Made It to The Big Leagues

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
I'll give you a tip Joe..........

EVERY TIME you get a hit with a trolled jig reel her in and cutoff four or five feet of line and retie the lure. The smallest ding on mono is where it is going to break. I have a habit when fishing in any environment to put two fingers on that last few feet and give it a feel. You are going to save a lot of expensive lures and bring in more lunkers like the fine one in your pix.

I guess we will be eating beer battered Sardinero manana en la noche after you setting off my grouper alarm!

Great catch Joe and you didn't even have to run forty miles out.

JJ
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
I'll give you a tip Joe..........

EVERY TIME you get a hit with a trolled jig reel her in and cutoff four or five feet of line and retie the lure. The smallest ding on mono is where it is going to break. I have a habit when fishing in any environment to put two fingers on that last few feet and give it a feel. You are going to save a lot of expensive lures and bring in more lunkers like the fine one in your pix.

I guess we will be eating beer battered Sardinero manana en la noche after you setting off my grouper alarm!

Great catch Joe and you didn't even have to run forty miles out.

JJ
Hey JJ, btw good seeing you in Cholla Bay a few weeks ago. Are those Sardines good for whole dead bait or don't even mess with them? Rock bass and greenbacks damn near last all day in the bait tank. I was doing what the book says and cutting off the dorsal spines for SENOR Grouper. For bait, it's absolutely amazing how much fish a SABIKI rig catches. Someone at SM told us that if you touch the Sardine or handle it they will die immediately in the bait tank so we started using our little sabiki de-hooker tool to just do it right into the tank but they still rolled almost immediately.
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
Do NOT put sardines in your bait tank. As you learned, they die immediately and they shed a lot of scale that clogs shit up. We usually throw them in a five gallon bucket with ice. They make good dead bait. Biggest black seabass I've ever caught was on a dead sardine. Halibut will chow them, too. Elephants love eating peanuts!

Also, I never deadstick a live bait. Have had 130 lb graphite roller guide rods snapped like a toothpick doing that. Expensive way to learn!

I admire your dedication and you're obviously learning the ropes! Nice fish, the effort is paying off. Safe Marine is the only way to go in my opinion. Convenience is worth It. Glad ya got your fish itch scratched, sounds like a great trip!
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
Do NOT put sardines in your bait tank. As you learned, they die immediately and they shed a lot of scale that clogs shit up. We usually throw them in a five gallon bucket with ice. They make good dead bait. Biggest black seabass I've ever caught was on a dead sardine. Halibut will chow them, too. Elephants love eating peanuts!

Also, I never deadstick a live bait. Have had 130 lb graphite roller guide rods snapped like a toothpick doing that. Expensive way to learn!

I admire your dedication and you're obviously learning the ropes! Nice fish, the effort is paying off. Safe Marine is the only way to go in my opinion. Convenience is worth It. Glad ya got your fish itch scratched, sounds like a great trip!
So Stu, when I'm live baiting do I hold the rod in free spool or something with thumb pressure? I assume this is to take the initial hit without snapping a rod in half. Also, thanks for the Sardines tip. And yea, the scales come off immediately and get all over the boat.
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
So Stu, when I'm live baiting do I hold the rod in free spool or something with thumb pressure? I assume this is to take the initial hit without snapping a rod in half. Also, thanks for the Sardines tip. And yea, the scales come off immediately and get all over the boat.
When I'm live baiting, I drop til I hit bottom, then lock the reel with heavy drag and just ping the weight off the bottom as we drift. The rigs you have are perfect. I make my own and use 80 lb. mono to the hook and three ft. of 20 or 30 lb. that runs down from the tri-swivel to the weight. Keeps your bait swimming a couple feet off the bottom and if they try to rock you, the weight line breaks easily but the hook line does not.

