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Old 07-02-2016, 05:11   #1
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Lures chewed off again. What to do?

I am repeatedly feeding my lures to the fish and not too happy they might suffer a slow death instead of a quick one with a productive purpose. I only fish whilst sailing a couple of miles or more offshore and at 7 to 9kt.

A number of them were due to snapped line, perhaps not in the best condition, so I replaced my line with new recently and increased the breaking strain to 40lbs. Then the failure mode was from only chewed off lures, so I increased my tracer strength and went to steel at 70lbs, but they still chewed off the lures, so I went to double tracer, now at 140lbs it still gets cut through.

I use a swivel at the end of the line, with a 2 foot tracer to the hook and lure, with a small lead weight on the swivel if using just a hook and lure or no weight with a heavy lure. I also dropped the drag pull to maybe 2 or 3 lbs thinking that might be an issue and I reduced the size of my lures to a small 4" green squid skirt cheapy thing. The line doesn't break any more, but I still lose 3 or 4 lures for every one fish caught, so I think I am doing something wrong. Any ideas?
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Old 07-02-2016, 13:38   #2
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Originally Posted by poiu View Post
I am repeatedly feeding my lures to the fish and not too happy they might suffer a slow death instead of a quick one with a productive purpose. I only fish whilst sailing a couple of miles or more offshore and at 7 to 9kt.

A number of them were due to snapped line, perhaps not in the best condition, so I replaced my line with new recently and increased the breaking strain to 40lbs. Then the failure mode was from only chewed off lures, so I increased my tracer strength and went to steel at 70lbs, but they still chewed off the lures, so I went to double tracer, now at 140lbs it still gets cut through.

I use a swivel at the end of the line, with a 2 foot tracer to the hook and lure, with a small lead weight on the swivel if using just a hook and lure or no weight with a heavy lure. I also dropped the drag pull to maybe 2 or 3 lbs thinking that might be an issue and I reduced the size of my lures to a small 4" green squid skirt cheapy thing. The line doesn't break any more, but I still lose 3 or 4 lures for every one fish caught, so I think I am doing something wrong. Any ideas?
Don't worry about the hooks, I wondered about that too but I was told these hooks rust/corrode away in pretty quick order and/or fall out.

Try using a braid, they have great wear resistance and are very strong for comparable mono size.

Also, the faster you go the bigger the fish will be generally. It looks like your lure is getting smoked by some big fish. Try slowing down or using smaller lures to attract smaller fish. That wire shouldn't be doing that, but that's the extent of the knowledge I can offer you.. Good luck!

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Old 07-02-2016, 13:51   #3
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

If they're biting through 140lb steel traces, you probably don't want them aboard! Could be sharks.


Our fishing gear for trolling under sail is pretty brutal. We use 300kg breaking strain VB cord on handlines, tied to a cleat via some shock cord, and 100kg wire traces.


We don't lose many lures. We get the occasional broken or bent hook though.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:10   #4
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

Pretty much have to be sharks I think. I found SS leader to be no problem with Barracuda. Not sure what you could do really.
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Old 07-02-2016, 14:48   #5
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

Good advice above. Also, I think the drag needs to be sufficient to plain the fish on the surface which also means heavy tackle and a bungee to set hook and accelerate the victim. Not an expert but lurking on the fishing threads suggests this.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:01   #6
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

Use piano wire instead
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:20   #7
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
Don't worry about the hooks, I wondered about that too but I was told these hooks rust/corrode away in pretty quick order and/or fall out.

Try using a braid, they have great wear resistance and are very strong for comparable mono size.

Also, the faster you go the bigger the fish will be generally. It looks like your lure is getting smoked by some big fish. Try slowing down or using smaller lures to attract smaller fish. That wire shouldn't be doing that, but that's the extent of the knowledge I can offer you.. Good luck!

See more @ redemptiverepair.com
That's reassuring about the rusting. I'm going to not look to argue against it.

Are you saying to use a braid as the trace line? Is it more tooth resistant?

I have caught plenty of nice fish at those speeds, so I know it doesn't deter them, but I wonder if there a minimum speed that sharks will hunt at?
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:27   #8
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
If they're biting through 140lb steel traces, you probably don't want them aboard! Could be sharks.


Our fishing gear for trolling under sail is pretty brutal. We use 300kg breaking strain VB cord on handlines, tied to a cleat via some shock cord, and 100kg wire traces.


We don't lose many lures. We get the occasional broken or bent hook though.
Thanks.

300kg! That's a big game fish line strength isn't it? I suppose you must be using small lures to limit your catch size?

I guess 100kg trace wire should be tougher to bite through than 2 x 70kg, so I could look to get some.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:35   #9
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Pretty much have to be sharks I think. I found SS leader to be no problem with Barracuda. Not sure what you could do really.
It could well be. I have never seen a big one though. On one occasion I reeled in a giant tuna head. The body had been munched off before I got it in. The head was 14" high. I can only imagine a large shark ate it, but they surely won't be interested in my 4" lure.
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:39   #10
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

Using small lures has not, in our limited experience limited fish size. It is that big fish got that way by eating lots of different size fishes. I'm sure they'd like the biggest they can swallow, but I do think they'll take anything that might be food...

if you don't like losing fish, go to heavier and heavier line and gear, till you're sure you don't want to share the cockpit with a 6 ft. dorado.

