Popping in Gulf: Max Lure Weight

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by Uncle Russ, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    3
    With regard to popping for YFT in the GOM--what, in your various opinions, would be the heaviest popper (or other lure for that matter) you would ever want to cast a long distance from the boat? On the basis of the good advice on this board, I have decided to make the 5-ounce Tuna Hunter the primary popper I will take with me on the Big E, with the smaller Tuna Hunter Junior for smaller sizes. Also, of course, the flying fish lures. But would that be the biggest you would need?

    As for other casting, does anyone ever try casting the lures meant primarily for trolling, such as the 2 1/2 ounce through 8 ounce Bonita type lures (for example, the Wahoo Hunters) on a topwater bite? Are diving plugs or swim baits ever used?

    How about some of the heavier surface jigs? Do you cast them or just yo yo them?

    My main reason for introducing this topic is to assist myself and various buddies with rod-selection for popping and other casting in the Gulf. I will only be casting with spinning gear, and own the 700H spinner (not certain of the maximum lure weight it can handle) and the Smith WRC 80P/35 (rated for up to 170 gram lures) that Randy sells. Either of these will handle the 5 ounce lures with no problem. However, if faced with a requirement to throw stuff much beyond 6 ounces any distance, I would probably want something rated for 200 - 250 grams--like the Smith Tokara. Even though I will likely never see a GT, and even if such a rod proved too heavy for Gulf casting, I could at least strap the Twinspin onto it and hold the rig lovingly, while sitting on the couch watching bass tournaments on television. In the alternative, it would make a helluva 50-weight flyrod.

    Thanks,

    Russ
     
  2. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

    863
    3
    Hey Russ!

    I think you've covered anything you'll need. BTW, I didn't realize the TH's weighed that much! lol

    I know Grescobia caught at least one YFT throwing a 1 oz diamond jig during our GEM trip (working just like surface iron or casting long and letting it sink, then ripping back to the boat).

    I've hooked footballs on 1-2 oz surface iron, but nothing sizable yet on iron during a topwater bite. But, I definitely think it's possible.

    Swim baits are something not often tried, at least that I've seen, but I think is viable. Anything that will closely match a sardine or flyer, IMO, is worth throwing. Depending on current or depth, I will use 1 oz to 4 oz heads.

    If you can cast lures from 1 - 5 oz, you should be fine!
     

  3. Backlash Scott

    Backlash Scott Member

    102
    8
    If the currents moving well, I recommend putting out a swimbait & letting it sit in the current.We caught a lot of blackfin that way,last time I fished in Venice.If you want to try for yellowfin, you will need your jig heads to have much heavier hooks.Good luck,
    Backlash Scott
     
  4. Sea Crappie

    Sea Crappie Senior Member

    366
    0
    As for other casting, does anyone ever try casting the lures meant primarily for trolling, such as the 2 1/2 ounce through 8 ounce Bonita type lures (for example, the Wahoo Hunters) on a topwater bite? Are diving plugs or swim baits ever used?


    The 6" Yo Zuri Bonita are great for casting to tuna (in purple and black and in Ahi). I like to use the double hooks (sharpen them). On a boat like the Big E, one trick to increase your catch w/ them is reel them in fast until they hit the edge of the light, then let it sink for a 10-15 second count and then start reeling REALLY FAST, as the lure runs to the surface it drives the YFT crazy. Sometimes they like it better than surface plugs. As far as diving lures Randy sells a new one that's like a souped up bang-o-lure meant for tuna (gotta get some myself). Good luck.
     
  5. fathom

    fathom Lifetime Supporting Members

    1,105
    105
    Sharpen hooks on tuna hunters and g.t. poppers! The tuna hunter jr. will hook up more.

    Saw several fish caught on sub surface lures last trip.

    The Storm swim baits did well also. Only saw one yft straighten hook. I don't know if you can upgrade stock hook as it is molded to internal weight.

    Fathom
     
  6. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    3
    Interesting replies and thanks for the input. I guess flying fish, given their body type and the wings as an escape mechanism rarely get far from the surface. However, I wonder if you couldn't add enough weight to take one of the ones with swept-back wings (the kind that look like an old sabre jet) and add enough weight to get them down a couple of feet or so and that might be effective as subsurface. On the other hand, skipping them across the surface is probably more natural.

    Russ
     
  7. Hey Russ,

    Weight do not determine distance; correct and matching rod, line, lure weight makes the difference.

    If you want a lure that will cast obsene distance in the class of WRC80P/35 rods, check out the below pic. These pencil poppers will fly at least 30% further than conventional shaped poppers.

    Another way to ensure longer distance is to reduce leader length so the knot (Spectra and leader) is out of the rod tip (really short) but start with lesser initial drag for the shock during hookup, then squeezed it on after hook up. (remember to wrap your index fingers!! or you will end up with bloody spectra)
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    3
    Ragman, Scott, and Crappie: (sounds kind of like a law firm doesn't it?) Those are great suggestions for lures--I have been wondering that noone ever seems to talk about anything but jiggin, popping, and chunking.

    fathom: Are you saying that the juniors will draw more strikes, or rather that the hooks will set better?

    I have actually thought about whether those big Storm plastics would work offshore since the hooks are at least somewhat substantial, but you are correct that they are molded to the weights, jiglike, and have a unique shape to them. With my luck, when I used one, that's when the only 400 pound YFT ever to be found in the GOM would inhale it.

    Randy: I realize it is the balance of the whole rig that counts, (not to mention casting skill, which I need to work on.) I may have mentioned that I was able to cast the same 4-ounce lead casting spoon which I was only able to get 200 feet out of with my Calstar 700H, nearly 20 feet further. But I have a long way to go and I feel I should probably get at least 250 feet or more with that rod.

    Actually, my whole reason for inquiring about the largest popper I would ever need, was that I hoped someone would say: "Uncle Russ, if you don't have a rig that can cast a 9-ounce lure, you ain't #$%&. That would give me an excuse to buy a Tokara from you.

    Those pencil poppers definitely look like they would cast a mile, however from the look of them, if I cast them with the 80P/35, I might catch some flak for buying a popper that cost more than the rod. :)

    Russ
     
  9. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

    2,835
    107
    [/QUOTE]

    Russ,

    Yes those poppers are costly, on average $40 a pop but if i can out cast everybody on the boat and get to the fish, that is really nothing considering the cost of going out fishing nowadays plus you'll never know whats beyond the norm...

    Have fun!

    Randy[/QUOTE]

    I couldn't agree more. You work hard, and when it's time to fish, don't be a cheap skate. If you figure out the total expense of a fishing trip, what is a 40 dollar lure or popper? It's really nothing. If it produces, it's the best money you spend on the trip.

    I've lost at least 30 very expensive marlin trolling lures (60 to 100 bucks) to hoo's, bad connections and angler error. But I figure I wouldn't have gotten the strike if I'd placed a cheap lure in the water. That's part of fishing.
     
  10. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

    1,996
    42
    swimbaits work. I like the tsunami (longer, more slender profile resembling a flying fish) I add some feathers into the sides to immitate a flying fish. First time I tried one, lost a YFT to a previous backlash that I didnt get out all the way. We were on the Gulf Eagle, deckhand from the Pelican brought my swimbait over from the mouth of one of thier 70# YFT!! LOL!

    Some of the swimbaits have double hooks. (think they are classified as trolling style). If they dont, I add a stinger hook. I call them the "Funky Chicken"
     
  11. fathom

    fathom Lifetime Supporting Members

    1,105
    105
    you need both sizes of hunters. Sometimes bigger is not better. The larger lure hooks must be xtra sharp . Wait to you see flyers breaking towards the boat and cast at where they land .

    last trip i saw yft caught on a cast subsurface jointed lure and braid runner 5".

    Many anglers are now cutting off the thick wings on the flyer lures and replacing them with homemade thin sheet plastic wings. these fold up easily and allow the tuna to get the hook. the original wings are really bulky.(try folding them and you'll see that it makes a bulky object for tuna to swallow) Skeeterronnie your feathers for wings sounds great!

    Fathom
     
  12. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

    863
    3
    Welcome to 360tuna Randy! I hope you enjoy our site as much as I enjoy yours!

    Russ- On my last trip, when the tuna were solely focused on flyers, I started adding a 1/4 oz rubber core sinker to the flyer I put out. The tuna were turning away the live flyer while it was in the lights. Once out of the lights, and away from the boat, the flyer got nailed.

    Ronnie- The funky chicken you gave me looked great in the water!!! The feather wings, once in the water, really flowed naturally and to me anyway, did a great job of creating the silouhette of a floating flying fish.

    No hits, but I only used it when the tuna were really picky.

    Fathom- Rick had one of those that had the clear (but edges outlined) wings added. TJ had picked that up on one of the Big E trips that he and Rue had been on.

    From what TJ said, that guy using them on the Big E was the hot stick!

    Randy- I'll definitely be ordering 1 or 2 of those extra long poppers!
     
  13. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

    1,105
    3
    Understood, guys. I totally agree with buying the best tackle. I just have to whine a little. :)

    Russ
     
  14. Backlash Scott

    Backlash Scott Member

    102
    8
    Mr. Bill, I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but where have you been dragging those marlin lures that keep getting cut off by hoos?
     
  15. fathom

    fathom Lifetime Supporting Members

    1,105
    105
    Ragman, the hot stick was probably mike, This guy has it down on yft, no waisted motion. Watching him is a lesson in its self. He took the time to show me his flyers and how he was rigging them. Single hook on top of tail.

    Fathom
     
  16. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

    863
    3
    Fathom- Can you go into detail on the "no wasted motion" thing.

    Are you talking about casting only to busting fish (no blind casts) and correct lure presentation or his fish-fighting technique once hooked up?

    That detail would help a lot of people on the board compare their technique and someone might pick up something they could add/adjust to their approach.

    Especially since this guy seems to have it down!

    Does he lurk on any boards?
     
  17. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

    740
    54
  18. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

    863
    3
    Thanks for that bump Tony!

    I know that fathom now has an upcoming trip and he'll be on the boards a lot more now! LOL
     
  19. Bazztex

    Bazztex Senior Member

    221
    2
    On the Swim Baits or Plastic baits on a Jig Head. There is an easy way to upgrade the hook quality without extensive modifications to the bait itself.

    For larger YFT it would be possible to put an assit hook like you use for Knife jig fishing. Just rig a split ring to the jig head and use a solid ring to attach the assist hook or a 4X Stinger trebble and your shock leader.... you can rubber band the hook onto the body so it sticks out with the point exposed.

    Hook Strenght Problem solved.

    I've also observed... on average the larger YFT I hooked up with, hit Big Baits like the large poppers and Large Frenzy Ballistic Flyer. There are times when they can get selective with a smaller bait being the better choice... but if you're in a wide open bite Go Big for Bigger Results.

    Bazz