Coastal’s advice on braided line and what he fishes with in mid coast
I like a long leader like 6-8' of flouro. What I have found is that if you only tie a foot or two on the knot joining line to leader will give you more problems when casting. It'll hit in the guides harder at times. If you use a longer leader it's almost like it gets the line flowing thru the guides before the knot gets there and then the knot just flows thru smoothly. I don't know how else to explain it but that is what it feels like to me. I usually replace my leader when it gets so short that when ready to cast the knot is somewhere in the rod's guides. Of course, at times it continues to cast just as smooth and I will use it until it gets down to 2' long or so. That means I may only add a new leader every half dozen trips depending mainly on how many times I change baits and have to retie.
Don't throw out your mono yet. I'd recommend you fill up one reel with Power Pro or Tufline XP and use it a little hear and there until you get comfortable with it. It'll take a little time to get use to it because it feels different and acts different than what you are use to. Be sure you put some mono, at least one solid layer, on your reel spool and attatch the braid to that to keep the whole spool of line from slipping and spinning on the spool. Then when you fill the reel do so under a lot of pressure, I run the braid thru a phone book and have someone apply pressure with their foot until I can just wind it in under a heavy drag. That'll get it packed on the spool real well. Don't totally top it off because as you cast and retrieve the top layer won't be as packed and you will end up with too much line if you pack it tightly when filling and top it off. I leave a little over 1/8" of room at the top of the spool on baitcasters, a little more with spinners. If need be you can always trim some off. Runs line thru old phone book to get the braided line tight enough on the spool.
With some baits the line tends to pack real loosly and every so often I just make a real long cast and then pack it back on tight by running it between my two fingers. Catching a good red will achieve the same results. hahaha. It'll cut into the spool a little ways but generally not far enough to hang because the line underneath the part you use is solid. if it gets to the point where it isn't casting good or you notice it is cutting in far enough to hang up on the cast it is time to pull some line off and repack it.
Coastal on dips and baits
Dip is like a paint, it is a coating on the outside of the soft plastic. Dye is just that, a clear dye that penetrates into the plastic. On the teasers we dye the aquerium tubing with Colorite worm dye, not the dip but dye. Then we cut bands that are about 1/4" wide, I guess. Two bands fit on the hook shaft easily. Like I said, I use red and chart and Bink uses orange and chart. I don't think it makes much difference but I like it and I guess that's all that matters. It doesn't effect the action of the plug. We tried a lot of different teasers and most make them harder to work or kill the action altogether.
You can get Spike it dye which works just fine, at Acadamy and Wal Mart or at least you could last i looked. If you want that chart tail dip to look good you have two choices. You can double dip, that is dip it in white first, let it dry then dip it in chart. or you can either buy or make whitereuse. If you look at the Colorite at Acadamy you will see Whitereuse. The guy who owns Colorite got that idea from us. We found that you could mix white and chart tail dips approx 50/50 to get a more opaque chart tail dip, a one shot tail dip. I use to make my own, now i just buy it.
As far as baits go, I use She Dogs and Bass Assassins the majority of the time. I guess thay are my confidence baits.
Most of the year i carry these baits with me on every wade...
chart/pearl/chart She Dog
chrome/black She Dog
black/chart She Dog
salt-n-pepper/chart Bass Assassins
plum/chart bass Assassins
tequila gold/chart or pumpkinseed/chart Norton bull minnows
If I can't catch fish on that mix I probably won't catch 'em. Now at different times and in different locations I add stuff to that. This time of year I carry some corkys, mainly pearl/chart back and pearl/black back sometimes pink (Mr. Brown calls it salmon) and I will generally stick with the original slow sink with the rattle and the devil with the rattle. This time of year I also fish Super Spooks a lot because the primary forage is mullet, bigger mullet, too. I usually will fish bone, black or Okie Shad Super Spooks but i also use bullfrog and trout patterns at times.
I carry red shad, gold shiner with the tail dipped chart, pumpkinseed/chart, glow/chart, electric chicken and a few others on the boat. Sometimes one is just what you need but they are not my usual "goto" colors.
Now out of the kayak I use different baits because i fish a different type terrain. I only use my kayak to access areas i can't boat or wade to. Primarily that means real shallow situations. mainly sight casting to redfish. I use the 3" pumkinseed/chart bass assassin paddletails, 1/8 oz weedless gold spoons, DOA shrimp in Near Clear and small topwaters like the Super Spook Jr and Lew's Speed Pencil. I like gold topwaters for reds. 808, black back gold sides, orange belly.
That is pretty well the rundown. Once summer patterns get here the first 6 baits i named up there are pretty well all I fish with all the way thru into the fall except when i am in the yak and i use the selection i mentioned for shallow water sight castin
OLD post from Tom our leader from LONG ago.
