Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spin Fishing Options

One of the reasons I like spin fishing is because, like fly fishing, the angler makes the cast and sets his own hook. On a trolled bait or lure, the crew usually sets the hook, and gets the thrill of that first run. This is because most people do not understand the timing and technique of trolled baits, so the crew usually gets most of the fun.
Plus, spin fishing is light line and light gear fishing, allowing for a lot more fun and excitement than on heavy trolled conventional gear.
With spin fishing we have several options:
1)    You can fish the blue water with hookless teasers, and once a dorado, marlin, or sailfish comes into the spread, the crew teases the fish enough so you can make the cast with a spin rod using a live bait and a circle hook on a 100 pound test leader.
2)    We can either go north or south out of Zihuatanejo and fish the inshore with spin gear using a combination of surface poppers and live bit in the live well. For this option you would not need me as a guide on the boat. The two Dos Hermanos pangas have 1st class spin gear, and years of expertise at this type of fishing. The rate is $250 for the day for one or two people.
Should you and your partner doing a fly fishing and spin combination trip, then a guide would be recommended. The charter would be $375.
3)     Another option is a trip to Puerto Vicente Guerrero in my Suburban. We meet at the pier in Zihuatanejo and make the 1.5 hour drive down there. We will essentially be fishing virgin waters. For spin, fly, or a combination trip, the charter is $375. We will be either fishing the backside of the waves along the shoreline, or down at my “sweet spot” (a couple of rocky humps which come to within 25 feet of the surface and are a mile off shore), or the blue water.
4)    And, a final option is a beach trip. You can read the article I wrote in the following link: The rate is $135 for the day.     

From a chapter of the author's book 
Pop a Rooster: Most good roosterfish captains have a decent supply of surface      poppers and a quality spin rod in their arsenal. In fact, a few of the captains I know use nothing else. There are several reasons to have surface poppers among your bag of tricks.

      1)    You can cover a lot of water quickly while trying to find the concentrations of fish and there is no need to change methods once you have found them.
2)    You can cast great distances with a well balanced surface popper and spin rod   outfit. This allows you to reach the areas of where the fish are actively feeding, even if high waves are present. There is no way a fly caster is going to make a 150 foot cast from a rocking panga. But, a popper will cast that far, and bring the fish all the way back to within a very reasonable casting distance of less than 60 feet from the boat.
3)    Casting a surface popper is extremely fast, allowing you to make several casts in a five minute span, of which would be about the time needed to rig up another live bait when a rooster destroys the one you were using as a teaser. You cast to the  actively feeding roosters, in the zone they are in, many more times faster with a popper than other methods.
4)   Roosters are boat shy and a lure thrown to the side of the boat is more effective than one directly behind the boat.
A few important items about casting poppers, is you must have quality gear, with the    ability to cast very long distances. However, do not go out and buy a 15 foot surf rod, just because you heard people can cast a long ways with them. They are set up to cast heavy weights, and will flat out tire you out after a few casts. An ideal outfit is a 9 foot to 11 foot light to medium duty salt water rod, with a medium sized salt water spin reel. (A conventional reel will cast a long ways, but the spool diameter is generally not big enough, even with a 5:1 gear ratio, to easily attain the retrieve speed you need). A “light” action salt water spin reel is easier to cast all day, but be sure to compare the amount of retrieve with a “medium” sized spin reel first. The greater the retrieve distance, for every complete revolution of the handle, is the one you want. You want that popper to sizzle across the water, with a minimum amount of effort. Otherwise, you will not last more than a couple of hours.
Author’s note: A trick when casting gel spun line with the spin reel is to use an archer’s glove over the index finger. This works better than a full glove or tape.
The spin rod should be rated for 15 to about 30 pound line, or lures of 2.5 ounces to no more than 4 ounces.
There are two other tricks you can use to get longer casts. Use a 30 or 40 pound braided line. When compared to an equal pound test monofilament line, the new high tech braided lines have a very small diameter. The smaller diameter means less resistance for longer casts, without sacrificing breaking strength. If you have not installed a trigger release on your rod, the braided line can shred your fingers. Be sure to wear a casting glove, or at the least, tape up your casting index finger. A bimini twist is the most secure way to form a loop on the braided line, and then use a double loop to loop connection through the swivel eye. Use a drop of magic glue to secure the tag end of the knot. The swivel will then attach to the popper or a short 100 pound mono leader if needlefish are present.
A Ranger lure sizzling across the surface.
When needle fish and sierras are in the areas you are teasing, use a short length of 100 pound mono, or even a wire leader. These toothy critters are also attracted to the surface popper, and without a tough leader, you will soon be heading for your local tackle shop. Do not worry about leader visibility; with the surface popper on top, it is not in the water much anyway.
Poppers need not be limited to the 6 to 8 inch surface poppers which are actually designed for the purpose. Some metal spoons and jigs cast a long distance, and splash along on the surface with a fast retrieve. They can also be deadly.

Another thing which helps immensely, being most people do not spend as many days on a panga as we do, is the leaning post I have mounted on the bow of my panga at Puerto Vicente Guerrero. By having a secure and stable casting platform on the dipping and rising bow, your casts will be much longer and your hook-up ration much higher.
By virtue the bow is higher than trying to cast from the water level area near the motor of a panga, your casts are longer anyway, but with the leaning post, you can really get the cast punched out there.
Ed Kunze