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How to get that lone bull to eat

Old 07-02-2019, 05:54 AM
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Default How to get that lone bull to eat

Weve been dealing with hundreds of schoolie size dolphin lately. Often times the bull will show up, but wonít even eat a live threadfin. What do you guys throw to get past the schoolies and get the bull interested? Iíve even tried a ballyhoo (dead) as a pitch bait. I know itís subjective on if they even want to eat, but Iíd like to have something ready on the boat thatís a good chance it will get his attention.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:12 AM
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Well the first one is obvious, hook one of those schoolies and keep him in the water. That gets them charged up. One thing that works for me more often than not: Boxed squid. Hook a whole small one through the tail. Tease em up. Nothing in the ocean refuses a squid. Live is even better.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HookMeUpII View Post
Well the first one is obvious, hook one of those schoolies and keep him in the water. That gets them charged up. One thing that works for me more often than not: Boxed squid. Hook a whole small one through the tail. Tease em up. Nothing in the ocean refuses a squid. Live is even better.
I shouldíve added that I do leave a schoolie hooked. I even know someone that ties on to a fender and lets it float away from the boat. He wouldnít eat a whole squid either, tried that.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:13 AM
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It might not be the bait - maybe it's your leader. Try going lighter if you can't get a bigger fish to eat as they do seem to get smarter as they get bigger. That has worked for me in the past.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:40 AM
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I scaled it down to 30lb flouro. Thatís even cutting it close.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by swaptrex View Post

I should’ve added that I do leave a schoolie hooked. I even know someone that ties on to a fender and lets it float away from the boat. He wouldn’t eat a whole squid either, tried that.
I have thrown a net full of live pilchards as chum and watched them swim off after throwing everything in the boat at them. Had one sitting under a log that we couldn't make bite after catching a bunch of fish off it. Wouldn't touch or look at anything. Pulled off and put the spread out and continued trolling down the weed line. Turned around 15 minutes later and trolled back to the log and he pilled on a ballyhoo in the rigger like he had not eaten in a week. Before we came tight he crossed over and ate the other hoo in the left rigger.
He got caught twice.

Go Figure!

I also believe if he is a big fish solo hanging around a bunch of peanuts he has filled up on them. Have found many fish over 30lbs with Peanuts in their bellies.

I think there are times that the only way to get them is to jump in and spear him.

On the spearing part we had a big one acting weird we couldn't catch under a pallet and we were thinking about spearing it. Just as I pulled back up to the pallet a 400 pound Mako blew that big bull out of the water. Maybe that is why that bull wasn't interested in acting fool chasing baits around.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:50 AM
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^ Thanks for the insight. I think youíre right, sometimes they are just full.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:19 PM
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Half a schoolie has worked for me in the past.......
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:09 PM
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Fast moving lure. Like real fast, try for the reaction bite
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:10 PM
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You'll know if you're retrieving too slow if he follows it to the boat then peels off without eating
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:44 PM
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A big cupped popping plug being worked very fast thru the water has gotten them for me.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:42 AM
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Cut the roe sack out of a cow that you have in the box, pitch it to him, hang on
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:53 AM
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Really good thread and some great tips.Like some others have mentioned our bigger ones have been while trolling
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SHE GONE View Post
Cut the roe sack out of a cow that you have in the box, pitch it to him, hang on
good idea, those are killer sword baits.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:23 AM
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It is a great thread. I'm by no means and expert but what I have learned is to have a variety of baits. Recently we found a decent wad of fish with a decent sized bull near a patch that had no interest in our live pilchards. I'm not sure exactly what worked but basically we kept some of the pilchards in the water, chummed the water with some cut Bonita, and threw some chunks on a hook. At the same time I started casting a noisy lure. Eventually one of the peanuts took a pilchard so we left that one on the line which seemed to fire up the bull who at a Bonita chunk. He had followed my lure a number of times right before that.

I thought a nice live bait would be a no brainer but I guess sometimes its not enough. I am a firm believer now that having the ability to throw a full on assault with multiple baits and presentations is important.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:25 AM
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www.instagram.com/p/Bya5XMYngFb/
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hooghuntin View Post
Thats one way of doing it!
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Thats one way of doing it!
Won't work for me.Cast net?
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:49 AM
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No expert here but I do have a fair amount of experience. We normally troll to (and between) our bottom fishing sites and pull cigars and ballyhoo on modified king rigs. Usually get the chicken dolphin on the troll but often see the bigger bulls and cows check out the baits but not commit. Then we will drop anchor or set up the drift, the whole while keeping a light line dangling behind the boat with the same rigs we troll. Doesn't take too long after pulling up bottom fish (who blow chunks on the way up) that we hang a big dolphin. (Have also caught wahoo and kings this way). I think all the activity and the natural chum puts them in the mood. Black sea bass seem to be the best chummers.
Another trigger on spooky fish is live shrimp. Not sure why an offshore fish would hit one but they do. Only issue is finding a hook that is strong enough but also light enough not to impede the shrimps swimming.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by swaptrex View Post
Weve been dealing with hundreds of schoolie size dolphin lately. Often times the bull will show up, but wonít even eat a live threadfin. What do you guys throw to get past the schoolies and get the bull interested? Iíve even tried a ballyhoo (dead) as a pitch bait. I know itís subjective on if they even want to eat, but Iíd like to have something ready on the boat thatís a good chance it will get his attention.
Throw a popper!!! The splash and commotion sometimes will entice them to strike. Or throw a swimbait like a YoZuri Mag Darter or Hydro Minnow LC. If you don't have at least one spinning rod rigged with a popper or swimbait ready to go at all times you are missing out.

When the Dorados get lazy like that and don't want to hit anything another trick is to take your gaff and slap the water with it a few times to make noise to attract them or get them excited. Alot of times any fish that are in the immediate area will hear and come to check out what the commotion is. Throw a livey, throw a popper, throw a jig, throw a swimbait, throw a chunk...do it all until you find out what works. Some days it can make the difference between getting skunked or not!
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