Fishing Tactics

December 30th, 2014

Live bait

Live bait is the use of a live fish as bait, has the advantage of having a truly natural resource - a live tuna (skipjack, bonito) sardines etc - another great game of predatory fish naturally eat as a food source .

The downside to this tactic is that you can not cover the entire ocean area to the speed you can maintain lures, ie, it is a slower usually 0-5 knots approach to avoid dragging the bait. This limits the amount of area that can be covered by a given amount of time, while fish are being sought.



The Live bait works best when you are in an area that is known to have set predatory fish such as marlin or fish big candle has several indicators in a small area that would be consistent for conditions that may attract or be signs of marlin , ie, temperature, water color, bait structure.

In Costa Rica we find many of these conditions on the high seas, the two key indicators to influence a change would trolling with live bait, bait the presence and structure.

The structure may be more mobile and temporary in nature and in a smaller scale. It may be floating logs, trees, debris, or even a dead turtle. The key is something that offers a change, or shelter for the grand opening of the ocean. Often something floating, even something small like a branch, a plastic bucket or glass, can be the basis of a micro life in the open ocean ecosystem. This is an ideal place to find fish in the sea fishing scenario.



The abundant supply of bait around and even floating debris are not always sufficient, if the needle is not there, there are also plenty of action to deal with fishing and the opportunity to dine at home. Often we get vivid blue runners on each trip, but it's always good to have the opportunity to take a nice fresh tuna, Skippy or under a log.

It is important that the bait will be handled with care to maximize survival and vitality. Small type tuna baits can be extremely sensitive, they can not be out of water for long, or banging around.

Once captured and out of the boat, the crew will quickly lift the tuna and hold it face down on a towel to reduce stress in fish and keep quiet and manageable. Then the bait is as a special floss loop, its socket over the eyeballs is used for the secure connection with the circle hook. The positioning of the head is important to give maximum exposure to the hook, allowing more flexible and work as well, providing greater benefits to connect fish.


Trolling Fishing and Teaser

It is one of the most common ways for targeting big fish at sea.

Our typical trolling spread here in Papagayo consists of 4-8 of our favorite teasers (larger hookless lures) and 4-5 bait hooks, usually ballyhoo rigged on circle hooks. This basic spread is the norm in the area, and has been shown to increase all types of sport fishing marlin, sailfish, rooster fish, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.

If we are specifically targeting the marlin or sailfish, we often use big jokers, baits and lures on the spread, or replacement baits with all lures and trolling at a rate slightly faster than normal to cover more ground and obtain a savage bite.

We commonly employ the use of dredges, it extends below the water surface and it resembles an umbrella framework with six to eight arms supporting various royal rubber bait or the hookless baits- fish that looks like a school of fish swimming bait behind the boat. Dredges work extremely well to raise hungry fish in the area.



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