by Capt. Adam Jaynes
Last week was much more catching than fishing and this week should be more of the same. You must really be on the fish when you turn off the Mercury at the first stop and never crank it again until it is time to go clean fish. Both the trout bite and the redfish bite have been nothing short of phenomenal. Fortunately for us the trout and the redfish have cooperated and have let us pick what we want to catch them on instead of dictating what we use. When that is the case I always opt for a topwater. Lately it has been either a TTF GunDog Dummy or the Flush, both in bone and pink/chrome have been producing solid fish.
The FishSlick stringer is loaded up!
What I like so much about this time of year is the number of opportunities available to catch fish. Whether you want to chase redfish in the marsh, trout in the surf, fish under the birds, or from the bank of the reventment walls, it is all happening this time of the year.
Larry posing with a solid trout before letting her go.
I figured I would address a few of the most commonly asked questions that I get from customers, some of them appear to be common topics of discussion on the forums here as well.
1. What line are you using? I prefer to use FINS Windtamer in 30lb test. There are several reasons I use FINS, the two most notable are the fact that I have never had any unusual breaks and it is made in the United States. I also like the 30lb Windtamer because it has the diameter of 10lb mono. In my opinion any heavier would be unnecessary for the trout and redfish we chase and I like the diameter of the 30lb for knot tying purposes. The Windtamer stays round and does not dig into itself nearly as much as other braided lines that I have used. I have also noticed a marked decrease in backlashes since switching all of my reels over to the FINS Windtamer.
2. Do you use a leader? The answer is yes. This question leads to a couple other questions but we will get to them in a second. The only time I do not use a leader is when I am strictly fishing for redfish. A couple of years ago Johnny, Dickie, and I were standing shoulder to shoulder fishing a school of trout mostly in the 3-7lb range with a few big ones mixed in. Johnny and Dickie were both wearing them out on Corky Devils and Fatboys while I was picking at a few very healthy trout with a Super Spook. I was catching some fish on the topwater but when I made the switch to a corky I could not even get a bite, nada, zip, zero. All the while two of my buddies were steadily catching fish less than fifteen yards from me. So I start going through all of the variables…I had the same color, working it with the same technique, casting to the same school of fish, same gear ratio, and on and on BUT I did not have a leader attached to my braid and they both did. I tied a leader on and well, the rest is history. Which leads to the next question.
3. What kind of leader do you use? I prefer to use a monofilament leader, 30lb Trilene Big Game to be more specific. Sometimes I go with 20lb Big Game if the water is very clear but 95% of the time I am fishing with the 30lb. I started with fluorocarbon leaders and used several different brands but after losing a couple hundred dollars worth of corkies and having to walk and troll to pick up topwaters the remaining spools of fluorocarbon that I had went into the trash can. Since fluorocarbon has zero stretch each time I would get a backlash it was immediately followed by a quick snap and a corky flying two hundred yards into oblivion. The monofilament has just enough stretch so when a dreaded backlash does occur you are not cussing and muttering about having to tie on another $8.00 after picking that nice little backlash you have. Which leads to the next question…
4. What knot do you use to tie your leader to your braid? I use what is called a uni-to-uni knot. It is very simple to tie, forms a small knot, and is very strong and dependable. It is basically two knots that are pulled together to form one main knot. If you are a visual learner just google uni to uni knot and you will find an abundance of links to choose from showing step by step instructions on how to tie one. One thing I do different is I only do three wraps on both sides where as most websites will say to do five or six. With the braid and leader I fish with three wraps is plenty. Basically, there are four steps to the knot. 1. Overlap your braid and leader material by about six inches. With one end form a loop and pinch with your thumb and forefinger. 2. Wrap the end three times around both lines, making sure to pass through the loop on the final pass. 3. Pull the line tight to form a knot. 4. Repeat steps one through three, pull tight and trim the excess.
5. What knot do you tie your lure on with? I almost always use a Tony Clip so I am rarely tying directly to whatever lure that I am using. If I do tie the leader directly to the lure I prefer to use a loop knot. If you can tie your shoes you can tie a loop knot. It is also a very strong knot and allows for the most action possible on whatever you are fishing. I make a simple overhand knot and then pass the tag end through the eye of lure. I then pass the tag end through the loop and wrap around the standing line twice. The final step is to pass back through the loop, moisten and pull tight.
I am in no way saying that this is the only way to be successful at getting fish in the boat. There are a wide array of lines, knots, etc. that get the job done, above is what works for me. Find what works for you, go out and wet a hook and have fun doing it. Good luck!