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Friday, November 28, 2008

Choosing the Right Terminal Tackle

The right choice depends on the fishing situation at hand

Bottom fishing, whether inshore or in deep offshore waters, necessarily means making a choice on the terminal tackle you plan to use. Many anglers catch fewer fish as a result of a poor choice or no choice at all.

Fish Finder Rigs

Party boats, or head boats, take from 12 to 50 people offshore bottom fishing and provide them with the tackle and bait. More often than not, the terminal tackle provided on the rods will be the fish finder type of rig. Sometimes called a ‘chicken’ rig, these leader- to-hook arrangements will have a pyramid or bank sinker tied to the end of the leader. Anywhere from twelve to twenty-four inches up from the sinker a loop is tied in the leader, to which is tied a hook. Sometimes a second loop and hook are tied above the first loop. Twelve inches above that will be the swivel.

The whole rig can be three feet long, making it extremely difficult to cast. This rig is designed to drop straight down to the bottom. With people fishing less than three feet apart from each other on a party boat, dropping straight down with heavy sinkers prevents lots of tangled lines.

Fish finder rigs are not just for the party boats, however. When fishing over a wreck or artificial reef, there are several species of fish that may not be on the bottom. Vermillion snapper (beeliners) school and suspend in the water column over the structure. Baits going to the bottom with a heavy sinker usually rocket right through the school. Savvy anglers recognize these schools on a fish finder and change their bottom rig accordingly.

Moving from a heavily weighted single hook rig to a smaller double hook rig will produce fish. Smaller baits on the two hooks and a slow descent will almost always result in a double hookup under these circumstances.

Grouper and Snapper Rigs

These two rigs consist of three to five foot monofilament leaders with a hook on one end and a swivel on the other. Grouper rigs have heavier and longer leaders with larger hooks than the snapper rigs.

These rigs are used with an egg sinker that can slide up and down the angler’s line. Bottom fishing straight down with these rigs is difficult in deep water. As the rig goes to the bottom, the weight of the sinker and relative buoyancy of the bait results in some very twisted lines. The sinker heads for the bottom and slides up the line leaving the bait behind to twist and turn.

These rigs do have a place in deep water though. In a current situation, a slower descent will stop the tangles because the current keeps the bait and hook out away from the sinker on the way down.

Even in a no current situation, these rigs can work well with live bait. The live bait swims away from the sinker, and a slow descent can again get the bait to the bottom without a tangle.

Many times large grouper and red or mutton snapper are leader shy. Chicken rigs make them wary and afraid to bite. Often a very long leader with an egg sinker and a live bait can entice a bite from a bigger fish.

Flounder Rigs

Flounder rigs use beaded casting sinkers or trolling sinkers. These sinkers are elongated and streamlined, allowing them to be bumped along the bottom with less chance of hanging on structure. The line is tied directly to one end of the sinker and the leader is tied to the other end. A twelve to eighteen-inch leader ties to a kayle or circle hook.

These rigs are ideal for dragging a live bait slowly along the bottom in search of flounder. Small mullet, mud minnows and other small live fish are ideal flounder bait with this rig.

Wire Leaders

Whether it’s king mackerel, Wahoo, or barracuda, sharp teeth dictate wire leaders. A wire leader can be stranded wire, coated wire, or stainless steel, and it is made in a variety of weight classes. The wire discourages strikes because it can be seen so easily; for that reason, is generally used in trolling situations.

Wire kinks easily if not handled properly, and will develop kinks while fighting a big fish. Take care to change leaders as necessary after a catch.


Often terminal tackle will be used with little or no weight. The term ‘free-lining’ comes from the description of the bait as it drifts naturally with the current. This method uses a long leader, usually monofilament, and usually a live bait, free to swim where it will.

Choose your terminal tackle according to the prevailing circumstances. Match the weight to the conditions, and match the type of presentation to the target fish. Fish with the smallest weight required to get your bait to the desired strike zone while matching the size of your leader to the targeted fish. ‘Minimize’ should be the buzzword. The right tackle, the right leader, and the right presentation can put fish in your cooler.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cara membaca pasang surut air laut

Untuk membaca jadual air pasang sila rujuk kepada contoh di bawah seperti yang biasa tertera dalam sisipan JORAN. Sebagai contoh

Pelabuhan Klang


Masa Meter

02.52 1.80848

08.48 4.41518

01.51 1.32128

21.28 4.5


Masa Meter

03.38 1.90927

09.27 4.21556

15.56 1.42215

22.15 4.5

Paparan masa adalah 24 jam. Contoh, pada Sabtu jam 2.52 pagi, air berada di paras paling surut dan mula bergerak pasang selepas jam 2.52 pagi. Air akan pasang sepenuhnya pada jam 8.48 pagi dan kembali bergerak surut hingga berhenti jam 3.18 petang. Air kembali pasang dan penuh pada jam 9.28 malam.

