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John's Journal... Entry 55, Day 1

Wimpy Tackle for Big Snapper

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: This week, we'll discuss how you can use wimpy tackle to take more snapper. Small, light-line tackle can and will produce more and bigger snapper than heavier tackle will. Let's look at what Pure Fishing learned in the summer of 2000 while fishing off Alabama's Gulf Coast with John Prochnow, new-products manager for Pure Fishing, on Captain George Pfeiffer's charter boat, the C.A.T., based in Orange Beach, Alabama.

When the fish bit, the angler on-board the C.A.T. waited for the second bite. He knew that usually when a red snapper hit a bait, the fish wouldn't eat it until its second bite. When the fisherman felt that second bite, he set the hook and held on.

All the anglers on-board fished with probably some of the wimpiest tackle anyone ever had snapper fished with -- a 7-foot, medium-heavy Abu Garcia Conolon Classic Action rod that resembled a freshwater flipping stick, an Ambassadeur 7000-C3 reel designed for light saltwater fishing and Berkley's new Whiplash Line -- the world's strongest super-braided line that features a 17-pound-test diameter with an 80-pound breaking strength -- all products from Pure Fishing. Since this Whiplash Line was much smaller and lighter than the monofilament line most anglers used to catch snapper, grouper and amberjack, we could put more line on our spools. Also, because of the line's braided design, the anglers found Whiplash much more limp and sensitive than monofilament. Most importantly however, the fishermen could feel their strikes better and set their hooks faster with this line than they could with monofilament line.

When the fish took the bait, the angler set the hook so hard that the tip of the rod nearly touched the butt of the rod. All those on-board thought the rod would break. The angler thumbed the spool to add more pressure to the line to try and break the big fish away from the bottom since we fished over an artificial reef. But even with as much pressure as the angler put on the rod, it didn't break. We all assumed the fish was a grouper because it fought straight up and down in the water.

click to enlargeFinally, the drag began to slip, but not much. The angler thumbed the spool again and tried to pull the big fish away from the wreck. Although the angler realized that fighting a big fish on 80-pound-test line would put extreme pressure the on the line, angler also didn't know if the rod could take this extreme beating. However, because the rod was lighter and more limber than the pool-cue-type rods the other anglers fished with, it kept more constant pressure on the jaw of the fish than a stiff rod would. The battle raged for a good 15 minutes before we saw a large patch of red 20 feet below the surface.

click to enlargeWhen we got the snapper on-board, we put it on the scales and found out it weighed 28 pounds -- a huge snapper. That wimpy tackle proved itself Mighty Mouse strong -- little but powerful.

For more information locating Berkley's products, call (800) BERKLEY, or check out the company's website at www.berkley-fishing.com. To learn more about Abu Garcia's products such as the Conolon Classic Action Rod and the Ambassadeur 7000-C3 reel, call (800) 237-5539, or visit the website at www.abu-garcia.com.

For more information on fishing Alabama's Gulf Coast with Captain George Pfeiffer of Pensacola, Florida, call (888) 558-3889. Or, call the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau to learn more about attractions, hotels, accommodations and restaurants in the Orange Beach area at (800) 745-SAND.

Tomorrow: New Secret Baits To Catch Monster Snapper




Check back each day this week for more about Catch Big Snapper On Wimpy Tackle ...

Day 1 -Wimpy Tackle for Big Snapper
Day 2 -New Secret Baits to Catch Monster Snapper
Day 3 -How to Hypercharge Tube Baits
Day 4 -Doubling Down with Dead Bait
Day 5 -How to Catch the Biggest Snapper On Any Spot

John's Journal