Tip #40 #40 Something Out of Nothing!
Something Out of Nothing! By Capt. Jim Hirt I would like to describe a scenario most of you have probably run into at one time or another. Clear Blue Bird sky calm water nothing biting zip, zero, nada, nothing!! Perhaps there was an early first light bite and you missed it. Maybe you have friends on board and they can only fish from noon to four in the afternoon. Not the best hours of the day. Well what do you do? Charter Captains deal with this on many days each season. Let's start with how we got here. Attitude of fish is set up by many factors some being weather, barometer, light, water temperature and phase of the moon. The list goes on forever you get the picture. Unfortunately most of the best times to fish are not an option to a good share of the fishing community. Don't despair all is not lost. This is not an answer that will create a flurry of action so wild that you can't keep up with the tackle. It will however put a few fish in the cooler and avoid the dreaded SKUNK! Most of the factors mentioned put the fish in a neutral or negative state. These types of fish will not take an aggressive presentation. Put away the plugs, flasher flies and magnum spoons. Go stealth, Go long, Go light, and Go small. This all means present small spoons at great distances on light line in waters undisturbed. This is not a new concept. Far too many fishermen use a heavy mono line on tough fishing days and it becomes ineffective. Heavy 20-30 pound line must be used on rotators, flashers and dodgers don't go with light line on these or you will loose them. Several stealth presentations come to mind. I could just skim over all of them but I would like to focus on just one with all the details necessary. An effective tool for the tough days is what I call the LTLR (light line rig) it is easy to rig, however, it does require specialized tackle. I run a medium size Okuma Convector CV-20D line counter reel capable of holding 300 yards of 12 lb. line with a smooth drag and an Okuma CGL-C-762ML medium light rod. I have found this combo to be superior for this application. A low visibility Seaguar Invizix fluorocarbon 12 lb line is the key to this presentation's success. Attach the spoon with a size #1 Sampo 30 lb. coastlock snap. With this type of day four downriggers offer the stealth you are looking for. Too much tackle will spook the fish. The light line requires a rubber band release. Don't go with any of the regular releases or a big Chinook will break your line. Run 80-120 foot leads off the downriggers with at least 20 feet of separation between them. It is a proven fact that small lures are the way to go on neutral or negative fish. For this reason I use a size #2 Vulcan spoon and match the color based on the amount of light. This 3-inch spoon closely resembles the profile of the smaller Lake Michigan baitfish and trolls well at all speeds. Have a great fishing season. Copyright© 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved