also seen a nice little 6′ + shark cruising through there and I have heard of guys pulling out some nice groupers and snappers from the end of the longer rock outcropping. I might just have to switch to a bottom rig to test it out.
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As you can see from the pictures, I did okay tonight. Two Snook landed, one Tarpon landed and one lost (two shakes, a run, and one jump popped the hook.) Not too bad for an hour and a half of work. To think, guys spend thousands of dollars just to catch these things. With a flaming sunset in the background, maybe thatís not a bad price after all.



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