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Some HST questions from a HST rook

Old 09-25-2020, 04:19 AM
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Question Some HST questions from a HST rook

First, thank you to everyone on here who has contributed to all of the HST threads on the site. There's a lot of great info in them. My crew and I did our first true HST yesterday and I have a few questions as a result. I think I know the answer to some of these questions below, but I also recognize my lack of experience in this area and would like to hear from the experts, especially as it pertains to my specific setup...

I'm in the northeast and was fishing a slight temperature break/color change in ~300 fow not far from the edge. Water was 67-68 degrees, it was overcast and time was midday. And yes, I would have rather started fishing for wahoo at false light but we were targeting other species first-- it's hard to convince everyone to get up early and head offshore to fish for something they've never caught before so even the captain has to compromise at times!

We were running at 16 knots pulling just two rigs:
- Off the port corner we had a san sal candy on cable/25' 400# mono shock leader/32 oz trolling weight on cable/25' 200# mono leader/mainline. We ran that 300' back. Color was mahi.
- Off the starboard corner we had a similar setup but with a 64oz trolling weight set 150' back. Color was black/purple.
Both are double hook rigs. Why san sal candy? They were a gift from someone who doesn't HST but I've read of some people having success with them so use what you've got.

Some more info:
- Over 3 hours of fishing we had what I thought were two bites that did not result in a hookup and one bite with a fish on for about 2 minutes before it pulled the hook.
- I'm pretty sure they were bites because line would zip off the reel for a second and then nothing.
- Drags set fairly tight so that it required some effort to pull line off the reel by hand. I need to mark my reels with more granularity, but it was over 30# of drag on each reel.
- All of the action was on the long rod with the mahi color. There were lots of mahi in the area which is why I went with that color on one rod instead of a dark color on both.
- Over this entire time I didn't mark any bait, but maybe this wasn't that important because there were mahi moving through the area, and it's possible there were sand eels around.
- When we had the fish on after the first run of 100+ yds I slowed down to 8mph, then it made a second run of 50+ yds and shortly after that is when I think the hook pulled. We reeled like crazy until the lure was back (never give up on the fish) at the boat but he was gone. My brother was reeling after the second run and then said "I think he's off" and I said "Just keep reeling" which he did.
- I was able to figure 8 like a champ with no tangles!

Here are the questions, and please also feel free to tell me what I was doing wrong that I'm not aware of:
- Was my drag too tight?
- Is it possible they were hitting the trolling sinker on the hits that didn't hook up? I haven't painted them black yet mostly because I saw conflicting info that said to paint the sinkers white.
- Is it possible those hits were smaller mahi hitting the lure but not getting the hook?
- Would you have switched the short lure to a lighter color as well after two hits on the mahi color? I didn't have more than these two plugs but just wondering.
- Did I slow down too much after the first run?
- When the reel man said he thought the fish was gone should I have speed up back to say 16 knots to help get the line tight in case the fish was still there?
- Should I run a bonita and a plug instead of two plugs?
- If I do swap in a bonita, should I do that on the short rod or the long rod?
- How can I be sure the short rod was visible and not in the whitewater?
- What percentage of bites happen early, midday, and late? Obviously we weren't wasting our time HST midday because we had bites, but what can we expect on average. I have read that many people stop HST by 10AM.

It was a little disappointing to lose the first one we hooked, but it was also encouraging and I think you can tell by my post that I'm excited to get back out there and try again.
Old 09-25-2020, 05:32 AM
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That's a lot of questions? I'll start with a couple. Generally, I use single hook rigs and the hook bend is hanging out the back of the skirt. I trim my skirts 3 or 4 inches and I may run as many as three skirts on a lure to bulk it up.

Secondly, I'm not sure what my drags set at. I tighten down the drag until just a little line is periodically creeping off the reel while trolling. Too tight and you jerk such a large hole in the Hoo's mouth its easy for the hook to fall out.

I'd like to see a photo of your lures and what kind of boat are you running.
Old 09-25-2020, 07:16 AM
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Losing Wahoo, when HST with heavy weights, is just something that is going to happen.


