Mid-Coast Bays: March 2008

Mid-Coast Bays: March 2008
John Hutson had no problem getting this red to eat this Baby 1-Minus.
Becoming a better angler is something many of us strive for year after year. We spend many hours on the water, too many dollars on tackle, and some of us have a hefty amount invested in a boat rigged with many gadgets. We will read several magazines and attend many seminars in hopes of improving our angling abilities. If you are one of these people I am talking about, give yourself a pat on the back. Why? Being willing to listen to others recommendations and suggestions makes you an open-minded person and this is a good first step toward achieving success in anything we do.

When anglers spend a lot of time on the water we tend to fall into what I call a comfort zone. In this zone we tend to be more closed-minded by using the same lures we have always used cast after cast. We will have the lures that we know produce the best under the right conditions so we tend not to stray from those selections. Why would you?

What if there was a better bait than those you are accustomed to usingwouldn't you want to use it? I know I would. This brings me to the point of this article. In the colder months of the year when the weather is not cooperating I spend too much time on the couch watching more TV than I care to mention. There are not many saltwater fishing shows compared to freshwater fishing but in order to get my "fix" I am willing to watch any show as long as it involves fishing.

Much can be learned through watching shows featuring anglers fishing for bass. As we all know many of the lures we use today in saltwater originated from freshwater fishing. I could give you a long list, but I really only want to mention a few that I have been using over the past few years that have definitely earned a spot in my tackle box.

The first one is a surface crankbait made by Mann's Bait Company called a 1-Minus. This series of baits comes in three sizes and was produced for freshwater fishing but as it became more popular amongst saltwater anglers the bait was modified by adding corrosive-resistant saltwater hooks and is now called the Tidewater Mid 1-Minus. During a slow retrieve the bait has a wide wobble creating a wake. Crank fast and it will dive no more than 12 inches, again, creating lots of vibration, perfect for most shallow water fishing.

Before going any further I should mention that Mann's Bait Company is NOT one of my sponsors. My endorsement is strictly because I strongly believe every angler will benefit from me sharing this information.

Gary and I started using this lure a few years ago while pre-fishing for a redfish tournament. We were both astonished with the way redfish just inhaled this bait. Even the tightest lipped fish couldn't refuse this bait. Most recently I have discovered they have added a new bait to their line up called
the Tidewater Waker Elite. It is supposed to swim 1-3 inches deep and creates a wake with a loud "rippling" sound as it's reeled. I can't wait to try it and will write up my results once I have.

The last bait I want to mention is one that is awesome for grassy locations. The Texas Rig has been used for decades and is surely no secret to most anglers. This is a technique used for fishing soft plastic lures. It involves a leader that is first attached to a barrel swivel then threading on a bullet-shaped weight followed by an offset hook. The hook is then inserted into the head region of the plastic lure and exits the lure about 1/4 of an inch down the body. The lure is then moved up the hook towards the shank and then rotated so that the worm is now "locked" on the shank. The point of the hook is then thread back into the body of the worm to make the rig weedless.

This technique has worked successfully for me for many years now but only got better when Gulp baits hit the market. On a whim I decided to try Gulp's 5" Jerk Shad bait in the sardine color on one of my Texas Rigs. I got more bites and caught more fish than using one of my non-scented lures. And since this lure is weedless it can be fished in areas that are too grassy for other lures. It also works exceptionally well for tailing redfish!

I am looking forward to the weather warming up and being able to get out on the water to try out new techniques. If I find any one of them are useful and productive I will be sure to mention them in future articles. Gary and I will be at the Houston Fishing Show March 5th 9th at booth #528. Please feel free to stop by and say hello. We are always anxious to make new friends and look forward to talking to those that have fished with us before.