Waktu terbaik memancing berdasarkan pada jadual pasang ini ialah pada jam 2 pagi hingga jam 3.30 pagi, jam 8 pagi hingga jam 9 pagi, jam 2.40 petang hingga jam 3.50 petang dan seterusnya.

Pengiraan dibuat berdasarkan kepada pergerakan air piantan (30 minit sebelum dan selepas arus berubah) di mana ikan muara kebiasaannya galak setiap kali berlaku pertukaran arus.

Tetapi tidak bermakna waktu lain kita tidak boleh memancing. Memancing boleh seharian tetapi fokus dan tumpuan perlu diberikan setiap kali arus akan berubah. Persembahan umpan untuk ikan muara seperti jenahak, siakap dan kerapu sebolehnya ikan hidup atau jenis umpan segar. Selain itu pemancing perlu pastikan perambut dan tali utama tidak berbelit ketika umpan dilepaskan ke dasar.

Penggunaan saiz mata kail, kekuatan perambut dan tali utama pula tertakluk saiz ikan yang biasa di pancing di satu-satu lokasi. Secara am peralatan medium 15 paun hingga 30 paun sesuai untuk pancing muara.

Pasang Surut Air Laut Malaysia

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Avoid the kid’s stuff

A quality ultra-light bait cast or spin cast rod and reel combo is usually easier for kids to use.

Small hooks = big catches

Avoid hooks larger than size 10 (hook sizes run backwards - size 12 is smaller than size 10). Fish won’t readily take large hooks unless they are feeding voraciously. Most of the time, a subtle presentation is needed to catch wary fish. Tiny hooks also allow small fish to “inhale” the bait, rather than nibble the bait of the hook. If a fish swallows the hook and you want to return it to the water, simply cut the line as close to the hook as possible and release the fish.

Lighten up your line

Light line will do the job, preferably 6-pound test line or less. Unless you’re targeting monster catfish or marauding muskies, light line is your best bet.

Bag the big bobbers

Bobbers (or floats) are used to suspend your bait in the water and to alert you when to set the hooks. The harder the bobber is to pull under, the harder it will be to hook a fish. Small floats will help convince the fish to take your tasty bait and run. “Slip” bobbers work well for kids. Slip bobber rigs cut down on the amount of line needed at the end of the rod and are easier to cast. Small ice fishing bobbers can provide a light touch any time of year.

Sink it with shot

Sinkers help get your line down to the fish. They can also create “zero buoyancy.” Ideally, you want your bobber to just barely float on the top of the water. Squeeze small BB-sized split shot sinkers onto your line one at a time until your bobber early sinks from the weight. Since there is very little resistance when the fish takes the bait, it is more likely to bite the bait and run.

Great big gobs of worms won’t do

There’s no need to use whole whopping-big, writhing night crawlers on your hook. Keep the bait approximately the size of your hook. Live bait such as worms, beemoths or crickets work best. Cut the bait to fit your hook.

Line Size

You can Catch More Fish on Smaller Line

How many of you out there use the same tackle with the same line for all of the fishing you do? You never change equipment or line size to accommodate a different fishing situation. Line size, in particular, does make a difference.

I'm not talking about the obvious fact that the big game tackle needed for marlin would not be used for inshore flats fishing. I'm talking about the more subtle differences that a lot of anglers miss.

Fishing offshore last week, several of us were looking for a big catch to supply an upcoming fish fry event. That necessarily meant looking for a lot of average size fish rather than baiting and fishing for th4 one or two good catches we normally pursue.

We anchored over an artificial reef some 28 miles off of Saint Augustine, Florida, and immediately began catching fish. Vermillion snapper and black sea bass were all over this wreck and showed up on the depth finder in great numbers.

The vermillion (we call them beeliners) were up in the water column as usually. With a double hook fish finder rig (a six ounce sinker on the bottom and two branches of leader and hook above) some of us were dropping all the way to the bottom where we lost our baits to small pinfish and grunts. We went right down through and missed the school of snapper.