Here are the questions, and please also feel free to tell me what I was doing wrong that I'm not aware of:
- Was my drag too tight?
In my opinion, yes. I run min at 20 or 25 lbs. if it doesn’t take that to keep line from creeping off, I won’t push there until later in the fight.


- Is it possible they were hitting the trolling sinker on the hits that didn't hook up? I haven't painted them black yet mostly because I saw conflicting info that said to paint the sinkers white.
Anything is possible. I paint mine white, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

- Is it possible those hits were smaller mahi hitting the lure but not getting the hook?
Anything is possible, but I very highly doubt it. It happens, but it’s rare to catch anything else until you get under 12kts

- Would you have switched the short lure to a lighter color as well after two hits on the mahi color? I didn't have more than these two plugs but just wondering.
In your situation, With two rods fishing, I probably wouldn’t have. After the 3rd one, we would have been talking about color or position, for sure.

- Did I slow down too much after the first run?
IMO, you did. I try to stay above 10, until the weight is out of the water. Sometimes you can go below that, but I try to make sure I have a fresh hand on the reel to keep up.

- When the reel man said he thought the fish was gone should I have speed up back to say 16 knots to help get the line tight in case the fish was still there?
I don’t know. It shouldn’t have hurt anything to speed up. .

- Should I run a bonita and a plug instead of two plugs?
I wouldn’t. I like skirted lures
.
- If I do swap in a bonita, should I do that on the short rod or the long rod?
IDK

- How can I be sure the short rod was visible and not in the whitewater?
Put it further back, or more outside. I usually run something dark near the boat. I feel it contrasts the whitewater better.

- What percentage of bites happen early, midday, and late? Obviously we weren't wasting our time HST midday because we had bites, but what can we expect on average. I have read that many people stop HST by 10AM.
I can’t answer the percentage, but I like early better. However, a tide change in the middle of the day can set them off. I’ve caught them at different hours, but if I’m specifically after Wahoo, I want my lines in before day.

It was a little disappointing to lose the first one we hooked, but it was also encouraging and I think you can tell by my post that I'm excited to get back out there and try again.[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rwp2101 View Post
it was overcast and time was midday. And yes, I would have rather started fishing for wahoo at false light but we were targeting other species first
Any time is okay, especially if you have a solunar event, moon set is my favorite regardless of time.

We were running at 16 knots pulling just two rigs:
- Off the port corner we had a san sal candy on cable/25' 400# mono shock leader/32 oz trolling weight on cable/25' 200# mono leader/mainline. We ran that 300' back. Color was mahi.
Smart to run the light color farther back, with just two rigs they should be closer together, and closer to the boat.

- Off the starboard corner we had a similar setup but with a 64oz trolling weight set 150' back. Color was black/purple.
Both are double hook rigs.
Black/purple is a good choice to contrast the dark underside of the wash, you might want to suck that one in 50’ closer.

Some more info:
- Over 3 hours of fishing we had what I thought were two bites that did not result in a hookup and one bite with a fish on for about 2 minutes before it pulled the hook.
- I'm pretty sure they were bites because line would zip off the reel for a second and then nothing. They were bites, mark a MOB and pound the area relentlessly, keeping any eye on the fish finder.
- Drags set fairly tight so that it required some effort to pull line off the reel by hand. I need to mark my reels with more granularity, but it was over 30# of drag on each reel. That’s probably too much drag. For lures of that type I’m around 24#.
.
- When we had the fish on after the first run of 100+ yds I slowed down to 8mph, then it made a second run of 50+ yds and shortly after that is when I think the hook pulled.
​​​​​​​They are masters at delivering a “head shake”, it happens. Get the lines set and get back over where the strike happened ASAP! If you can make the next approach from the up-current side you’ll increase your chances of getting bit again. You can lament your losses after you’ve caught another, it doesn’t hurt so bad then.

- Is it possible they were hitting the trolling sinker on the hits that didn't hook up? I haven't painted them black yet mostly because I saw conflicting info that said to paint the sinkers white. 90% of the fish in the sea have white bellies to protect against predators from below, follow nature. Some white paint has TiO2 added to reflect UV, take a sample into a strip club to see if it “lights up” under the black lights, if it does find another paint.

