Keeping Your Bait In The Strike Zone

Saltwater Fishing - Helping you catch that fish of a lifetime

Keeping Your Bait In The Strike Zone



0:30 Announcer: helping you catch that fish of a lifetime.

0:41 We're pretty much out of our drift here. We've gone way off the edge of the reef and we're out of that structure. So we're going to pick up and make another drift. I'm noticing too that I'm starting to get a little bit of line scope, meaning that the line, as the tide picks up, the resistance against the line is starting to create an angle. We don't want that because we're working so hard to keep it that 3-6 feet off the bottom, taking our two turns. Now if my lines goes 45 degrees and more through the water, I take two turns and I'm not exactly sure where that's getting me in the water column. 

So I need to add more weight to keep it straight up and down in the water. The really nice way to do this with this three way, I've got a little dropper line attached here. There's no knots. There's nothing like that involved. I just pick this line through, around the bottom of the sinker and I pull my weight off. My dropper loop, I like to keep pretty compact. I don't like to have a long one where the weight's down there dangling, swinging and bouncing off the rocks. The important part is that this loop you make here is as big as you need it to be to fit a big sinker on. I'm not going to use this right now but I want to show you how important it is to switch between the 8 and the 16, how important it is to have a big loop here.

1:56 To put a bigger weight on: just pinch it, run it through the opening, pull it down and around. That's it. It's that quick to change weights from bigger to smaller to match the conditions, whatever it's doing out here. I like to have this line on the dropper loop a little bit lighter than my main fluorocarbon.

My main piece of fluorocarbon, this is 50 pound Seaguar, which means now my dropper loop, I generally use about 30. The reason for that is we're using premium equipment here. These are SPRO swivels. We're using Gamakatsu hooks, Seaguar fluorocarbon. It's good stuff but it does add up. So if I get stuck down there, I like my dropper loop to be a little bit lighter to where I can snap this weight off of it and I'm still getting my swivel, my fluorocarbon, my hook and my bait back.

2:53 It's here too. Tighten up the drag a little bit here. There we go. Now, last time we were talking about the two speed here. Right now, I'm in high gear and this fish is really taking some line. When I get him stopped, I can switch into low gear here and just literally crank this fish in, give him a much better chance at survival here.

Look at this, tighten this down a little bit. It takes some of the fight out of it but we can be sure this fish is gonna revive. This is a sizable fish here. We've already got one. I don't need anymore. So we're just going to get this fish up.

3:42 Alright, we should be seeing him in a second here. Something just...alright. Alright. Nice fish. Another big fish. (splash) Yeah. I got it. I'm just going to lift him. This, is a nice fish...a little bit bigger than the last one. Again, a circle hook right in the corner of the jaw, no problem at all. Another fatty.

4:42 Forty-six inches. Beautiful fish. I'm going to put him back on the Boga grip here until we get the camera and stuff ready, just to keep him fresh.

4:56 Off camera: It doesn't point that (inaudible)

4:57 Oh wait, yeah. This fish is 45 pounds. (splash) Woo! Way to go.

5:25 Off camera: Nice fish.

5:27 Alright, our tide has turned. During the full moon like this we don't have an extended period of slack tide. That last big fish we just caught was on the very end of the outgoing tide. And in one drift we went from hardly moving and needing the trolling motor to now we're doing 1.3 miles an hour in one drift.

So what this means is we've got to constantly adjust the weight that we use. It's critical that we keep our bait straight up and down in the water column as we're fishing for these stripers. And the reason for that is that these bass have what I like to call a strike zone. And that zone is anywhere from three to on the top end as much as six feet off the bottom.

If you've got your bait any lower than three feet, keep in mind we're fishing around all these boulders here, you run the risk of getting your rig caught up in the rocks and snapping it off or busting your bait off on the rocks.

Any higher than that, and these big fish they're lazy. They're just not going to expend the energy, especially in a full moon tide to come up six feet off the bottom and chase something around that they might or might not even catch. So the more that we can keep our bait in the strike zone, the better off we are.

6:30 So we've got to put as much weight in as we need to do that. Right now with the tide we've got and the one we've got, I think eight ounces will do. But at this tide picks up, we might have to adjust to as much as sixteen ounces. Still doable, but we've got to do everything we can to keep this bait straight up and down.

Now as we drop, we send this bait down to the bottom, we're dropping down here with just enough thumb pressure on the spool so that I don't get an overrun when it hits. I just barely feel it. Alright, there's bottom. Clamp down, lift the rod up, two turns of the handle. Now, as we're drifting we're going up structure and down structure. We're doing everything we can to keep that bait in that three to six foot zone. So we're constantly readjusting. Even if you're coming uphill, I'm still dropping down, hitting bottom so I know where it is, and coming up...two turns.

Same thing as we're going back down. You want to constantly keep up to it. So later on as this tide picks up and we start moving at up to three miles an hour, I might have to drop down and hit bottom every 15 seconds. But it makes that much of a difference. Picture a short staircase, whatever that bottoms doing and if I can keep up to that, keep my bait in that three to six feet all the way down, I'm going to stand a much better chance of hooking up. It really works.

7:51 [Closing]

8:14  Announcer: helping you catch that fish of a lifetime.

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