Jim, I've used the straight tails and split tails side by side and the action is identical except for a little flutter of the split tail when you rip it.
Otherwise, the darting action that makes the straight tail so effective is the same. The paddle tails have a following, but I like my baits to do something besides pull straight through the water. Tha's all a paddle tail will do. Even if you jerk and try to make it dart, it still just goes straight ahead and falls. That's not for me.
AND, since this the Tidal Surge baits are a little heavier, you'll get a balanced sink rate (belly first more than head first with a 1/16 oz head).
I'm thoroughly impressed with Sergio's baits. I'll be using them almost exclusively now!
Frankly, the paddletails are for fishermen, and fish, who prefer not to work too hard in making their bait seem lifelike. The darting action of the straight/split tailed baits makes for a much more lifelike presentation, therefore fooling the more 'discriminating' predators. I own probably a total of 10 paddletailed baits...and probably 100 bags of straight or split tailed baits...no difference in their action so I use them interchangeably. But, the confidence factor plays a big role in whatever bait you use. Whichever one you THINK is going to catch the most fish is the one that you will work longer and harder...and catch more fish!
Jim, what I do with any 'new' bait is to take it to gin-clear water and watch how it works and how I can work it. I'm looking for what I perceive as a natural, predator-escaping, wounded, or otherwise vulnerable action that will attract predators. I'll study that action (swimming pool is best because you can see everything the bait can do), and modify it until I get what I'm looking for. Years ago, I started studying bait habits in a friend's chlorine-free pool stocked with BIG bass from our previous trips. We would put different types of bait fish and crustacians in the pool and study how the bass stalked and attacked them. What was really interesting is that you could take a dozen minnows and cripple one or two ever so slightly (clipping a fin, cutting a throat, etc.) and mixing them in with the healthy ones. The bass would key on the wounded minnows and attack them first. THEN, they would go after the healthy ones. Then, we studied how the wounded fish acted and perfected our retrieves to match those actions. Some lures are easier to do this with...the easiest being a straight or split tailed jerk bait! If you'll notice, 99% of your strikes will come on the lures fall after a sharp jerk. That's when the bait is most vulnerable and the predator has to work the least to catch it. They watch for a rythm to set up and predict when the next stop or slowdown will occur and WHAM! Strike! If you can arrange to make a habit of doing this, you'll be able to work almost ANY bait to get more strikes.
Go with what you have and as you use them up, replace with Tidal Surge...they run straighter, last a WHOLE lot longer, and the colors don't run much. When we fish together, I'll show you the different ways I rig my jerk baits to get different actions.
Fishing Under the Lights by (BayStealth)
(Try this for night fishing under the lights when it is slow. It does wonders if it is not too windy or the current is not ripping where you are fishing. The only thing I have found is that you may need to have several sizes of white perch hooks depending on what baits you can find. Did look like GM carried some of baits mentioned here. I have taken them off speck rigs when they would not hit tandems.)
I started fishing the piers when I was a kid. I learned to fish with lures, but not out of snob appeal. Buying live bait was too expensive. Catching bait myself took a lot of time that I felt like I should have spent fishing. And, because the trout were not
consistently under one light all night, I often wandered from light to light. If I had to carry a bait bucket around, I would have been tied to the same light all night. Bait was just way too much trouble.
In the summers, when the trout are feeding under the lights, they are usually eating small shrimp or minnows that are moving slowly through the lights. And they just won’t hit anything large, or anything that you are pulling quickly through the water. Some nights it was just maddening to see literally hundreds of trout popping the surface, and not being able to catch any of them.
After a lot of experimenting, I found one method that was a consistent producer, year in and year out.
First, you need to buy a couple of packs of #2 long-shank wire hooks. That is “number 2” not 2-O. Most of the #2’s you find will be gold colored (I don’t think that matters.)
Then you need to buy some jig worms. The ones that worked best, by far, were about the diameter of a standard yellow pencil, and about three inches long. The ones I used to buy were made as replacements for the tandem worm jigs called “Worm Puzzlers”. They were made by Ray’s Tackle in Victoria, Texas, and you could buy them in packs of about a half dozen. I experimented with every kind of shrimp-shaped, fish-shaped, curly-tailed, scented, you-name-it plastic. Nothing ever worked as well as the plain skinny round jig worms from Ray’s. (I will explain some of the reasons why later.) Plain white was by far the best color. On some rare nights another color might do as well. But white was consistent, and most of the time got more bites than any other color. Plain yellow was second.
Fish with a light line. 6-lb is probably best, 8-lb is okay, and 10-lb is acceptable. Anything heavier will cost you a lot of bites. It also makes it a lot easier to cast a very light lure. Tie the #2 hook directly onto the line, without any weight or swivel. Then thread the worm onto the hook as straight as you possibly can. You want to get the hook to run through the middle of the worm as near as possible. And you want it to be perfectly straight. If there are any bends or bumps, the bait will spin, and the trout will refuse to bite it. It’s really important to learn exactly how far down the worm to bring the hook out, so that it is not bent at all.