It was a little disappointing to lose the first one we hooked, but it was also encouraging and I think you can tell by my post that I'm excited to get back out there and try again.
Congrats on a successful first try at HST. You did a lot of things right, build on it a little and you’ll quickly refine the technique.

DO NOT fall for the “solitary hunter” legend. These are pack hunters, fish them like a tuna bite. There’s no such thing as a Lone Wahoo, it’s a myth.
Old 09-25-2020, 11:22 AM
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Listen to Lone Ono, have done a lot of research on HST on here and he is spot on and willing to help!
Old 09-25-2020, 11:37 AM
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Here are my responses, I'm not the expert some of these guys are but have HST quite a bit and caught:
Here are the questions, and please also feel free to tell me what I was doing wrong that I'm not aware of:
- Was my drag too tight? We keep the drag just so it stops pulling out, maybe a creep here and there.
- Is it possible they were hitting the trolling sinker on the hits that didn't hook up? I haven't painted them black yet mostly because I saw conflicting info that said to paint the sinkers white.
That def happens. I think black is the go to

- Is it possible those hits were smaller mahi hitting the lure but not getting the hook?
Anythings possible, we've caught all kinds of fish on the HST, not frequently but it does happen. IDK where you are.

- Would you have switched the short lure to a lighter color as well after two hits on the mahi color? I didn't have more than these two plugs but just wondering.
- Did I slow down too much after the first run? Maybe. We slow down just enough to get line back. If I'm getting line back IDC about anything else. Faster you are going means more pressure on the fish. Lots of
guys just hit the button on their LP and winch them in. I would err on side of going faster. We often actually turn the boat to help reel, a slight turn to the R or L will give you some room to reel. Again, if the fish is coming
in that is all we care about no matter how slow.

- When the reel man said he thought the fish was gone should I have speed up back to say 16 knots to help get the line tight in case the fish was still there? Probably gone at that point. Line should be tight ALWAYS. Issue
seems to be that line went slack, not that you did not speed up once it did. Hooks on the HST leave massive holes in the fish and then they are thrashing and spinning all over, it's essential to keep the speed up.


- Should I run a bonita and a plug instead of two plugs? Like a yozuri bonita? That is up to you, they catch fish. IMO, they all catch fish bc at those speeds it's just a hard reaction bite of some hunk of metal flying by. My experience is the
yozuri bonita's can't be trolled quite as fast as they make it seem.

- If I do swap in a bonita, should I do that on the short rod or the long rod? IDK, but you should run lures that can be pulled at the same speeds.
- How can I be sure the short rod was visible and not in the whitewater? Run it longer? Running two rods it's kinda hard to mess it up. We run two
- What percentage of bites happen early, midday, and late? Obviously we weren't wasting our time HST midday because we had bites, but what can we expect on average. I have read that many people stop HST by 10AM. I do not think there are any hard and fast rules. Around here we like sunrise and sunset, moon phases and incoming tide for clean water. You can catch them anytime though.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:33 PM
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FWIW I've heard a few folks say that if you're going to HST a yozuri bonita keep it on the shorter line because that waggle can become exaggerated and cause tangles.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:12 PM
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Thank you all for your replies! Extremely helpful.

Below are some pics as requested by Ironworker.

I'm going to stay away from the bonita for now and continue to run two plugs.

I'm considering a different plug though because mine has a concave nose. I hate to move away from what worked, and the lure has crazy good looking action in the water, but I think that concave nose means even more drag is needed to hold the line no? Maybe all of that movement also means the fish can sort of miss it?

