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Catching Gag Grouper on a DTX Minnow

Old 06-06-2018, 05:52 PM
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Default Catching Gag Grouper on a DTX Minnow

I am posting this thread for a fellow THT member who needs some advice on catching Gag Grouper on Nomad DTX minnows. Any help for him and other THT members would be greatly appreciated.

Striker,
I was wondering if you would be willing to start a species specific thread on these plugs? I plan on using mine, (I have 14-200ís and I think 6-165ís), 90% of the time for grouper and maybe kingfish. The other 10% would be for wahoo/Pelagics. Iím sure there are many species these lures can target, but maybe something specifically for grouper. Another for wahoo.. and a third for ďothersĒ.

Feel free to quote me on the request.

Grouper:
-rod reel recommendations
-speed
-trolling spread
-after market lure add onís
-success pics/stories

Thanks again for for your consideration..
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:48 AM
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Trolling for gags is very simple. There is no need to overthink things.

We use a variety of tackle. Anything from heavy conventional bottom digger rods with 4/0 Penn Senators to medium heavy ugly sticks with 6000 Shimano Stradic spinners. Plus, everything in between. The typical line is 65 lb braid with a topshot of 50-60 lb flouro or mono leader. When kings are around we use 18"-24" of wire leader haywired onto the lure eye with a black barrel swivel at the other end.

We have only gotten into trolling Nomads this spring, so we have been fishing them the same way as Mag 30s and Yozuri Deep Divers. No special spread; just a rod in the gunwale holder on each side of the boat. I've never measured how far back we go since we do it by eye. Best guess would be 200 ft. I don't think that you can be back too far since you want the plugs running as deep as possible. Typical trolling speed for gags is 4.5 - 5.0 mph, but we've caught them at 7 mph when targeting kings.

We've gotten them on both 140 and 165 Nomads. The 140s have less drag, so we like them better with lighter tackle. The boat takes the first surge of the gag before you can get the rod out of the holder, so they are less likely to rock you up when trolling lighter outfits than when bottom digging. While the 140s are only supposed to dive to 25 ft, I've had them drag bottom in 30 ft. We switch the trebles that come with 140s out for 5/0VMC in-line hooks.

We've gotten gags trolling Nomads anywhere from 30 ft to 65 ft. We generally target areas with a lot of scattered rocks. They tend to be more productive for trolling than single isolated rocks or ledges. Trolling in the same direction as the current seems to work best. Sometimes that's the only directing that works at all. In that case, we pull the lines after each pass and run back up current for another tow. A circle pattern around wrecks usually works OK. If there is mid-water bait, and the current is running, they usually hold on the downtide side of the wreck. Sometimes as much as 200 yds or more away.

If there is no bait show, you generally want to drag the plugs about 5' off the bottom. But gags will follow baitballs way up in the water column, especially in deeper water or if there is an algal bloom going on at the bottom.

For stories and pictures, check out the Big Bend section of Florida Sportsman. Here are a couple of reports by my buddy:

May 5

June 1

We baitfished and jigged in addition to trolling. But there is a discussion about Nomads in there.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:42 AM
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I don't use the Nomads (Rapala Xrap 30s - 40s) but for reels I use a TLD 25 or a Squall 16VSW on appropriate rod (6'6"-7') 30lb mono mainline -- 5 ft of 60 mono leader

works for me
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:50 PM
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Thanks guys... giving is a shot tomorrow out of Boca Grande..

will update you on any successes and ALL failures.

Running 200’s and 165’s

reels: Penn Fathom 40, 80# braid with 65# floro leader
Marquesa 16’s, 65# braid with 50# floro leader

rods: Terez.. can’t remember which ones exactly.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:20 PM
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:52 PM
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I will gladly admit I really have no clue what I am doing.

However, I did troll today and yesterday outside of Boca Grande (up to 25 miles outside the pass) and had zero issues with any of the 165’s and 200’s running straight and true. No tuning necessary on any of them out of the package. I ran 3 different 200’s and 2 different 165’s.

Zero problems that I could see... then again zero fish...
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kansas30 View Post
I will gladly admit I really have no clue what I am doing.

However, I did troll today and yesterday outside of Boca Grande (up to 25 miles outside the pass) and had zero issues with any of the 165ís and 200ís running straight and true. No tuning necessary on any of them out of the package. I ran 3 different 200ís and 2 different 165ís.

Zero problems that I could see... then again zero fish...
Did you troll reefs or wrecks? I have just blind trolled in that area and had the same luck as you, but found a reef and pulled a few fish in not the eating kind but better than nothing.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:29 AM
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now is not the best time of year to troll for Gags, that is more of a fall / winter thing

get some big live baits, go to good ledge / live bottom in 50+ft and game on
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for the info THT members. Hopefully Gag's will like the new color we just got at Striker Offshore Tackle

SILVER GREEN MACKEREL

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Old 07-14-2018, 06:28 AM
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