The idea is to get the worm to lay perfectly horizontal in the water, and to move along very slowly, just a few inches under the surface. If you allow the worm to rise to the surface, you will get very few hits. If the bait is bobbing up and down, you will get very few hits. The balance between hook and worm is very important. If you use a fatter worm, it will fill up too much of the gap between the point of the hook and the shank, and you will not be able to set the hook. If you go to a bigger hook, to get a bigger gap, the jig will be too heavy, and you will have to pull it too fast to keep it from bobbing up and down as you retrieve it. Also, fatter or different shaped worms will put up water resistance in strange places, and cause the bait to move through the water differently. Stick to the plain worms described above. (Some nights, when the trout were feeding on very small minnows, I would bite the front end off of the worm to shorten it. I would be left fishing with something that looked like a cigarette butt.)
Throw the worm out and let it sink for a few seconds before you click your reel handle. Then retrieve it very slowly, with TINY twitches of the rod tip. If you give big long twitches, you will pull the worm to the surface. Because the lure is so light, there will always be some slack in your line. That makes hooksets harder. But if you reel out all the slack, you will be pulling the bait too fast and high, and you won’t catch fish. After you catch a few trout on a worm, it will be full of teeth holes. This will make it buoyant, and it will float. Throw it away.
The really important thing is to get the right “drift” through the water. To get it to happen, you have to balance several things. First, the weight of the hook and worm – which I already described. Then you have to balance the speed of your retrieve with the speed of the wind and the current. If the wind is blowing hard, it will catch your line (making it “balloon”) and cause the light lure to “ski” across the surface. It is important to hold your rod tip low. If you can - fish with your rod tip pointed down, almost touching the water. The height of the pier sometimes makes this impossible. Even in windless conditions, if you hold your rod tip high, you will be pulling the worm towards the surface – and you will just have to let it sink again.
Most of the bigger trout are caught at the edge of the light, or in eddies created by current running past the pilings of the pier. Where you position yourself in the light, and which direction you cast makes all the difference. As a general rule, you cannot
pull the worm against the wind or the current without making it ski. You can cast straight ahead and let the worm move to the side, at the same time you bring it towards you. If there is a current, you want the bait to be moving at about the same speed as the current, just like the tiny baitfish are doing.
Experiment. After a while you will get the “weightless” feeling when the bait is drifting at the right speed, and you will get a lot more hits. On a pier that sits near the water surface, it was not uncommon for me to only cast 15 or 20 feet of line out – making the same “drift” through the same area of water. The most important thing is to move the bait slowly, with tiny twitches, and to keep it pulling “flat”.
The beauty of this is that you get to see the trout rise and hit your lure each time. It is also fun to pull in more trout than the people fishing with live bait.
POSTS FROM MIKE WILLIAMS WHO DID ALL THE OLD MIRROLURE RESEARCH 10 OR 15 YEARS AGO:
One of the best lures I FOUND for dity water in our area was the work horse RED AND WHITE 51M11 "'WOODY ""MIRROLURE ,HOWEVER THE RED AND WHITE 51 M 26 WORKS great in very clear water ... I RAN alot of the test I RAN in that pass and ALL the waters around that pass........... ---WHAT I LATER FOUND WAS --it was not the colors --IT WAS --the way the colors were broken on the two different lures-------------------
MOST PEOPLE just don't understand ,how the color of WATER and SUNLIGHT can change over the PERIOD of time from dawn to dust,bay to bay and season to season ... and sometimes HOW light even changes at night in certain locals in many different clearities of waters and seasons .....IT'S NOT real important that you UNDERSTAND all this ,I WILL BE the first one to tell you ,that some of this ""light factors "' ---------- "'water clearity factors "'' --------- ""water temprature factors --------- ""season factors ""--AND local factors can get ABIT out in left field for most people ------------but it is a FACT ,that those factors DO
