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I think I may be running my baits too far back, for years now...

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I think I may be running my baits too far back, for years now...

Old 05-06-2020, 07:10 PM
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Default I think I may be running my baits too far back, for years now...

**Moving this part to the top to show you what started my research and this post (I have a 21' CC) ::: So I ran across an article showing the 'strike zone' all in the wash area (pic below), for the record lets leave the shotgun bait out of the discussion since its a wildcard for the most part, I've literally read articles of putting the shotgun 1000+' back so I am asking mainly about your core 5-6 line spread opinion

So I was out today after the longest break I have ever taken from offshore fishing and since things weren't super smooth or successful it had me thinking about the distance of my spread

I have always just put my spread pretty deep in clean water since I have a 2 stroke 150 outboard, then I do a lot of turning so they end up in 100% clean water at times

Anyway, its hard to gauge how far back I put stuff since I don't think about it and I just started thinking about this, but I decided to google every article I could and it seems most people run a 5-6 line spread MAX 150', and really just 100-125' since the shotgun doesn't really count for this situation.

Thinking that's crazy I got my range finder out thinking maybe I've gone mad and sure enough the tree in my backyard that seems pretty close was 100' away, anyway, let me know what you think, I will be testing close baits the next few trips regardless but I'd like to hear what people do.


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Old 05-06-2020, 08:34 PM
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Its hard to get them too far back.
Old 05-06-2020, 08:38 PM
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Some of my biggest Dolphin have come from close baits. Blue Marlin in Bahamas as well. Usually l have 2 smaller baits further back for tuna in the spring.
Old 05-06-2020, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironworker View Post
Its hard to get them too far back.
Which is what I thought, then I saw that picture, basically saying NOT to get them out of the wash, which is pretty much the opposite since my goal usually is to get them out of it (to get out in clean water, which is usually out farther). Then I started looking and it looks like most people run pretty close around 100' which is pretty close in my opinion
Old 05-06-2020, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamCatcher14 View Post
Some of my biggest Dolphin have come from close baits. Blue Marlin in Bahamas as well. Usually l have 2 smaller baits further back for tuna in the spring.
I agree, I had a huge king hit right next to the boat when I was clearing a line today, BUT is running closer (6 baits between 20-100') normal?
Old 05-06-2020, 08:49 PM
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My normal spread is
2 smaller baits back further (100-150 range)
2 med large baits closer (60-80)
1 deep diver or lure behind lead
1 planer or large chugger close if lots of weeds

Sea conditions will change actual distance. Rougher water l usually run them a bit further.
Old 05-06-2020, 11:51 PM
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I run more lures for marlin than small baits, but we use the wake wave faces. 2nd wake wave face is short corner. 3rd wave face is long corner, 4th is short rigger etc. If you look carefully you can often find small windows in the wake. On my boat those short positions are also windows of less turbulent water. Generally run the biggest lures or baits closer to the boat. Drop everything back a wave on calm days where the fish get a better look at the boat. Running lures or baits on the wave faces helps keep the leaders out of the water and less visible.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:54 PM
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For years the Rule of Thumb was with outboards as far back as possible especially for Tuna since they aren't drawn to the outboard sound like they are to bigger diesels.

The only place I have found this to not be true is Albacore fishing here in the Pacific NW where Tuna will eat anything dragged behind a motor it seems-it's taken me a while to get used to that.
Old 05-07-2020, 07:32 AM
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Conditions will dictate alot. I always have a skirted ballyhoo and/or cedar plug tight to the transom right outside the wash on a flatline. They get eaten. I only run 5 rod spread on my small boat with no riggers.
Old 05-07-2020, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by taymag View Post
**Moving this part to the top to show you what started my research and this post (I have a 21' CC) ::: So I ran across an article showing the 'strike zone' all in the wash area (pic below), for the record lets leave the shotgun bait out of the discussion since its a wildcard for the most part, I've literally read articles of putting the shotgun 1000+' back so I am asking mainly about your core 5-6 line spread opinion

So I was out today after the longest break I have ever taken from offshore fishing and since things weren't super smooth or successful it had me thinking about the distance of my spread

I have always just put my spread pretty deep in clean water since I have a 2 stroke 150 outboard, then I do a lot of turning so they end up in 100% clean water at times

Anyway, its hard to gauge how far back I put stuff since I don't think about it and I just started thinking about this, but I decided to google every article I could and it seems most people run a 5-6 line spread MAX 150', and really just 100-125' since the shotgun doesn't really count for this situation.

Thinking that's crazy I got my range finder out thinking maybe I've gone mad and sure enough the tree in my backyard that seems pretty close was 100' away, anyway, let me know what you think, I will be testing close baits the next few trips regardless but I'd like to hear what people do.


