Friday, June 5, 2015

The Stink of Skunk

I haven't posted about catching a fish for some time now because I haven't caught anything but a cold. I've been out around four times over the past two weeks and have seen fish, but haven't hooked any. The after work sessions haven't been lining up with the better solunar windows, but I've gone out just to get in the water and wash off the stresses from work. One of the reasons I haven't been catching is I've been targeting bonefish more. And I've been lazy in properly rigging - bonefish are super spooky and any 'splashing' in their vicinity sends them running, or at least puts them on guard and they stop looking for food. I kept switching back and forth between rigs for papio and kaku, and oio - mainly by switching out the leader and keeping the torpedo weight on the mainline. That resulted in a bigger splash. I thought getting the lure out further would provide more ground to cover, but where I've hooked bonefish before, I haven't gotten any interest. Could be the higher tide, but I really think the lack of presentation stealth is the culprit. Yesterday I went out at the tail end of a 'good' solunar period and rigged a bucktail jig without any additional weight to try and produce better presentation. Still no oio. On the way back in I switched out to a weighted jighead with a curly tail grub. A barracuda hit the weight and cut off the whole rig. Knowing I had a willing wrestling partner, I tied on a section of 25# flurocarbon leader (main to leader via a albright knot), a short section of Tyger bite tippet (also an albright knot) and a swimming lure (two turn clinch knot) - and was lucky enough to ward off the skunk. The barracuda/kaku did pull line out against the drag, but not much. I think these fish really don't know what is going on when they get hooked. As predators higher up in the food chain, they normally don't have to run from anything except sharks, so went something isn't right, they just go along for the ride. And I'm going to comment on treble hooks. They are the perfect tools to catch meat with - they grab efficiently and don't let go. But they are not the best if you are catch and release fishing. I haven't yet figured out the right way to swap out treble hooks for singles. You can't just replace hooks with any size. The weight and drag of the hook usually contributes to the swimming action a lure has in the water. I tried to switch out trebles last year when we were in Florida and the lures lost their pulsating action. I'll have to break out a scale and see if weight plays the larger role in this, or if it is the drag in the exposed surface area. And even though this guy was stuck a couple of times with the multiple barbs from the lure, it swam off strong and hopefully none the worse for the experience. And I went home not smelling stinky like a skunk (just fishy like a kaku - they definitely have a stronger 'fish' smell than papio or oio).

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