I was also wondering if maybe my rod angle here is great for pulling the lure, but it's poor for fighting the fish because there's not much bend in the rod? This is an adjusta-butt, I could theoretically adjust it to a straight butt after the hook-up. I say theoretically because it would take two people. This is on the back of my 32 worldcat cc:


I'm guessing this is why I should trim the skirts. This was the short lure:


Here's the other lure:



And the boat has a beam of 10'6"
Old 09-25-2020, 05:17 PM
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Strikes on the first time your doing good. 0-3 so far but learning from my mistakes. (Did get a king Mac thoe) I had a hook look like yours. Damn skirt was to long right from the maker.
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:05 AM
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What are you using for mainline? With your rods that flat out if you’re braid-to-the-swivel it undoubtedly contributed to going 0-3. If you’re using a long mono topshot you could get away with that angle but still risk losing them to a head-shake if you’re fighting strictly from the rod holder. With the rods that flat be sure to use rod leashes or they’ll soon be the property of Mr. David Jones.

You need to trim the skirts. Lure makers are obligated to leave them long so the customer can set them up to suit their own needs. Is there anything you can do to get the front hook further forward? Right now it’s in a part of the lure that doesn’t get bit much.

Check your lures and sinkers for teeth marks. Wahoo almost always leave a mark.
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Old 09-26-2020, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bluescholar View Post
FWIW I've heard a few folks say that if you're going to HST a yozuri bonita keep it on the shorter line because that waggle can become exaggerated and cause tangles.
the bonitas turn sideways and don’t waggle On HST,
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Old 09-26-2020, 07:46 PM
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I too am from outside the "normal" HST zones, so I'm going to comment as well from a completely different perspective.

From 1992-2019 I spent most of my time working on headboats out of Port Aransas, TX. Though one only does 8kt and one now does 19kt most of them run 12-16 kts. From 2015- 2019 I ran one that typically held 15.5kt at cruise. Ever since I was a kid when I first started working, we all took advantage of the slow running speeds and put various words out on the boat. Over the years we had some success underway just randomly putting stuff out, typically a 425 Rod spread with none of us really having a clue as to trolling Theory. One thing I always I liked about it was no matter how much you cost for how many times you got bit, you were always fishing throughout the day and it always seem to produce species of fish that you wouldn't have caught otherwise.

I started studying up on high speed trolling theory in 2015 when I took over my most recent head boat, and by 2019 when I separated from the company I had nearly perfected the technique for that boat. Summer 2019 I added 73 wahoo to my catch tally, simply by trolling on the way up and on the way in, and sometimes in between spots but usually just on the way out and on the weigh-in. That's ever my largest was 81 pounds, but 90% of the rest where exactly the same size probably 12 the 15 lb. Other than the large one, every single Wahoo we hooked would only take 2 minutes away from our drive time to a spot or home, as we kept going a fairly steady clip during the fight, these were fish that we would have never even known about if we hadn't had lures out, and on top of the wall who we also added quite a few Kingfish and a very few other species to our tally as well

Hope a different viewpoint altogether helps


Originally Posted by rwp2101;14081067
First, thank you to everyone on here who has contributed to all of the HST threads on the site. There's a lot of great info in them. [b
I felt the same way as most info was hard to come by on the internet, an arcane protected set of skills. [/b]My crew and I did our first true HST yesterday and I have a few questions as a result. Dont worry, the beginning had way more questions than answers. I think I know the answer to some of these questions below, but I also recognize my lack of experience in this area and would like to hear from the experts, especially as it pertains to my specific setup...

I'm in the northeast and was fishing a slight temperature break/color change in ~300 fow not far from the edge. Water was 67-68 degrees, it was overcast and time was midday. And yes, I would have rather started fishing for wahoo at false light but we were targeting other species first-- it's hard to convince everyone to get up early and head offshore to fish for something they've never caught before so even the captain has to compromise at times! Wrong! The captain never compromises. In this instance, others should have been left on dock.

We were running at 16 knots pulling just two rigs: Nothing wrong there I have had plenty success with everything up to 18kts.
- Off the port corner we had a san sal candy on cable/25' 400# mono shock leader/32 oz trolling weight on cable/25' 200# mono leader/mainline. We ran that 300' back. Color was mahi. Sounds good , maybe a bit heavy for that far back, but you know your boat and I personally avoid any mahi color, but that's a long story. It always burns me, to say the least. But glad it was bit.
- Off the starboard corner we had a similar setup but with a 64oz trolling weight set 150' back. Color was black/purple.
Both are double hook rigs. Why san sal candy? They were a gift from someone who doesn't HST but I've read of some people having success with them so use what you've got.