A lot of those diagrams assume an inboard sportfish. It seems those guys fish closer to the boat than CC guys. It is a different type of prop wash.
Old 05-07-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by taymag View Post
... I do a lot of turning ...
Don't.

Fish the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th boat wakes. As your trolling speed varies, the distance to them will change. Make the adjustments. Watch the action of your baits and adjust your speed according to what your running. Every boat has its own sweet spot which gets bit the most. Find out where that is and pound it like a broken screen door in a hurricane.
Old 05-07-2020, 09:38 AM
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I have a CC with twin outboards and no outriggers, and although I'm just starting out the advice I've gotten is run the bigger profile baits meant for wahoo and billfish closer to the boat because your larger predators (minus tuna) won't be as hesitant to come near the boat, while your smaller dolphin and whatnot are more likely to want to hang back. Then since I can't get baits 15 feet from the prop wash I also try running most baits at least 3-4' feet deep to get below the white water to increase the chances of a fish spotting the lures
Old 05-07-2020, 09:47 AM
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I honestly don't think distance but more put the lures where their behaving the best. I pull a big spread & it varies considerably depending on crew size - experience, sea conditions, grass etc. But when it's rite I'll pull 15 baits & I think of it as a far back spread & a close in spread. The far back is a big bar in the middle. 4th - 5th wave then long riggers then widetrackers & the shotgun. The close in is flats then pink squid chains then daisy chains on the short riggers & two big marlin type chuggers from rod tips in the middle. The short riggers around the 3rd wave. Everything gets bit some days more close in & others farther back. But most definitely my most productive by far is a blue - White Islander tracker on the long rigger. My boat is 23' with a single outboard
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Pez Vela View Post
Don't.

Fish the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th boat wakes. As your trolling speed varies, the distance to them will change. Make the adjustments. Watch the action of your baits and adjust your speed according to what your running. Every boat has its own sweet spot which gets bit the most. Find out where that is and pound it like a broken screen door in a hurricane.
My sweet spot is so far back that I need binoculars to see it. Of course all ballyhoo get a bird in front.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by barrell View Post
My sweet spot is so far back that I need binoculars to see it.
That's what happens when you fish the 4th wake at 25 knots.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:29 PM
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For Black fin tuna, you can not put them back to far. They tend to be boat shy. For Mahi, I think it really does not matter as if they are biting they will eat anything anywhere. I just run 4 baits.

To shorter flat lines, A smoker on outrigger and a ballyhoo, skirted or not on other out rigger.

The short lines recently have had a lipped diver on on of them. I have read to use a diamond pattern

\
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:12 PM
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It varies. Some days the tuna take the flat line, pinned down, run 10 feet behind the boat and sometimes they will only hit the wwb 400 feet behind the boat? When we fun fish for bluefish in the very early spring in very shallow water in the bay, we sometimes have to troll 150 feet back to get a bite. Sometimes 15 feet back. And these are bluefish who have never been referred to as finicky!
Old 05-07-2020, 07:53 PM
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There are many factors. The boat length, beam and type of power.
I ran a 28 Henriques, which has 14 degree transom and twin diesel inboards. I'm in So Cal and primary target is Striped Marlin, YFT, and Dorado on the troll.
I learned to clean up the wake by pulling the trim tabs all the way up. I ran 7.3 to 8.0 knots.
First wake, on each corner is Moldcraft pink squid chains, with a Black Pink wide range and the other had a Purple super chugger. The chase bait was on the face of wave 2. Striped Marlin beat the snot out of these and we dropped back bridle rigged live Mackerel on a circle hook. Worked every time.
The corner lures were both on face of wave 3.
Short rigger was port side on wave 4
Long rigger was on starboard wave 5
We did not run any more lures, unless we had Yellow Fin tuna around, and a way way back tuna lure down the middle. In Cali, we spotted schools on the surface and live baited them. If Dorado migrated in, I ran Archer Super Bars on both riggers, Dorado loved them.

In Kona, they ran the boats at 10 knots, lots and lots of prop wash, giant lures close in. Exposive bites, giant holes left in the water.

Try to tune your speed and prop wash for clean alleys.

Good luck.

Last edited by sharkwaters; 05-07-2020 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 05-08-2020, 01:47 AM
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This is an interesting bit of information & iv never much believed in it but a buddy of mine used to trim his outboard way up when trolling to create MORE prop wash on the surface & he cought plenty of fish & usually placed in the money in the town marina fun tournaments. Every boat is different & ya just have to experiment & see what produces for ya
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mgd
Old 05-08-2020, 06:11 AM
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Default short rigger was hot the other day

X2 on short baits catching more dolphin. Had a good double the other day on both shorts. This one was a 48 lbs bull and the other was in the low 20's.


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