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Any drift fishin folks here? Bottom fishin folks? If so, I have one tip for you to help you increase your catch!

Some of you may already do this, but some may not even think of it. While drift or bottom fishing, alot of folks concentrate heavily on the rods going to the bottom, waiting to feel that subtle big of a grouper or the quick squid stealin bit of a snapper. The one thing I see alot that gets overlooked is fishing within the water column while anchord or drifting!

For folks that have a couple extra rod holders or even a ttop on their boat, here's a tip that will help you increase your catch and give it a go next time you go out, you just might be suprised at what you catch!

We have found that mahi are a "sneaky" fish. We'll get out on our groupah hole and fish/drift it, but while concentrating on our bottom rig's, we have drift rigs or float rigs out as well to fish surface, just under surface or down in the current 10-12 ft or so.

What we do is rig up a heavy spin outfit with 20 lb. test line or less, put a 7/0 J-hook, either a blood hook or a True-Turn hook, no weight, and thread a whole small or medium squid onto the hook. We run the hook thru the top of the squid, then rehook thru the mid body once, and pull the hook and line thru to where you can get the hook dead center between the eyes then gently pull the line tight. A rubber band at the top can help keep the squid body from scrunchin up if you just wrap it around the line a little bit to the line itself under the spot where you first put the hook in, or use the tag end of the line at the hook to hold the squid in place. (I can take some pix to better show how this is done if anyone needs a visual)

So you basically have a hook straight to the line, no leader, and a whole squid threaded on the hook.

What you do with this rig is, pitch it out as far as she'll go, give her line if needed while it drifts in the current to get it away from the boat. Then simply leave that rod with the drag loose but tight enough to prevent a rats nest and leave it sit while you bottom fish.

The boat itself acts as cover and fish will quickly utilize it to hide under or hang in the shadow of the boat. Mahi are quick to find and utilize it. Sometimes you never see them as they hang on the outter fringe or sometimes they'll be right under the boat.

We deploy 2 of these rig's in either the very back gunnel rod holders, or up out of the way in each corner on the Ttop. This allows us to bottom fish while the "free floating" lines stay out in the current.

You will catch the larger mahi doing this kind of technique, as they usually roam, investigate on the outter fringer of where your fishing. They will pick up what they think are easy pickings and run with it. It's pretty exciting when it does happen.

But toss out a couple unweighted floating squid deals next your out bottom drifting or fishin... you just might be suprised what you pick up from just under the surface!

Note-- if you find your getting broke off, either a shark or a mackeral/barracuda may have pick'd up the bait. Put on as small as possible steel leader and throw it back out there. Dont wait till it happens 2 or 3 times of getting broke/cut off, if you have one get cut off, put on a leader and throw another one back out,,, whatever it is, it'll be back! Hopefully with yer hook in his mouth.

Live bait works great this way too, but the baitfish tend to cause a mess as they want to run and hide under the boat. This is where you can employ ballons or a float to keep them up towards the surface. With live bait, you have to keep an eye on it every now an then so they dont get lines tangled up. But I've found, fish will find the squid and eat it just as readily and the float/ballon doesnt make them skittish to strike.


Give it a go next time, you just might be suprised!
 
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