Some more info:
- Over 3 hours of fishing we had what I thought were two bites that did not result in a hookup and one bite with a fish on for about 2 minutes before it pulled the hook.
- I'm pretty sure they were bites because line would zip off the reel for a second and then nothing.
- Drags set fairly tight so that it required some effort to pull line off the reel by hand. I need to mark my reels with more granularity, but it was over 30# of drag on each reel.
- All of the action was on the long rod with the mahi color. There were lots of mahi in the area which is why I went with that color on one rod instead of a dark color on both.
- Over this entire time I didn't mark any bait, but maybe this wasn't that important because there were mahi moving through the area, and it's possible there were sand eels around.
- When we had the fish on after the first run of 100+ yds I slowed down to 8mph, then it made a second run of 50+ yds and shortly after that is when I think the hook pulled. We reeled like crazy until the lure was back (never give up on the fish) at the boat but he was gone. My brother was reeling after the second run and then said "I think he's off" and I said "Just keep reeling" which he did.
- I was able to figure 8 like a champ with no tangles!

Here are the questions, and please also feel free to tell me what I was doing wrong that I'm not aware of:
- Was my drag too tight? Really depends what you're fishing with. I personally like extreme drags when fishing wahoo specifically , both with HST and all other techniques. I always had my mates set our HST for 50#, and knowing them, that usually resulted in 25-40 usually falling in the mid thirtys.
- Is it possible they were hitting the trolling sinker on the hits that didn't hook up? I haven't painted them black yet mostly because I saw conflicting info that said to paint the sinkers white. It is possible. Look at your lead and the cable behind. Lead shows teeth marks easy.
- Is it possible those hits were smaller mahi hitting the lure but not getting the hook? ​​​​​​​Yes. I was extremely surprised but caught a random 3-4 lb Turkey bull on a lure about the same size he was. When I saw green I thought we had a piece of trash.
- Would you have switched the short lure to a lighter color as well after two hits on the mahi color? I didn't have more than these two plugs but just wondering. Depends, I really trust everything I put out there. I put a lot of thought into it, and it at least makes sense to me. Normally 2 or 3 bites on o mne color, even in s row or only, won't have much effect on my spread. I have 4- 6 lures out always with at least 1 orange black, purple black, pink white, and blue white always represented. The other 2 could be different styles or new lures I'm trying. Just because one lure gets bit 3 times in a row, especially if it's an oddball color doesn't mean the next will hit that. If I add one more I have to kill another, that might have been what the next fish wanted. Now if its noon and one color caught everything so far on one rod or position, I'm going to have a very monochromatic and extremely tight spread the rest of the day
- Did I slow down too much after the first run? This one right here was the hardest for me. In the beginning, while figuring everything out, we always fought every fish from a dead boat no matter what, with the benefit of being able to bust a drift right there on the party boat while the angler was fighting his troll fish. When I started playing with real HST techniques there was about a year we couldnt land anything. Almost every single fish we hooked would get off, and that started some crazy lure ideas and refinement, but still unless it was a kingfish with a broken neck wed never see what was biting. One day I ran across an article that mentioned to never stop moving, I was skeptical but tried . The next day we landed a wahoo. I have refined my personal actions to continuing at a set course and speed for 30breal seconds, then very slowly pulling back to 6 it's with the auto pilot maintaining a straight course. Then I can leave the helm and help the mate by wiring or gaffing. Obviously if theres traffic then you should make everyone aware of your actions before taking your eye off the horizon, but at clutch forward, in my area I'm fine usually- When the reel man said he thought the fish was gone should I have speed up back to say 16 knots to help get the line tight in case the fish was still there? If your mate was ready to go and everything was prepared and explained to your angler beforehand, this shouldn't have been an issue. But, the rod should never leave the holder, it should be locked down where an angler cant pull it out of its gimbal. The angler should know the reel is already in low gear and never stop reeling from the start to the finish., except in the rare occasion the wheel man cant keep up with a fish then the angler and mate should be able to get in and out of high gear fast. If you ever see slack you should be goosing it.
Should I run a bonita and a plug instead of two plugs? You can, I'd suggest starting them swimming slower and also slowing before reeling them in. Kinda dangerous if your not used to them.