Finally, as to speeds at which you catch sharks, it must depend on the type of shark, because we once caught a graceful shark in Qld, and we were doddling along around 2-1/2 to 3 knots at the time. We read in our Grant's Guide to Fishes afterwards that they are notorious for stealing bait. We let it go.

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Old 07-02-2016, 15:45   #11
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Good advice above. Also, I think the drag needs to be sufficient to plain the fish on the surface which also means heavy tackle and a bungee to set hook and accelerate the victim. Not an expert but lurking on the fishing threads suggests this.
I use a rod and reel and do end up with heavy drag. Usually the line will run out as the fish dives with the lure, then I tighten the drag to prevent it running all out, so it then ends up heavy and then reel in. Is this wrong?
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Old 07-02-2016, 15:48   #12
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

I agree with Teddy use single strand wire ,it's harder to cut but easy to kink. It's not only the fish on the hook but also his mates that will bite the line.
Sharks around here are only a problem at less than 4 knots.
I use 2 meters of piano wire attached to a meter or so of 6mm chain to a 200 kg line. The chain is a good hand hold for landing the fish plus other fish can't damage the line at that point.
I only use a rod when motoring in calm weather.
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Old 07-02-2016, 16:03   #13
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

7 - 9 knots is a lot of pressure for trolling. Also, are you setting the drag in the reel low enough? Inexperienced fishermen tend to set the drag so there is fully locked drag, so the forces with a fast hit have nowhere to go.

The local trout fishery has superb fish, and the owner put in a 24lb rainbow for entertainment purposes. When that thing took your fly, it would cruise around in 'bada$$ mode' for a bit showing off, and 10lb - 15lb fish were jumping out of the water to get out of its way.

Then when it had had enough fun playing with you, it would step up a few gears and take off like a dragster, and even when you knew that move was going to come, and prepared accordingly, with loads of line off the reel ready to feed smoothly, it'd smash your leader like it was rotten cotton thread (even twice its weight breaking strain).

Impressive fish, when you first got into it, it would rise in the water, and it was like an elevator coming up, even the surface of the water used to rise up out of its way.

I think it finally ended up dying of old age.

As for hooks, I can confirm they don't seem to trouble the fish at all. At the same place with the big rainbow, I got into a really fit 3.5lb fish on my little Berkley Phaser (a pencil thin graphite rod with a terrific action and sensitivity), and it took over 50 minutes to land it.

That fish had 5 or 6 flies in its mouth (can't remember which, but I was surprised), mostly the big lure type flies. Didn't trouble it a bit. I've had others with less in their mouth, but also with heavily deteriorated lures in their guts on their way out of their system too.

So I suppose the takeaway is with the drag not set correctly to 'give' on a strike, and allow you to play the fish, and at the speed the boat is going, it doesn't take a shark to smash your leader (a shark hit can break surprising things - a guy in Eire on the West Coast - going back a few decades - used to try and catch one that was in his area, and it broke so much of his tackle, he tried a telegraph pole as a rod, and the shark smashed that as well).

If it's for the table, I'd beef things up considerably with a hand line. Three strand nylon anchor rode with a good stretch could act as a shock absorber, and be comfortable - relatively - to handle, and put a steel leader onto that perhaps? Go a bit slower and the results could improve dramatically.

I'll never forget a great uncle using one of the heavy monofilament handlines on his boat, and he got into a massive Pollock. Even with gloves on, that thing was a nightmare to get into the boat - the boat was a 16ft by a touch over 6 ft beam. Once dispatched, it's head hung over one side, and the tail hung over the other (should have weighed and photographed the thing, but it was filleted and in the freezer before we thought about it). Memorable trip that was, my grandfather got seasick and his false teeth went in as extra groundbait - seems they worked.

So be careful how you handle hand lines, you can easily do some serious damage to your hands with them.
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Old 07-02-2016, 16:05   #14
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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I agree with Teddy use single strand wire ,it's harder to cut but easy to kink. It's not only the fish on the hook but also his mates that will bite the line.
Sharks around here are only a problem at less than 4 knots.
I use 2 meters of piano wire attached to a meter or so of 6mm chain to a 200 kg line. The chain is a good hand hold for landing the fish plus other fish can't damage the line at that point.
I only use a rod when motoring in calm weather.
Following Teddydivers suggestion I googled piano wire for fishing. It seems like a lot of shark fishing is done with it, which isn't my game. If it's a shark on the end he can have the lure as a gift. It sounds like a solution for the cutting though.

Fishing with chain! Wow, I'd like to see what you get.
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Old 07-02-2016, 16:06   #15
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Re: Lures chewed off again. What to do?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Using small lures has not, in our limited experience limited fish size. It is that big fish got that way by eating lots of different size fishes. I'm sure they'd like the biggest they can swallow, but I do think they'll take anything that might be food...

if you don't like losing fish, go to heavier and heavier line and gear, till you're sure you don't want to share the cockpit with a 6 ft. dorado.

Finally, as to speeds at which you catch sharks, it must depend on the type of shark, because we once caught a graceful shark in Qld, and we were doddling along around 2-1/2 to 3 knots at the time. We read in our Grant's Guide to Fishes afterwards that they are notorious for stealing bait. We let it go.

ann
Good advice, thanks. I'm looking for the 6' dorado indeed.
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