Several cranks up off the bottom put the bait in a good strike zone where the beeliners were holding. While we caught some of the beeliners with this method, I knew we could do far better.

Beeliners, and snapper in general are wary fish, and the larger ones did not get to be that large by eating every bait in front of them. I have studied snapper underwater in my diving days and watched them approach a bait. Generally, the bigger the fish, the less likely he was to get caught. The bigger ones seemed to lay back and watch the smaller ones tear and run at the bait. Only after they seemed to believe that it was safe would they attack a bait. The trick was - and still is for snapper - to make the bait appear as natural as possible.

The seas were running about three feet with a pretty sporty northeast ground swell. The sea conditions meant that the baits suspended off the bottom would rise and fall, sometimes abruptly, as much a ten feet in either direction. This certainly was not a very natural presentation, and the catch rate was proving just that.

The fish we were after would top out at five or six pounds. There was no need for the 50 pound test line and 100 pound test leaders we were using. So. I took out my eight pound spinning outfit. I tied a twelve inch, twenty pound test fluorocarbon leader to the line using a surgeon's knot and tied a 3/4 ounce. 2/0 jig head to the leader.

The jig head was big enough to get my eight pound line down to eighty feet or so to the fish, yet light enough to actually let the baited jig drift down at a slower rate. As the boat lifted and fell with the seas, I adjusted the line leaving my reel accordingly.

It was pretty easy to watch the line slowly disappear from the surface of the water, and when it quit sinking, I set the hook. A big beeliner had grabbed the naturally sinking bait without hesitation. The great part was that the bait never had a chance to get down to the junk fish. Beeliners were jumping on it before it ever got that deep.

Two things were very apparent to me on this trip, and I believe they will make a difference for you as well. While I didn't catch the biggest fish that day (Jason stumbled onto a nice 20 pound gag grouper), I consistently caught more and bigger fish than the average size being brought aboard.

First, I believe the line size made a difference that took the wariness away from the larger fish. Second, I believe the bait presentation, being more natural because of the line size, was more appealing to the fish.

I watch people every day fishing for small fish with an arsenal that would theoretically catch a whale. They watch me and my parties catch fish right next to them and shake their heads. They simply don't get it! Fish are cold blooded and may not have the brains to think = or so we think. I believe that the right line size makes a major difference in catch rate and overall success.

Best of all, the lighter tackle makes catching them a whole lot more fun!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kite Fishing


1. Make up components as individual units, dropline, bottle, bait and trace etc. Use snap swivels for easy attachment.
2. Set up Skymaster and adjust bridle ring until desired angle of attack is achieved. You do this by loosening the larks head knot and sliding the line through the ring and then tightening the knot again. Shortening the left-hand bridle line will make the kite tack to the right and vice-versa. Make small adjustments and fly the kite and keep adjusting until you are satisfied. Let out all the kite line and remove the line from the reel and attach a snap swivel on the end.
3. Now clip the kite line onto the 3-way swivel, which in turn is attached to the fishing reel, drop line, bottle and bait. You will now be controlling everything from the reel.
4. Begin to let out line from the fishing reel taking up the slack from the drop line until you can release the bottle. This is a good time to check that the kite is behaving properly.
5. Keep letting out line from the reel until the bottle, and bait, is the desired distance from shore, this is usually 200m - 500m (650ft - 1,650ft).

NOTE: Don't make the drop-line and trace longer than you can back up on land, otherwise you may not be able to get the fish close enough to gaff. Kite fishing alone is not easy so have a helper at hand.

When I was a kid, one of the favorite summer pastimes was kite flying. We would spend hours adding just enough tail to keep the kite straight, but not so much that it would not reach some altitude. We would ride bicycles with the kite string tied to our waste and the kite suspended in the air 30 or 40 feet above and behind us. On calm days we would run sometimes an entire city block trying to launch our kite.

I still enjoy kite flying, only these days it is from the stern of a boat! And the kites I fly today are a far cry from the newsprint and balsa wood versions we used to make. These high tech kites I use are for one purpose, and that is to catch fish.

The method is relatively easy. It just takes a little practice to keep the boat motion either with the engine or with a drift such that the kite remains in the same relative vertical space all the time.

The kite acts as an outrigger of sorts, although you might better name it and "up" rigger.

