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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got the report from my buddy that runs a pier on Topsail. There have been several hook-ups on the Topsail piers, and and one 114 pounder landed off the Jolly Roger. Guess who'll be down there Sunday night? ME!! Also, on the Surf City Pier, there were some big Kings landed last weekend. One guy caught 3, the 2 largest were 38 and 43 lbs. Of course, there were Menhaden all over the beach, I can't wait!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just got back from Surf City. There were Tarpon just off the end of the pier, saw about 15 on Monday. They would roll up at the bait, sometimes they'd hit it, sometimes not. A fellow fisherman had one on for 2 1/2 hrs, and a boat came by and cut him off. I did get to break in my new rod on a Blacktip about 25 lbs. It was kinda aggravating at times with the thunderstorms coming through. I don't mind rain, but those streaks of lightning ran me off 3 times All in all, a good trip. Beats the heck outta sitting at home.
 

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That sure was a pretty rod. I believe if I was a tarpon thats the one I'd want to be caught on. I guess they couldn't see it. LOL I take it that there was still plenty of bait in the water.?. I always get excited when there are plenty of thread herring and menhaden in the water. They will bring the big boys with them.
 

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When fishing with menhaden or threadfin herring how do you fishing with them troll or let them swim around on top of the water. Also where do you get this bait with throw net or how? As you guessed I am new at this and would love some info. Thanks and hope everyone keeps tight lines.
 

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You generally net menhaden (also known as pogies, bunker, fatbacks or alewife) Threadfin herring (grass shad, greenbacks, greenies) are easier to catch on gold hook rigs. The gold hook rig is simply 5 or 6 gold hooks attached to the mainline via equally spaced loops in the mainline. A swivel terminates the end you tie on to and a small weight or diamond jig is used on the bottom to get the rig down to the fish and keep it from tangling. These baits are trolled very slowly, freelined, or fished under a float. From a pier they are usually fished on a clothespin rig. The clothespin rig is a two rod system used to keep baits swimming in the area of a 12'-15' circle. It allows the maximum number of people to fish live bait from the end of a pier without worry of tangles.
Al
 

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Sonny, after rereading your previous posts I think I can help sort things out a little better. Menhaden are THE BAIT FOR SLOW TROLLING. Threadfins won't live as long but otherwise are excellent. You want to troll them live just fast enough to keep them swimming in a straight line. This works out to about 2 mph give or take a little for current adjustments. You DON'T want to drag them along but troll just fast enough so that they all swim along in a straight line and don't get tangled. The basic leader is about 4' of 45# single strand stainless wire (coffee colored) with a #2 or #4 4x strong treble hook and a stinger hook (#4 or #6 4x strong treble). When the fish is hooked thru the nose with the front hook, the stinger hook should ride about 1 1/2" in front of the base of the tail. If the bait is only 6"-7" I drop the stinger hook. Clear water /small hooks, dirty water/bigger hooks. menhaden less than 6" are good baits for big spanish, false albacore, and blackfin tuna. They are not usually targeted by slow trolling though.
For drift fishing with live bait or anchoring up the same basic set up except hook the top hook just under the dorsal fin.The bottom hook I let swing free.
For the most economical rods and reels to outfit your boat with I would suggest penn 500L jigmaster reels loaded with 25# Ande or Berkley big game line on Shakespeare BWC 2201 Ugly Stick Tiger rods. If you prefer spinning reels Penn 7500 ss reels or Diawa BG -60 reels on 7'-8' ugly stick spinning rods rated for 15#-30# line. These outfits will do the job with the least amount of trouble and depreciation in value. If you decide to king fish from the pier they are good for that too. Should you decide to surf fish for big red drum, big bluefish or stripers you will have good reels for that also. CHEAPER REELS JUST DON'T HOLD UP LIKE THESE ! Don't waste your time or money trying to get by with chinese made reels. Some are good for a little while but are soon junk. Those are my opinions . Now you should get with Gator man , Fojoloy, Pier dweller , Wellcraft Dave, Dragula , Dudd and and a few others for their opinions. Expierence is the best teacher and I bet there's a century's worth just among the guys I listed. good luck AL
 

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sonny--- I think sinker man has covered the essentials here except using a cast net to catch menhaden, or you can buy live menhaden at one of the bait barges around MHC. For menhaden you need a 6ft. or 8ft. 5/8 in. mesh cast net. There are instructions on throwing cast nets available on line. I can tell you how and I can show you, but this is one of those things that's like milking a cow, you'll never learn until you do it. To find menhaden, watch where the pelicans are diving, they are on them. Also you can locate by smell and you can see them flipping on the surface. I can tell you all about this, but all I have ever had to do was tie up at Bubba's pound net and help myself, I wouldn't advise this unless you know Bubba very well.:)

Go with the quality rods and reels as suggested. You'll only need to smoke and strip the innards out of one cheapo reel on a big king to be convinced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey guys, I agree with fojoloy, sinkerman's about got everything covered. I'd like to add a reel to the list. I have a Penn 505HS (High Speed) Jigmaster and I love it. 5 to 1 gear ratio, quick take apart to get to the spool, line capacity of the 500, large cranking handle, and smooth. I use it mostly for anchoring off the pier, as I don't get out on a boat much. Priced in the $70-80 range I think. Maybe a little cheaper.
 

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I thought penn discontinued those. They certainly are an improvement over the standard jigmaster. They did discontinue the mag power series ( 970, 980, 990). Those were the best reels penn ever produced in that size range in my opinon. I doubt they will ever bring those back. They would dilute the market for the GS series which are currently on the market. I haven't used any of the GS models but have heard that they were great reels. AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Al, They may have discontinued those reels. I've had mine about 5 yrs. Of course, why would they want to make something that would last 20 yrs.? If it doesn't eventually fall apart, they couldn't sell you another one...........happens all the time........
 
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