- If I do swap in a bonita, should I do that on the short rod or the long rod? Bigger profiles close , smaller far
- How can I be sure the short rod was visible and not in the whitewater? A camera. Good luck. But at 22kts , now on my new ride, a 64oz weight and a giant lure are very much in the clean only 50 ft back. If you're worried, increase weight and or use an outrigger.
- What percentage of bites happen early, midday, and late? Obviously we weren't wasting our time HST midday because we had bites, but what can we expect on average. I have read that many people stop HST by 10AM.
Cant get bit if not fishing. I've caught them all day and at night. I troll almost great til very dark if I'm underway and believe I'm in blue water. Caught them everywhere and everywhere.
It was a little disappointing to lose the first one we hooked, but it was also encouraging and I think you can tell by my post that I'm excited to get back out there and try again. ​​​​​​​If that's the only one you lose get you a lotto ticket son. If it hurt you're feelings that bad, it may be time for a new sport. I'm ok at what I do and lost them for o over a year. Straight. Wait til you get on a setup losing spree, and dump 2k in tackle one day!
​​​​​​​ as far as your other question goes about the concave face, you definitely want to keep that. It's been found that the concavity of the San sale candy crooked Island candy and the other one actually help keep the lower down in the water instead of skipping. The black Bart Wahoo XL or whatever it's called has a pointy nose, and we've had very little luck with that specific lore unless we put it Way Way Back. I stick to concave faces flat faces and heavy darts. There's others I want to try but that's what his work for me so far with the most and the biggest coming on extremely heavy darts behind extremely heavy weights up close to the boat

Last edited by Captjameswheeler; 09-27-2020 at 04:02 AM.
Old 09-26-2020, 07:52 PM
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As far as your hook sets go oh, and where they're placed in the skirt, I've tried damn near everything in my experiments and the keep it simple stupid rule definitely applies here. We use a single hook that the point is at least 3/8 of an inch beyond the skirt and use a lot of heat shrink to keep it in place and to keep it a stiff rig. If it's a lower that has a keeper in it we turn the hook so that the point is up while trolling. We don't short mini skirts we just add heat shrink or rigging to make the setup work. The bigger the lure the bigger the profile the more bites you'll get. Don't believe me go to your tackle store and look at the size of the Ascension Pro jet with a metal head, that was made for wahoo and that is a humongous lure. I personally have a couple of Kong 130s that I've been trolling for about five trips now, and really like the look of them. I haven't had a bite on them yet but I know it's coming and it'll be a nice one. 50 ft back behind a 64 Oz weight that lure looks absolutely awesome off a short rigger
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:31 AM
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I’ve fed a lot of macs to Ono, and they are most consistently bit in the midsection, not the ends.
So my Ono lures carry only one grossly oversized hook placed about mid skirt, they don’t deter the bite and they stick like crazy, usually right through the roof of the mouth.
Ironworkers triple skirt theory has merit for strikes, but sometimes I think too much skirt can shield the hook from entering the mouth.
A solid black inner skirt Gives good contrast/profile to your favorite outer color.
I only use HST to locate fish, then slow down to give the spread more time in a productive area, possibly switchIng up to live bait .
Dont sweat loosing a few, that’s going to happen no matter what!
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
What are you using for mainline? With your rods that flat out if you’re braid-to-the-swivel it undoubtedly contributed to going 0-3. If you’re using a long mono topshot you could get away with that angle but still risk losing them to a head-shake if you’re fighting strictly from the rod holder. With the rods that flat be sure to use rod leashes or they’ll soon be the property of Mr. David Jones.

You need to trim the skirts. Lure makers are obligated to leave them long so the customer can set them up to suit their own needs. Is there anything you can do to get the front hook further forward? Right now it’s in a part of the lure that doesn’t get bit much.