The kite is launched and flown from the stern of a boat, usually on a line from a special rod and reel. The fishing line is attached at the kite similar to an outrigger, only instead of keeping the line out, it keeps it up. Boat speed
determines where the bait is in the water.

Usually a slow troll or drift, this fishing is designed for live bait. A live blue runner, or ballyhoo, or other bait fish is suspended from the kite right on the surface of the water. The bait's attempts to get below the surface
coupled with the motion of the kite keep the bait in and out of the water, right on the surface. It really drives billfish in the area crazy!

But don't be fooled into thinking that this is strictly a billfish tactic. King mackerel, cero mackerel and occasionally wahoo are also caught from kite rigs. My fishing partner has even caught yellowfin and blackfin tuna from his kite.

Any one can use this method. The expense involved is minimal, even for the special designed fishing kites. Many fishermen make their own kites to save money, but when they are made from paper, they usually don't last through the first day. So, a vinyl kite made for fishing is recommended. Simply catch your live bait, get to the area you would normally be trolling, and dangle a live bait on the surface under a kite. A nice lazy way of spending a day - no hard fishing, no weeds to clear from the bait, and a whole lot less gasoline used.

Changing Tactics Can Find Fish

Knowing what to do when the norm changes can save the fishing day

Water temperatures remained at a record low and continued heavy rains were making freshwater runoff a problem in my area. The cold thermocline continued to run the northeast Florida coast, and fishing was tough all around – unless, that is, you took some steps to overcome the problems.

What does this have to do with anglers in other areas, you may ask. Plenty. Adverse conditions, whether weather, temperature or anything else, can plague all of us at any given time. The anglers that know how to deal with these conditions will continue to catch fish despite the adversity.

That was the case for us during this time. Although our efforts went largely unrewarded, the plan of attack was correct, and we fished through the problems. Jason Marsh of Jacksonville and Lt Brian Bartlett, a Navy pilot out of NAS Jacksonville fished with me offshore from St Augustine, looking for some king mackerel.

The kings have yet to show up “on the beach” because of the colder water, and all the recent kingfish tournaments have found fish up to 50 miles offshore. So, we headed for some wrecks and artificial reefs ten to twenty miles off looking for fish.

What we found was no bait. Well, actually there was some bait. We found one pod of Spanish sardines and cigar minnows about nine miles off. It obviously was the only bait around because there were no fewer than twenty boats on that pod catching bait. Tangled Sabiki rigs, boats bumping into each other – it was a circus of sorts. But everyone was kind and we pushed off other boats as they pushed off on us, and caught enough live bait to use trolling.

Ordinarily we would have netted menhaden shad along the beach and used them for bait, but the cold water has run that bait off as well.

The Effects of Water Temperature

How it can change your fishing decisions

The Change

Water temperature plays such an important part in fishing that every angler needs to pay attention and react to even subtle variances. Fish are no different than a lot of animals when it comes to heat and cold. They want to stay comfortable. Consequently, even a small change or “break” will cause fish to move from one location to another.


Fishing offshore presents particular problems. Temperatures can and do change from the surface to the bottom. I have fished in water that was 80°F on the surface and below 60°F on the bottom. What appeared to be ideal water was virtually void of fish – at least those that were in a feeding mood. Be aware of temperatures at varying depths and be prepared to react.

With surface temperatures, fish will often move along temperature breaks where warm and cold water meet. These breaks draw baitfish and feeding fish are close behind.


Inshore waters are not as susceptible to temperature breaks, but they do exhibit changes according to the weather. Summer water temperatures as high as 90°F absolutely turn the fish off. Winter temperatures below 50°F do the same. Sometimes in summer, daytime fishing can be fruitless when the water is that hot.


Pay attention to the NOAA weather maps online. Surface water temperatures are plotted and when cold thermoclines invade a coastline during the summer as they often do, you can see where you need to be fishing. Remember – find the breaks.

Finding the Fish

Look for surface temperature breaks offshore. Pelagics like mahi mahi, king mackerel, wahoo and tuna will run these breaks. Look for median bottom temperatures in deeper water. The fish will be in a comfort zone. If it’s too hot or too cold, they will move to that comfort zone.

Inshore, stay with morning and evening fishing in the hot summer, and rely on mid-day fishing in the winter. Stay away from the extremes of hot and cold. There are numerous warm water discharges from power plants on almost every coast. Winter fishing around this warm water can be excellent. Conversely, summer fishing there can be the pits.

Remember – look for the comfort zones and you will find the fish.

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