Deep Drop Fishing
|Modern fishing techniques such as trolling, chumming and even conventional bottom fishing barely scratch the oceanís surface. Deep-drop fishing has been a loosely kept secret among a few private-boat fishermen willing to invest in the electric reels required to do it. Recent entries to the marketplace such as the XL Series Krystal Fishing Reels have helped bring these fishing tools within reach of a wider range of anglers, and interest in deep-drop fishing has been growing as a result.|
Deep-drop fishing is like exploring a new frontier, and frequently requires a field guide to help identify the fish you dredge up. Numerous species of snapper and grouper, plus other, more exotic fish, are caught via this simple technique. The challenge of locating productive structure and the reward of fine dining that accompanies a few hours of successful fishing are other attractions.
The first step is investing in a quality 12-volt electric reel. Reels should be chosen to accommodate the maximum water depth you plan to fish. Kristalís smallest model, the XL601, can be loaded with 80- or 100-pound super-braid line. It is a fine choice for everything from wreck fishing for cod and sea bass in the Northeast to targeting rockfish off the West Coast, or anywhere water depth rarely exceeds 500 feet and the fish generally donít weigh more than 50 or 60 pounds.
The smaller XL Series Krystal Fishing Reels easily mount on a stand-up rod and can be held during operation. For fishing off the east coast of Florida or along the reef drop-offs in the Bahamas, the larger XL621 and XL651 are a good choice, as they offer additional line capacity, more powerful motors and faster retrieve rates.
How To Get The Fish...
The most productive and easiest-to-obtain deep-drop bait is squid, and it catches just about everything. Pick up a couple boxes and cut the squid into small pieces. You donít have to cover the hook; just have something edible hanging off it. You can also use chunks of most any fish, even pieces from the racks of the ones you cleaned the day before. Barracuda also makes an excellent bait, as do mackerel and sardines.
And since light penetration at extreme depths is at a minimum, flashing strobes are clipped to the rig to provide some additional fish-attracting capability. The captains Iíve talked to have a little saying that goes, ďNo lights, no bites!Ē
Bottom fish are attracted to structure, whether natural or manmade. If you picture the ocean bottom as a flat, open plane, structure is anything that breaks up the continuity, and finding these anomalies makes deep-drop fishing a breeze. Two common pieces of electronics that will make the job easier are a chart plotter and a powerful, high-quality depthsounder. These are your eyes into the underwater world.
Once youíve located a likely spot, position the boat directly over it and mark the location on your plotter. Drop the screen size down to 1/8 mile and determine which direction the wind and current will push the boat. Move back over the structure and position the stern so itís facing against the direction of the drift and use the engine(s) to hold your position. The goal is to keep your lines as close to vertical as possible. Keep the weight just touching the bottom and the line taut, and you will be surprised by how easy it is to detect a bite. Snapper will usually make the rod tip dance, while grouper will simply pull it down and keep it down. With smaller bottom species, donít be too quick to bring them to the surface. After the initial hook-up, lower the rig back down to try for two or three more fish, depending on how many hooks you have on the rig.
The Tools You Need For Deep Drop Fishing From Fishing Headquarters...
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