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John's Journal... Entry 248, Day 4


Why I Stay In The Customer's Ear

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: Dennis, how do you coach the anglers?
Treigle: I get in their ears. I have my mouth about 10 inches from an angler's ear, and I'm coaching them as to what to do to pull that big snapper up. When we aren't fishing a tournament, I'll grab hold of the line and pull it into the reel while the angler is winding, which enables us to put twice the force on the fish and move it away from the wreck quicker. I'll also get under the rod and help the angler pull back on the rod harder to help get the fish away from the wreck. During a tournament, like the World Championship, I can't touch the rod or the line according to IGFA rules. I only can coach the angler and encourage him to pull harder and wind faster. I tell them to keep the rod straight and turn the handle really hard, pull up on the rod, and then while keeping tension on the line, wind down to the fish.

Question: If I have a 40-pound red snapper on the end of that line, what will you tell me to do?
Treigle: The first thing I'll say is to not set the hook. People are so accustomed to jerking the rod back to set the hook that when they start fishing circle hooks, I often have a hard time teaching them that instead of setting the hook, they need to reel in their lines when they feel the fish bite. When the snapper bows the rod, all you really need to do is start turning the reel handle.

Next I'll tell you to get as much line back as quickly as you can. If you can grab the line with your left hand and reel with your right hand, then grab the line and pull it into the reel. This action puts more pressure on the red snapper faster and helps you to gain more line quicker. After you get a few turns on the reel to get the snapper away from the bottom, then lift the rod and reel down, lift the rod and reel down. There is a difference between pumping a fish up and working a fish up. When you work a fish up, you feel the pressure of the fish as you lift the rod, and you continue to feel the pressure as you reel down the line and take up slack. You have to gain line every single chance that you get, or the snapper will swim back into 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