FIELD TEST REPORTS from the logs the Mirrolure field tests -----BEST COLORS FOR WINTER AND COMBONATION OF COLORS ---area -GALVESTON BAY COMPLEX AND SURF ----NOW ,I'M NOT SAYING you can't catch trout on other colors than the ones I have listed ,WHAT I'M LISTING HERE are the colors that produced best in the test I RAN . ------best colors WINTER daylight --shades of pearls ,chartruses,whites ,off whites ,bones ----GOLD SIDES or reflectors ---------------------LATER SEASON ,shades of pink ,hot pinks ,clear pinks -GOLD SIDES OR REFLECTORS ----------------------VERY VERY CLEAR WATER ---shades of pearl ,whites ,bones and the color red,,,,,,also clear --SILVER SIDES OR REFLECTOR -------- COLOR times GOOD from DECEMBER 15 TO ARPIL 15 --ALL BAYS AND SURFS of
51MRCHG MIRROLURE - ---THIS LURE IS ""DEADLY"" ON BIG TROUT IN WINTER ------ALSO where two lines cross north and west or ""NORTHWEST ""-----OR in plain english ---THIS LURE IS DEADLY ON BIG TROUT IN THE NORTHWESTER END OF MOST BAYS IN THE WINTER TIME ,ESSPECIALLY AFTER the wind has been out of the NORTH OR NORTHWEST for a day or two ----
GOOD colores FOR WINTER IN CLEAR WATER IS THE COLORS OF RED AND WHITE...THE BEST TWO LURES FOR OUR AREA THAT ARE GOOD PRODUCERS ARE THE WORK HORSE REDHEAD , WHITE BODIED ,SILVER SIDED IS LEGENDARY ""WOODY "" THE 51MR11 ...ANOTHER RED AND WHITE LURE THAT IS AN EXCELlENT LURE IN WINTER IS THE REDBACK ,WHITE BELLIED ,SILVER SIDED MIRROLURE 51MR26""THE WEST BAY SPECIAL""...THE WORK HORSE ""WOODY "'works well in ALLBAYS and SURFS year round of the GALVESTON BAY COMPLEX ,however the ""WEST BAY SPECIAL ""works best in WEST BAY IN THE CLEARER WATER OF WINTER ...
SOME LOCALS are just better for wading at night than others and like in the daytime conditions play a major factor ...ALOT of trout are taken at night on the warming tides of spring ,but some BIGGER fish are taken on nights that produce some of the lowest ,if not the lowest temperatures of the year ..
O.K., here goes. All of these combos I list are not selected w/ Trophy Trout in miNd - just fishing for food.
1. Silver Spoon (Tried & true Nationwide in Bay and Surf)
2. Mirro Lure - Very Sloooow sink w. Black Back & Silver Sides. (Can be used in both shallow flats and the surf. Acceptable Imitation of both Mullet and Pinfish.)
3. 5" Bass Assassins with Gammakatsu Hooks and Lead Worm weights. (Silver Flake w/ a Black back is the color. Good for bay and surf. Relatively weedless.).
4. Speck rig. (One white and the other Chartruese. Good in surf and flats for the smaller trout)
WELL ,THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS HERE ,because the right answer is what YOU have confidence in and without any doubt the classic "'WOODY"" 51MR 11 Mirrolure is a true trout taker and one of most most used color patterns in the world ---HOWEVER to date the plastic BASS ASSASSINS is the most deadly trout lure EVERMADE that could be used on a 365 day basis........ NOW ,with that said -if I HAD to make a rescue package for a person stuck on MATAGORDA ISLAND for 30 days and I could only put one trout lure in that rescue package it would be the most versertile lure ever made by man ,the plain jane "'SILVER SPOON""'...
THE COLORED SPOON --Spoons come bisically in gold or silver ,in some cases one side of the spoon may be colored or in some cases the whole spoon is painted or were painted ..LIKE KENNY said the red and white spoon was a true classic ,as was the chartruse and hot orange .......WHY don't more people throw spoons TODAY is because most fishermen are like a rollin marble in a small boat in 6 foot seas ,which ever side the boat pitches that the side the marble rolls to OR IN OTHER WORDS people throw what they hear about and if they don't hear about a lure alot ,in most cases they SIMPLY don't throw it .------------WILL a red and white spoon catch trout NOW ?-try one sometime,you might be surprized .//////////THE SECOND BIGGEST TROUT I ever saw come out of WEST GALVESTON BAY hit a spoon ....
OF ALL,the MirrOlures EVER made one of the BEST that I ever field tested for MirrOlure was and STILL IS the 51 MR SHP ----51 STANDS FOR THE SERIES AND THE 51 SERIES WAS DESIGNED ESSPECIALLY FOR THE WADEFISHERMEN AND WADING ....... -The 51MSHP ""THE TROPHY TROUT KILLER"" is deadly on big trout esspecially in late winter through early summer ,both bay and surf .....I know of serveral double digit trout that came from the GALVESTON BAY COMPLEX on the 51MR -------------------
Re''WHITEY"'the SURF RUNNER
ANOTHER great lure or color pattern for winter "'wades"" is the 51MR51 MirrOlure ,""WHITEY "'the SURF RUNNER.---THIS LURE has a white back and belly with siver sides and also comes with gold sides ,but the gold sided versions may be hard to find ..THIS COLOR PATTERN also works well in the MirrOlure surface runners and walker series .. THE 51M51 MirrOlure ALSO EXCELS IN THE SURF ON clear GREEN INCOMMING TIDES OF LATE SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER