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John's Journal... Entry 50, Day 1

Making a Squid Pie

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: This week, you'll learn how to catch more snapper, grouper, triggerfish and amberjack. We'll show you how to rig and how to catch the big ones. Our guest, Captain Mike Parker of the charter boat the "Silver King" in Destin, Florida, has fished most of his life and daily takes charters out for all the targeted bottom species.

QUESTION: How do you use a squid pie for fishing?

ANSWER: I use a squid pie for large bottom feeders, like a nice red or black snapper or a grouper.

QUESTION: How do you make a squid pie and rig it?

ANSWER: First, I'll take a Killer Bee Squid and rinse it off. Then I'll insert a Killer Bee Cigar Minnow into the head of the squid. Open the squid up a little with your finger, and run the head of the cigar minnow all the way until it gets to the very end of squid.

click to enlargeQUESTION: How do you get that squid on the hook?

ANSWER: You look into the squid and find its eyes. Then you take the circle hook and run it right through the squid to the eye of the cigar minnow, through the minnow's other eye and out the other side of the squid.

QUESTION: Why do you use this type of bait for bottom feeders?

ANSWER: This squid pie adds some diversity to what bottom feeders usually see. When this pie goes down, it carries the smell of the squid and the cigar minnow. It also gives the fish something to chew on a little bit longer. Sometimes fish will come in and chew on a cigar minnow or the squid, and sometimes they can get one or the other off fairly quickly, perhaps even without setting hook. But by putting both the squid and the cigar minnow into a pie, the fish will have to chew on the pie some, which will generally mean that you get a better hookset. You may get a hit or two on a pie and still work with the bottom feeder some.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Don't you believe that bigger baits produce bigger fish?

ANSWER: Yes, they do.

QUESTION: Tell me about the hook you use.

ANSWER: I like a Mustad circle hook.

QUESTION: What size?

ANSWER: I use a No. 8, a No. 9 and a No. 10. I like several different sizes in that range, but as small as a No. 8 or as large as a No. 10.

QUESTION: Why do you like the circle hook better?

ANSWER: Because once fish get on a circle hook, they can't get off. You have to be a bit more patient using the circle hook. Because of its shape, you can't jerk it or else it'll pop right out of the fish's mouth. A circle hook works off of pressure. But once you apply pressure to the circle hook by lowering your rod and beginning to reel, you'll pop that hook through the fish's lip rather consistently.

QUESTION: How do you set the hook when you get a bite?

ANSWER: You want to keep the rod tip pointed high, almost at the 12:00 or 1:00 position -- straight up. When you get the bite, you take the rod and lower the rod down to almost the level of the water. You'll feel the fish beginning to bend the pole a little. Then you start reeling as fast as you can. When you feel the rod bowing up and can feel the fish on it, you need to lift the rod. When you lift, you'll punch the hook right through, and you'll have the fish hooked.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Do you fish squid pie well up off the bottom when you use it?

ANSWER: Most of the time. Occasionally you can drop the squid pie and leave it on the bottom where a grouper often will take it. But I fish the squid pie up off the bottom also.

QUESTION: And how far up off the bottom will you fish that bait?

ANSWER: I fish a squid pie about four, five or six cranks up off the bottom.

QUESTION: With what pound test main line do you start?

ANSWER: I use 40- to 60-pound-test main line. If I fish deeper water, my main line will go up to 80 pounds. However, the leader line will fluctuate from 40- to 60-pound-test line most of the time. When I fish in really deep water, I'll use 80- to 100-pound test line for grouper and even 125-pound-test line, if I expect we may catch some really big grouper.

QUESTION: What size swivel do you use?

ANSWER: I'll use anywhere from a 40- to 100-pound swivel.

QUESTION: How long a line do you use for a leader?

ANSWER: It averages from 4 1/2- to 5 feet.

click to enlargeQUESTION: Why do you have so much leader out from the barrel swivel to the hook?

ANSWER: Leader this long gives the bait some time to flow with the current, which lets the bait move around so the fish can see it and eat it, getting the bait well in its mouth before feeling tension on the line.

For more information on fishing with Killer Bee Squid or Killer Bee Cigar Minnows, contact Killer Bee at P.O. Box 1384, Pascagoula, MS 39568, (877) 557-2248, www.killerbeebait.com.

To learn more about bottom fishing in the Gulf of Mexico,call or write Mike Parker at the charter boat, the "Silver King," 408 Lee Lane, Destin, FL, 32541, (850) 837-2028. You also can check out his website at www.destincharterboats.com or e-mail him at mike@destincharterboats.com

Tomorrow: Use Squid To Catch Triggerfish




Check back each day this week for more about How To Take More Bottom Feeders With Mike Parker ...

Day 1 -Making a Squid Pie
Day 2 -Use Squid to Catch Triggerfish
Day 3 -To Catch Live Bait
Day 4 -Two-Hook Rigs
Day 5 -The Size of Bait Determines The Size of The Catch

John's Journal