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Drop Back To Fish Using Live Bait or Stick Em Right Away?

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  • 4 Post By ReelGrimm
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Drop Back To Fish Using Live Bait or Stick Em Right Away?

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Old 12-03-2018, 11:30 AM
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Default Drop Back To Fish Using Live Bait or Stick Em Right Away?

I get a lot of questions as to how I fish live baits as far as my drag setting. And for the most part I use circle hooks, so I like to use drop back.

When I'm fishing for kingfish, sailfish, wahoo, tuna, mahi, etc. I like to drop back to them and count about 3 seconds before closing the bail and coming tight. With a circle hook and small piece of wire this has worked best for me.

It is a bit more exciting to fish the bail closed with some drag and a j-hook, as you get that screaming drag. It works especially well for kingfish.

Curious what you preferred method of hooking up to fish with live bait is? I say "Let Er Eat!"

Here is a quick video I did showing my drop back rig.

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Old 12-03-2018, 04:28 PM
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If I'm fishing a circle hook live bait let um eat. If I know it's a sail let him eat at least 5 seconds. A king or hoo or mahi only 3 seconds. Stinger rig fishing leave it in the holder till it's bent over pulling drag.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:02 PM
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Wait for camera man to get camera on and pointed in right direction, then pick up rod. lol
If it's a sailfish, I was taught by a couple very good people to wait until he's jumping.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:35 PM
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Use ringed circle hooks on Marlin when fishing live bridle rigged Skipjack baits and we hand feed the line as the fish swims away and might have 150 - 300ft out before slowly inching up the drag. Kingfish and other smaller species targeted with livebaits we let them run for maybe 3 to 6 seconds before upping the drag.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:13 AM
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When using mullet...

Snook are going to be heading straight back to cover, so I usually hit them hard right away. I would rather pull a hook too early than break one off on structure too late, and the difference is usually razor thin.

With tarpon I just wait until they come tight on their own. Very often they will blow up on a mullet but miss, then go after it a few more times before they catch up with it. When it comes tight, it is on. Same thing with jacks.

When using shrimp...

Most times just set the hook as most fish engulf the thing right away.

Sheepshead are a little trickier. You must not not set the hook until you feel the fish. Then, at the very slightest movement, you must set the hook first!
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cronced View Post
When using mullet...

Snook are going to be heading straight back to cover, so I usually hit them hard right away. I would rather pull a hook too early than break one off on structure too late, and the difference is usually razor thin.

With tarpon I just wait until they come tight on their own. Very often they will blow up on a mullet but miss, then go after it a few more times before they catch up with it. When it comes tight, it is on. Same thing with jacks.

When using shrimp...

Most times just set the hook as most fish engulf the thing right away.

Sheepshead are a little trickier. You must not not set the hook until you feel the fish. Then, at the very slightest movement, you must set the hook first!
For Sheepshead, set the hook just before they bite....
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:04 AM
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We bottom fish in rocks. So drags are tightened with pliers and about all the time we give them is dropping the rod tip and then game on. You have to gain at least 5 feet of line right away or fish is gone from cut leader.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FishLife View Post
For Sheepshead, set the hook just before they bite....
Sort of... it's almost like setting the hook in anticipation of a bite, but only once you feel the fish. Not quite before they bite. A very subtle, but very major distinction! Fortunately sheepshead are very gullible for such paranoid fish.

Sheepshead are the pinnacle of all the tiny little details mattering so much that you just have to go chunk your way through it without overthinking things. Or even thinking about things at all. You have to be dialed in, but being distracted is the key to success as long as you pay very close attention.

If none of this makes any sense, go sheepshead fishing.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:10 AM
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Awesome videos!
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cronced View Post
Sort of... it's almost like setting the hook in anticipation of a bite, but only once you feel the fish. Not quite before they bite. A very subtle, but very major distinction! Fortunately sheepshead are very gullible for such paranoid fish.

Sheepshead are the pinnacle of all the tiny little details mattering so much that you just have to go chunk your way through it without overthinking things. Or even thinking about things at all. You have to be dialed in, but being distracted is the key to success as long as you pay very close attention.

If none of this makes any sense, go sheepshead fishing.
this is what I live by when sheepshead fishing. Dialed in and distracted is what catches fish!
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