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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obviously this is tough to measure, but how tight do you all keep your drag when fishing inshore for reds? I've always allowed reds to "run" if they need to eventually get them to my kayak. This morning I had a good tip water strike in a couple feet of water about 15 ft from the marsh grass. It didn't take long before I saw her swirl at the surface and she took off into the grass. Looked and felt like an over slot fish. Less than a minute later, my skitter walk floated to the surface with a chunk of grass attached. The Fish had wrapped itself around the grass and shook the hook free. Should I tighten down and horse them to the kayak? Or keep it looser and let it run and hope I can keep from losing the fish to the grass?
My setup is a stradic 2500 on a 7.5 medium heavy rod with 15lb power pro and 30lb mono leader


Worst part is that I didn't get another hookup all morning (other than a small flounder right at the launch)
 

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Red X Angler
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for Drum I'd match close to my line rating. They have a hard mouth and you aren't going to pull a good hook set like you will with a trout. Also the warmer the water gets the less I want to "play" a fish. Get em in, get em out, if you are C&R fishing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok thanks. Sounds like I've always kept it too light and let the fish run too much. I guess I just like that sound after the slurp of smashing a top water plug. I'm going to go try for a rematch with that fish before first light tomorrow, this time with a tighter drag. Thanks
 

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My setup is a stradic 2500 on a 7.5 medium heavy rod with 15lb power pro and 30lb mono leader
My setup is very similar to yours, I have a Stradic 3000 spooled with 15 lb Powerpro, and I use a 30 lb flourocarbon leader..

For topwater, the fish I've lost in the grass weren't hooked real good because I didn't let them completely take the topwater bait I was throwing..otherwise, most will stay buttoned up with those trebles, and they often get more into them during the fight to the boat.

Some may disagree with me, but as a general rule for drum, I tend to keep a tighter drag for hook-sets when using jigs, not so much with topwater. In my experience you don't have to set the hook real hard with topwater drum, that pressure will get them hooked up. Once fighting a drum of any size, I usually drop anchor, this is just personal preference and lets me focus on the fish.

I've lost too many on the way to the kayak due to not driving the hook into that boney mouth they have though, when using jigs. Once the hook is buried, I immediately back the drag off and allow the fish to make that first hard run that drum tend to do. Then I adjust it and work her to the kayak, but I do allow her to pull some drag so she doesn't straighten the hooks..

As an earlier post stated, when the waters warm, it's best to get em into the boat/yak and back into the water asap if releasing, especially over slots. But...I also think they can hurt themselves if you bring a large, green fish to the boat and she's slamming into the side of it. I've also lost fish in the past right at the kayak that I intended to keep, because they came in extremely green and threw the hooks.

IMO let the reds run if they need to (Unless you've got pilings/other structure in the way for her to break you off) and take the time to resuscitate her, and she'll swim away strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fin Yellow Fish Fishing Fisherman
So I went back out at sunrise this morning and after about an hour I was hooked up again. This time I tightened down and the fish pulled me toward the grass but I was able to get it back out into the open and to my kayak. I forgot my net but did bring my grippers and was able to grip the fish and get a quick picture.

Unfortunately my my morning was cut short when I left too much leader out in an attempt to make a long cast across a flat and the treble hook dug fairly deep into my lower cheek / jaw. I've seen people get hooked before and figured it was only a matter of time before it was my turn, but I can think of about 30 other places I'd of rather been hooked. I loaded up (with skitter walk accessory hanging from my face), stopped by my house to snip off the hook and drop off my gear, then went to medac where the dr was able to dig the hook out. Sure made for an interesting morning, but the fish made it all worth it (but I'd be ok with never going through that again!)
 

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Easy to swatch that hook out and keep fishing. Remove all other hooks and hardware, wrap a length of line around the bend of the buried hook and yank it as fast as you can. Virtually painless. Cheap too.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Easy to swatch that hook out and keep fishing. Remove all other hooks and hardware, wrap a length of line around the bend of the buried hook and yank it as fast as you can. Virtually painless. Cheap too.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

Ive seen this method before, and I might have given it a go had it been in my hand or leg but there was not going to be any "yanking as fast as I can" with a hook buried in my cheek. It did occur to me to just leave the lure in my face and continue fishing, but I didn't want to be that guy that gets found dead on his kayak with a lure in his face because he bled out (actually it didn't bleed at al until doc went it) just to try and catch another fish. I'll be back at em tomorrow

and the the kayak is a 2014 hobie outback. Awesome fishing platform
 

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Ah, I understand. I didn't consider the fact that most people have an acceptable looking mug. I'm accustomed to my face which can only be improved with more defects.
A trip to the local watering hole with a treble piercing may have caused the ladies to swoon? Who knows what gets them going these days?

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Red X Angler
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people pay good money to get holes in their face!
 

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I don't know about anyone else but the red drum I've caught often have secondary runs that are just as crazy as the first.
Not like some fish like striped bass that take a first run and any subsequent runs are weak.
One reason I don't like Spanish mackerel. Maybe big ones have a fight but trolling with planers and getting two pound mackerel is good to eat but they fight like a plastic bag.

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One possibility is to keep the drag tight, get the fish to the boat ASAP. If when fish arrives, you see it's well hooked, and still green you can let it fight a bit more, especially with a topwater plug that has multiple trebles so you don't end up back at the doc with multiple trebles attached to your hand. If not well hooked and you're planning to keep it, you can land at that time, preferably in a net where it can flop around a bit and realize the fight is over. Just my humble opinion. Also agree with other posts regarding getting over slots to the boat and released as quickly as possible. I would imagine with a 2500 with 15lb braid, you could crank the drag all the way down, I think max drag should be around 12lb if I'm not mistaken, so your braid should handle it. Very nice Red btw.
 
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