Check your lures and sinkers for teeth marks. Wahoo almost always leave a mark.
Ono, thank you for this.
120# JB hollowcore for mainline and my topshot is short.
Everything is leashed tight so a lot of the stress is on the cleat and less is on the rodholder.
On the side that was getting action three strands of skirt are bitten shorter, there's a mark on the head of the lure, and the sinker has a set of marks as well. On the other side the lure and sinker are unblemished.
I guess I could rerig the lure. Move the first hook up near the head and drop the second back so that the hook point is 4" back from the end of the skirt?
Old 09-28-2020, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Captjameswheeler View Post
It's been found that the concavity of the San sale candy crooked Island candy and the other one actually help keep the lower down in the water instead of skipping.
Thank you for all of your insight Capt! That was all a great read and extremely informative. Especially, this part above-- I'm going to stick with these lures for now and make some modifications to the rigging.
Old 09-28-2020, 11:57 PM
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Don’t worry if your lure is missing a few strands. If it’s cut up in front of the strands it’s usually a problem because it will bulge out and maybe make the lure spin.

For a long time I measured the distance from the back of the lure eye to the leading edge of the bite marks. In my area the leading edge of the bite is (spooky) consistent at 1” back. I used this info to position a hook in the middle of the bite zone. When I started setting up rigging for east coast fishermen they only wanted a tail hook. Every lure I put out I asked people to send me back pictures of bit-up lures. I got a lot of fish pictures, which is nice, but pictures of the lures showed them getting bit in the same place I have my lures set up for, up front and a short distance behind the eye feature. Now all of my lures that head out to the east coast have double hooks with the front hook way far forward. Since then more than 2/3 of the pictures I get have the fish on the front hook. If you can move the front hook forward I would do it. Lots of the BB lures have hook locks, that can push the front hook back even farther.

When you say “short top shots” how short is that? Monofilament stretch helps me get more fish on the boat. I tried two lines braid-to-the-swivel that I vowed would be for an entire season. My hookup ratio and my catch ratio fell on both rods. I ran them for two months and switched back to mono topshots. Your rod tips look pretty low for braid work. You can compensate by keeping your speed up, but mostly mono will still catch more.

You got bit, next time just need to fill the BBQ 🙂.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:20 AM
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I've only HST'd a few times, have yet to catch anything. In fairness I'll typically do it later in the day as we're getting ready to head in.

One event I had that I still haven't figured out that maybe the experts can shed some light on: I was watching the lures and saw a wahoo on one, distinctly saw his back as he made several jumps toward the boat. Expected the reel to start screaming any second, and nothing. Cleaning up the gear I found that the skirt on that lure was tore up and there were teeth marks in the heat shrink on the hook set. Was he hooked and able to swim at the boat fast enough to get off?
Old 09-29-2020, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ono View Post
When you say “short top shots” how short is that? .
25' of 120# mono. It's so short because I use these same rods for pulling deep divers at much slower speeds and having less mono helps the plug get down. It sounds like I should adjust the but of the rod to be straight and not bent so that the rod can provide some shock absorbing capacity AND pull out that 25' of mono and splice in 100'?
Old 09-29-2020, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Captjameswheeler View Post
Summer 2019 I added 73 wahoo to my catch tally, simply by trolling on the way up and on the way in, and sometimes in between spots but usually just on the way out and on the weigh-in. Other than the large one, every single Wahoo we hooked would only take 2 minutes away from our drive time to a spot or home, as we kept going a fairly steady clip during the fight, these were fish that we would have never even known about if we hadn't had lures out,
This is my favorite part. People say HST takes too much time, is too expensive and burns too much fuel. Reality is if you’re only setting out two strings during your regular travel times where you can run HST speed having hooks in the water can bring in fish you would otherwise drive over with no chance of catching them. Dragging HST rigs on your trip out, your scouting time and your trip in can be done with little added cost or time, and it makes you more attractive to females!

Last edited by Lone Ono; 09-29-2020 at 05:52 PM.

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