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John's Journal... Entry 248, Day 3


Snapper Fishing With Dennis Treigle

Editor's Note: In the cockpit of the boat is where the rubber meets the road as far as catching big snapper goes. The commander of the cockpit of the "Shady Lady" based at the port of Orange Beach, Alabama, is First Mate, Dennis Treigle. With 17 years of experience, Treigle is a master at helping anglers catch really big snapper.

Question: What is the secret of catching really-big snapper?
Treigle: Many times it's the presentation of the bait and the type bait you send down to the fish that makes the difference. But, you need a tremendous amount of luck to catch a really-big snapper. A big snapper can eat the smallest bait on the boat, or that fish can eat the biggest bait on the boat. When we target just big snapper, we'll usually fish with really-big baits-like a slab of meat, a whole mackerel or a big, live bait.

Question: What are your four best big-snapper baits?
Treigle: First is a whole bonita filet on either a 6/0 or 9/0 reel with 80-pound test on the reel and a 100-pound-test leader. For my second bait, I'll choose an amberjack filet. Next, I probably will pick a big northern mackerel, butterflied, and last, I'll opt for a live ruby-lipped grunt.

Question: How do you rig these baits for red snapper?
Treigle: I use an 80-pound-test main line with a 10-ounce egg sinker up the line. Next, I tie my main line onto either an 80- or a 100-pound-test barrel swivel. Then to the bottom end of the barrel swivel, I tie a 6-foot leader of 100-pound-test line. At the end of the leader, I tie on a 10/0 Eagle Claw circle hook.

Question: Why are you using circle hooks?
Treigle: In this Red Snapper Championship, we fish by International Game and Fish Association (IGFA) fishing rules. Fisheries biologists have told us that the circle hooks enable the fish we release to survive better because circle hooks are more likely to hook the fish in the lips than in their stomachs.

Question: What's the real secret to getting a big snapper to the top of the water and into the boat?
Treigle: Turning the crank on the reel. On many of the big snapper, turning the handle on the reel is really hard to do. The other technique to catch a big snapper is to let the captain know when you get a bite on a big snapper, and he can throttle the engine forward to help you pull the snapper away from the wreck.

To learn more about fishing and the other sites to see at Orange Beach, contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 745-7263 or visit www.orangebeach.com. For charter information, contact Zeke's Marina (800) 793-4044 or visit www.zekescharters.com. To fish with Captain Butch Tucker and first mate, Dennis Treigle on the "Shady Lady," call Captain Tucker at (850) 492-9675 or (850) 380-3321. For more information about the World Red Snapper Championship, check out www.gulffishing.net/Red%20Snapper%20Championship.htm or www.orangebeachsnapper.com/. For places to stay, contact Kaiser Realty at (251) 968-6868 or go to www.kaiserrealty.com.




Check back each day this week for more about ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA RED SNAPPER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ...

Day 1 - Orange Beach Red Snapper World Championship
Day 2 - How To Catch A Really Big Red Snapper
Day 3 - Snapper Fishing With Dennis Treigle
Day 4 - Why I Stay In The Customer's Ear
Day 5 - Why And How Many People Lose Big Snapper Right At The Boat

John's Journal