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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow noreasters,
So far this has been my best spring run ever. I attribute this to first, the general fishing conditions in my area, second to the knowledge i have gained from this community and on my own. I already have a few keepers under my belt this spring good size keepers & my share of chopper blues. In the last 5 years I went from catching nothing at all to catching sea robins and sand sharks and skates to getting a few blues & maybe just maybe a keeper bass. This year I am hooking up with some nice fish 34 -36 inch bass, big blues. Now its time to take it to the next level Every time I have something hooked that feels like it could be really big something goes wrong. The line brakes, pole snaps or just lose the fish in the surf. The first step i am taking is to make sure my gear is in tip top shape. I will over the next two days be changing line on my reels, taking apart the drags to clean. I will from now on before every cast check to make sure my drag is not stuck. The question I have toady is How many pounds of drag would be recommended for surf fishing 20lbs mono and 65lb braid? Any other tips will also be welcome. Thanks for all your passed help

A few things I have found to be false:
1.Striped bass will not bite a steel leader
2.Only junk fish & blue fish will bite Day old salted bunker
3.Bunker heads do not catch anything

This post edited by algreek3 10:52 AM 06/24/2008

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2,127 Posts
Snapping line

You can check to see if your brake offs are guide related. Check your guides by running a Q-Tip through them. If any cotton pulls off you found one of the culprits of the break offs. Most B&T's can replace them if you don't want to replace them yourself. You have to be extra careful how you handle and store rods with ceramic guides. The guides are easily chipped or cracked if not handled corectly.

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willieslick wrote:
I will from now on before every cast check to make sure my drag is not stuck. The question I have toady is How many pounds of drag would be recommended for surf fishing 20lbs mono and 65lb braid? Any other tips will also be welcome. Thanks for all your passed help

Regarding breakoffs...etc...

1. Drag: You will need to use your judgment depending on how rocky of
an area that you are fishing, but I usually use the 1/3 rule with
whatever the weakest link is in my equipment. If the line, swivels,or
rod is rated to 20# then I will set my drag to 7 lbs.(6.666667). use
weights or a hand scale to measure the drag.

If your reel does not have a smooth drag at 1/3...then you may want to
upgrade your reel.

7 lbs may not seem like much, but you can take almost any fish with
that drag setting. Most of my surf fishing experience has been out
west. I know guys who have taken 40lb leopard sharks on 8lb
test....where the most amount of drag they are applying is about 3-4

2. Line: beyond spooling new quality line

a. Make sure your knots are square. I find that more errors are
caused by my own poor knot tying. Tie some and test them yourself.

b. check your line periodically for nicks and weak spots. I will
usually feel along the last 20 feet of line...with special attention
near the lure. Rocks and bluefish do the damage. If you see any
abrasion...break it off and retie your rig.

The whole thing is that if you can play a big fish in and tire it out
it will be better than horsing it in when its hot. If it is really
rocky, you may be better off buttoning down the drag a bit, but be
careful not to tighten it to the point that:

1. the drag seizes
2. it breaks your weakest link...especially your rod.
3. the line digs into your spool

Test you knots....test your drags...and see what the limits are for
your equipment. The only thing I would avoid testing is the rod.

In my opinion if you have to set your drags beyond 2/3 of the weakest
link....and all your components are rated the will do
damage to your equipment.

I hope its helpful.

This post edited by puppet 09:48 AM 06/23/2008

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468 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips guys. Some really good ideas. I will for sure check all my guides I had not thought of that. I think i will set my drags using weights at 8lbs to start. The tip on playing the fish i think is very helpful as i do try and just horse my fish in. This works for the med. to lg. fish most of the time, but i think when you have a really big fish on is is impotent to let them tire for a while before trying to beach the fish. Thanks again guys Ill be out wed. late night last two of in and first two of out. I'll let you know how i do.

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fish will do anything, but i find bass bite better on a floro or mono leader, but i have done well with a wire leader at night. i like the freshest bait except clams(the stinkier the better)but sometimes old bunker will catch fish. and although i personally do better with the chunk with all the guts right behide the head, heads do catch, but mainly larger bass and blues.

just my opinion on what i have expierenced in the surf. fish will hit anything but somethings alot more then others. the things you mentioned will catch fish but notas many all of the time.

This post edited by snapperman 05:10 PM 06/23/2008

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468 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Things i find are false

Hey snapper man,
With the price of things today, I can not justifie losing a $2.00 sinker, & 1.00 hook & flouro leader, ceramic slide and a ballbering swivel every time a blue fish bites me off. Also most of my hard fishing is done at night. I do however go to the fishing beaches on the weekend with the wife & soke bait. never do well in the day. Day old bunker is the same thing. I would in the passed give away my unused bait. mostly because it was unusable anyway the next day. however the trick with salting it lets me go out fishing an other day. For example this passed Fri. night i went out loaded for bear with 12 bunker and my two go to poles. I had two nice blues in about an hour then the tided turned an the weeds were so bad i had to leave. I took the bait home salted it put it in my bait frig in my office.I was able to go fishing sat. night & had a wild night. The night that prompted this post. I had a nice 33' bass on my first cast on a steel leader & day old bunker. After i gutted the fish i found two whole bunker heads in it. I to like the chunk right behind the head. later in the night i had one bunker left & cut it in half the pole with the head snapped in half while fighting a fish! after i carefully reeled in my fire line the pole with the back half went off to bad the line broke in the surf.

This post edited by willieslick 09:16 AM 06/24/2008

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HEADS up......... :)

Speaking of bass on the bunker heads I'll pass on a VERY recent observance. Was drifting live bunker in the inlet and getting beat up by the big bluefish. They were chopping us up fast as we could get the baits in leaving half a bait from the head down. :(:(

Growing tired of continually changing baits, I had a telltale sign of another blue ripping my volunteer in half again but this time just left the remnants down there where it was quickly picked up again. I figured this was another blue when it took off. Reared back and finally had a solid hookup. Turned out to be a good bass. This happened twice during the course of the day and another time saw a large bass follow the head to the surface as it was reeled up.

Any time I've fished live bait and bluefish were around they ALWAYS cut the bait in half from the tail up, (bunker, shad, eels, whatever) leaving the head portion. I think the head portion is something that is very natural appearing to the bass when blues are on the bait chopping them off.
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