Also, those first few seconds when they hit is critical. If you're dead sticking it, they can run and will cave you. If you're holding the rod, you can quickly reel hard and get them off the bottom and you'll usually win that battle. Otherwise, they'll break you off. Takes a little practice, but is easy enough. I remember telling a guy on my boat the minute the weight hits the bottom, lock the reel and get ready to get hit by a freight train. He thought I was bluffing. He dropped and locked the reel and just stood there with a dumb look on his face then BAM! He wasn't expecting the strike and it brought him to his knees on the deck and the rod against the rail. He hung on for dear life. The grouper got off. After he stood back up, he looked at me and said "I've never felt any fish strike like that in my life!" I just laughed, yup, tried to warn you.

Live bonefish draw the most vicious strikes.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
When I'm live baiting, I drop til I hit bottom, then lock the reel with heavy drag and just ping the weight off the bottom as we drift. The rigs you have are perfect. I make my own and use 80 lb. mono to the hook and three ft. of 20 or 30 lb. that runs down from the tri-swivel to the weight. Keeps your bait swimming a couple feet off the bottom and if they try to rock you, the weight line breaks easily but the hook line does not.

Also, those first few seconds when they hit is critical. If you're dead sticking it, they can run and will cave you. If you're holding the rod, you can quickly reel hard and get them off the bottom and you'll usually win that battle. Otherwise, they'll break you off. Takes a little practice, but is easy enough. I remember telling a guy on my boat the minute the weight hits the bottom, lock the reel and get ready to get hit by a freight train. He thought I was bluffing. He dropped and locked the reel and just stood there with a dumb look on his face then BAM! He wasn't expecting the strike and it brought him to his knees on the deck and the rod against the rail. He hung on for dear life. The grouper got off. After he stood back up, he looked at me and said "I've never felt any fish strike like that in my life!" I just laughed, yup, tried to warn you.

Live bonefish draw the most vicious strikes.
We did have one Boner in the bait tank but it rolled on the ride out to the mark. My bait tank system is kind of pissing me off. The pickup is near the motor bracket on the transom which I've learned is a low pressure area so under motor I can't pump water. Then, not every time but usually most of the time after motoring and coming to a stop you go to turn bait pump on and it's air locked. Won't pump water. So I have to open the battery compartment hatch and reach down in there and quickly open and close the cartridge while the pump is on and then it starts pulling water. The other problem is water level and keeping the water fresh. Under motor the water is sloshing around so bad that we only have half a tank of water when we get to the mark and then I usually either accidentally leave the pump running and flood the hull or forget to turn it on periodically and the water is stagnant and not being circulated enough...

I saw this on hull truth or another forum.

Bait Tank Timer

I might try this. Looks pretty cool. It's wifi capable so you can configure all these settings on your smartphone on the fly. You can change the duty cycle so the pump runs lower, pumping less water flow. You can configure intermittent cycling of the pump for specified periods of time and frequency. So I could have the pump come on for 30 seconds every 10 minutes or whatever to keep the water fresh. Basically a fully automated bait tank system.
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
They always put the pick-up in a screwy place. Used to have a similar problem until I replaced the pick-up (a brass mushroom) with a clam shell pick-up thru-hull facing forward. That forced water through the pump as I ran.

 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
They always put the pick-up in a screwy place. Used to have a similar problem until I replaced the pick-up (a brass mushroom) with a clam shell pick-up thru-hull facing forward. That forced water through the pump as I ran.

My understanding is the hi speed pick up is always under the hull. Just not sure I'd have any access to even attempt an installation. Plus cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat is nerve racking to say the least... I wanted to see if there was a way to adapt the hole in the back of the transom but not sure it's possible.
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
My understanding is the hi speed pick up is always under the hull. Just not sure I'd have any access to even attempt an installation. Plus cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat is nerve racking to say the least... I wanted to see if there was a way to adapt the hole in the back of the transom but not sure it's possible.
Not a biggie. Use a hole drill and cement it in with MarineTex.
 
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