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Old 16-04-2014, 15:16   #1
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trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

When people find out I have a boat, the most common question that they ask me is if I fish. My answer is that no fisherman would call what I do fishing, but sometimes I catch my own dinner.

When on a trip of more than a few hours, I sometimes put out a line with lure and troll at boat speed (4-9 knots). I don't watch the line too carefully -- usually by the time I notice that the rod is bent at a 90 degree angle, most of the fight is out of fish. I use the strongest line I can fit on my reel (50#?). In New England I occasionally pull in a striped bass, but far more often get bluefish.

I'm sure that I've spent more on rods/reels/line/lures than if I had done my fishing at the local supermarket, but I like the idea of catching my own dinner. Especially on longer trips it is fresher than anything I could have bought 3 days earlier at the fish monger.

The last time I went to the store and asked the salesperson for his recommendation on a lure, I should've bought more than one. My first day out with it, I hooked something big. I wouldn't say I caught it, though, because as I pulled the large fish to the boat and readied the gaff the fish jumped, broke the line and I lost the fish and lure (sorry, fish!).

So, now I'm in need of a new lure, or lures. Do you have any recommendations? I want to catch something big enough to make a meal or two for the four to six of us on board, something that is big and fast enough not to be intimidated by a lure swimming along at 5-9 knots, yet not some big game fish that I wouldn't be able to pull aboard anyway.

I have always tended towards the lures that looked like little fish. I figured that if I were a fish, they'd be more convincing to me. I know some people use spoons or lures that look to me like colorful squid. I've never tried them. I'm not looking for anything more complex with birds or teasers. Once I catch one fish, I'm done for the day anyway.

If your'e wondering about where I hope to catch my dinner, near-coastal and offshore between 17N and 44N.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 16-04-2014, 15:26   #2
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

In the southern part of the range you specified (tropical waters offshore), I've had good luck with cedar plugs. Either plain, or tarted up with green, yellow and a splash of red on the belly. Tried plastic squids, too, and they were good, but the cedar plug was tops.
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Old 16-04-2014, 16:38   #3
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Do you have a picture HUD? Can we make them? I would show you what we use for salmon, but the bottom line is that it is either a green spoon, or a trolling anchovy with a flasher in front.
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Old 16-04-2014, 16:46   #4
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Blue and white or mackerel colored Rapala...killer.
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:34   #5
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Color/type/etc depends on where you are and the target species, but blue and white seems to work for you (nothing catches like live bait of course). Blue/white or blue/green with a little flash work well in the areas where I fish (Western Carib mostly).

Soft baits that are fish/squid like work well but typically don't hold up well. Had a charter guest leave some realistic fake ballyhoo once that were great, but spendy and only good for a few strikes.

I make my own lures mostly. Latex skirts are cheap. I use those and a PVC pipe plug (usually 3/4" ) for the head of the lure, melt a hole thru the plug with a hot ice pick, pass a wire leader thru head; skirt; and weight (pushed inside skirt); a bead or two; then secure to the hook to leader. Simple, effective, cheap rig. I carry plenty of skirts and PVC plugs to make up more.

Have caught lots of good fish on these rigs. Most recently a nice King Mack off Atlantic side of Panama. Lots of meals for two. Pic attached. If you zoom in you can see the blue/white skirt in his mouth.

Old unlayed line makes a good skirt too.
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:35   #6
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

...with pic...
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:39   #7
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

I'd recommend plastic squid lures, and there are also some lures that put out a vibration in the water enticing fish to bite, i find that those work the best. especially jigging with a buzz bomb; the fish get annoyed and bite, any fish any size lure. Good luck
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Old 17-04-2014, 08:12   #8
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Do you have a picture HUD? Can we make them? I would show you what we use for salmon, but the bottom line is that it is either a green spoon, or a trolling anchovy with a flasher in front.
Newt,

Here's a photo I found on the Web. The plain cedar plug was suprisingly effective for me, but I had the best luck with the green/yellow. Mine had a splash of red on the belly. Caught a lot of Mahi Mahi with them, towed about 100' off the stern, and skipping on the surface every now and then. They're about 8" long.
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Old 20-04-2014, 11:30   #9
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Talking Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

There is a line of LLAND Tracker lures that are really effective on the us east coast. not cheap at @ $15 each but you can use them with or without a natural bait. Lots of tasty fish love em. I really like the green/yellow for mahi.

Paul
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Old 20-04-2014, 11:56   #10
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Those are ILand, not LLand. These are weighted bullet heads with skirts. There are many others like them, or make your own from a bullet weight, skirt material and hook. I also like the green/yellow combo the best.

In general, though, I find a 5" silver spoon with a weight ahead of it to be the best all-round lure. I never had much luck with surface skirts and squids in the NE US.

Mark
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Old 20-04-2014, 18:53   #11
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

I think 6 years ago Hud recommended those cedar plugs. I bought two and never thought I'd get anything from such a plain looking lure. Well, my blue one has been the most productive of any. Lot's of teeth marks in it also. Thanks for the advice Hud.

I also have a lot of success with blue and white squid lures. I have ones that aerate and solid. The solid have worked the best for me. These I do loose quite often so this tread reminded me to get a couple more.
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Old 20-04-2014, 22:25   #12
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I make my own lures mostly. Latex skirts are cheap. I use those and a PVC pipe plug (usually 3/4" ) for the head of the lure, melt a hole thru the plug with a hot ice pick, pass a wire leader thru head; skirt; and weight (pushed inside skirt); a bead or two; then secure to the hook to leader. Simple, effective, cheap rig. I carry plenty of skirts and PVC plugs to make up more.
look at this:
How To Build Your Own High-Speed Wahoo Lure | FISHTRACK.COM
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Old 21-04-2014, 08:12   #13
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

Generally similar to what I build, but I use a PVC plug for the head. Its cheap and available in any hardware store anywhere.

They use swaged braided cable. I use stainless leader, but have been thinking about going to swaged braided cable to reduce break offs...any little kink in the stainless and it will eventually break.
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:12   #14
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

I use both the double hook setup (for bigger 8-10" lures) or rig a single 7/0 double hook for smaller, 6" lures. I keep lots of replacement skirts as they get torn up pretty quick. You can see the chewed up skirt in the 3rd pic. Usually whip them on but you can just use a small tie wrap.

Haven't had my rod out as it's much easier to get the fish in, with out slowing down, with a hand line.

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Good luck fishing!
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Old 21-04-2014, 10:23   #15
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Re: trolling for dinner, favorite lures?

My impression is the fish arent too picky. But I have a lot of luck with Blue/white and green/yellow rubber squid. ABout 8" long with a large single hook. The kind of squid that slip right over a bullet shaped lead on the head. Use 3-6 ft of SS leader to avoid losing fish.
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