BOTTOM FISHING RIGS

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by MrBill, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    After discovering that 300+ pound Warsaw grouper caught this week breaking the state record, I decided to make some heavier bottom rigs. I used 400 LB mono leader with stainless thimbles at the line end. I use glow thimbles and glow tubing at the hook connection. I buy the leader material in 5 pound rolls.

    For grouper fishing I use a mustad 18/0 circle hook. I like to pre-rig with egg sinkers in the middle of the rig. I feel that I have better control of the fish with the weight at the middle. I've also found that amberjacks get tired of shaking their head with 2 pounds above them.

    At the bottom is the 18/0 hook with the glow thimble and glow tubing connected with an aluminum sleeve crimped. I go up about 2 feet and crimp another aluminum sleeve to act as a weight stop. I slide on the egg sinkers (24 to 54 ounces) and then crimp on another sleeve above the weights. Above this I leave about 2 feet before crimping on a stainless steel thimble for the swivel connection. I don't like using a glow thimble at the swivel end.

    If the current is very strong, I use cut off sash weights. I cut them at random lengths and then weigh them. I paint them white and use a marks a lot to write down the weight. I cut them because 5 to 10 pounds is sometimes too heavy. The goal is to reach the bottom with the minimum weight. It gets tiresome cranking 5-10 pounds from 400 feet. On the top end, I use a stainless steel thimble and go down about 20 inches and form a drop loop and attach a 15/0 mustad circle hook. I leave about 2-3 feet of loose line for tying on the sash weight (or weights) on the bottom.

    I don't like the 3 way connectors. They always get weak after a couple of trips. They always break at the connectors anyway. I've found that after the rigs hits the bottom about 5 to 8 cranks on the reel works best. Usually the bottom 5 feet in the GOM is murky. Sometimes the fish are in the dirty water and sometimes just above it.

    For snapper fishing I like to use multi hook setups. If the snapper are present, I just leave the first one on and wait for another bite. I use steel cable and mono rigs. I like the 10/0 mustad for snapper fishing. Here are some PICS of the rigs I like and have worked very well for me over the years. That is a quarter in the pictures to give you an idea of hook size.
     

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  2. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Bill,

    Just curious. As a newbie, you can imagine that I am shell-shocked reading about 3 pound weights! What is your rig for deep drops on these monsters? I assume you use 130 pound braid. What rod and reel do you use?

    Also, if old Uncle Russ got really really lucky and a 400 pound grouper came along, would, in your opinion, an ATD 50W with 500 yards of 130 on a Calstar 760H be sufficient to handle him?

    Also, my lighter reel for bottom fishing will be my jigging reel, the Boss 665HXC with 300 yards of 100, or maybe more of 80, when I change it out. It is currently on a 50 lb. test Ugly Stick, and I am planning to put it on a Calstar 700H, but I could put it on my Cabelas 130 pound stand up rod to get the benefit of roller guides. I know that would be vast overkill for snapper, but how big a grouper or Amberjack do you think that rig would handle, and how deep would it be sufficient to go?

    I really don't know how much line a big AJ or grouper would take, never having caught one over about 25 pounds. Thanks for the information and the good info on bottom rigs.

    Russ

    Russ
     

  3. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Russ,
    Your ATD 50W is a horse. No problem with that reel loaded with 130. The big problem with grouper is getting them off the bottom quickly. Put the reel in low gear and crank as hard as you can. Preset the drag on the reel at 45 pounds hope the fish doesn't pull you overboard. It's that simple.

    The 665HXC should handle 90% of the bottom fish. I think 80 lb spectra is fine for the average bottom fishing trip. Those AJ's are back busters also. It also is fine size reel for jiggng. I don't think you need the 130 pound roller guide rod on the 665.

    By the way, I use a Tiagra 50WLRSA with 150 lb spectra and a 80 pounds class tuna stick with all rollers for deep drops.
     
  4. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Uncle Russ,

    FYI, your ATD 50W have more than 900 yards of 130 spectra on it.

    Your 760H might be on the lite side for 400# grouper, but it will be more than for average AJ and grouper on the Gulf. JMO

    For AJ and grouper fishing in GOM you don't need more than 300 yards of line.
     
  5. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Wow. 900 yards, T.J.? I thought it only held 500 of the big stuff.

    Russ
     
  6. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Yes, Sir. it has 900+ yards of 130# spectra plus I make 100 yards of 100 top-shot to sweeten the deal. LOL