Hey everyone, if you missed the meeting regarding Blakes's BTB trip to Bob Hall Pier, this is a great meeting with loads of useful information ranging from gear, to rigging, to bait, to rigs... As usual, I have recorded the meeting and uploaded it to youtube in case you wanted to watch it (click HERE). Below, I have included timestamps of key details throughout the meeting as well as a summary section in which I summarize the main talking points of what people had to say.
**the recording did get messed up right after the texas power paddle portion of the video (at about 20 mins) and 5 minutes got cut out of the video, so there is an abrupt transition in order to eliminate the messed up portion**
0:00 - PreMeeting Talking (fishing reports etc)
6:30 - BTB story (why you should always be mindful of the weather)
9:45 - Potential window for BTB on Monday??
11:35 - Brief Summary of last Bob Hall BTB trip
13:40 - Texas Power Paddle (MEETING START)
19:00 - Conditions required for BTB
20:35 - Pre-launch Meeting and Fish Bags
25:50 - Safety
33:50 - Kayak Packing list
55:35 - kingfish bait
1:05:40 - lures
1:17:00 - Snapper
1:19:00 - snapper rig tying demo
1:26:15 - line
1:32:15 - trolling depth/length
1:38:30 - Brief Q/A and break
1:42:10 - kingfish rig tying demo
2:00:00 - meeting starts winding down and final words
Texas Power Paddle (13:40)
- If you have a twist and stow rudder, you can add a motor to the rudder that can reach cruising speeds of 3-4mph.
- It is small, lightweight, USA-made, powerful, and out of the way (it leaves the mirage drive hole open so you can use the mirage drive and transducer space).
- Versatility - you can rudder mount it, or even utilize the Hobie guardian system to mount your motor
- Battery - a large capacity battery that can last all-day
- Check them out on Instagram and youtube
- Memorial Day Sale - 150$ off of a purchase
The BTB trip
- Pre-Trip Meeting - prior to the launch, there will be a meeting 30 minutes before the launch to discuss safety and assist inexperienced anglers. (20:35).
- Fish Bags - they are hard to come by, but the academy might have smaller ones, however, they will not fit a full-length legal kingfish. DO NOT USE A STRINGER as an alternative or else the men in grey suits will give you a visit.
- Snapper - plenty of undersized snappers, but there are not quality fish there. Focus your efforts on the kingfish.
- Safety -
- get a high-quality PFD (personal flotation device) and not the "$9.99 academy brand".
- Carry some sort of noise device whether it be an air horn, whistle, etc. A recommended brand is a fox whistle which is proven to be one of the loudest.
- Radio - it is highly recommended that you have one, but stay away from Cobra and Midland radios. Standard Horizon, Icom, and Uniden are all great options. If you do not have one, make sure to pair up with someone who does have a radio.
- Knife - having a readily available knife can be very beneficial in case you need to cut line, cut bait, etc.
- Kayak gear to bring
- Bring a flip-rope in case you happen to flip, especially if you have a wider kayak such as a Hobie Pro Angler. Blake has a video you can check out >>here<< where he utilizes the flip rope.
- Pliers, preferably long, stainless steel pliers. The fish out there have some wicked teeth, so these are essential. There is a cheap option at harbor freight.
- Wire Cutter - great for… you guessed it… cutting wire.
- Fish Grips -
***Note*** Kingfish are fragile, so be quick with handling a fish if you plan on releasing them.
- Gaff - an alternative is tail-grabbing, but be wary of sharks and make sure not to lean too far over, especially if you are inexperienced (recommended gaffs - ACK gaff & spear gaffs).
- Bilge pump
- Appropriate measuring device - make sure you can measure a kingfish (27”) and a cobia (40”).
- (optional) beating stick - these guys are crazy, so you want to put them out of commission quickly.
- Tow Rope - good in case you need to walk your kayak in the water if you overshoot your launch. They can also be critical to have if something happens that requires you to be towed in.
- LEASHES - “leash it or lose it”. You can find a video >>here<< on how to make them for cheap.
- Phone Case (even if your phone claims to be water-resistant, or even waterproof.
- Line Cutter - make sure it can but braid easily.
- Kingfish bait / rigs (10-12 recommended) (demo at 1:42:10)
- Make sure you can find ribbon fish (if you plan on using them) because they can sometimes be hard to come by.
- Kingfish rig - you can see a video on how to make them >>here<< and you can either store them in sandwich bags or a tackle binder such as this one >>here<<.
- If you can't find ribbon fish, there are also imitation bait strips >>here<<.
- Materials needed
- Malin wire coffee-colored (80lb for the back of the leader, 60lb for the front)
- VMC size 4 hook. (2 per rig)
- Mustad ultra point j-hook 4/0
- Kingfish duster/skirt
- 1/2oz bullet weight **you can troll slowly to make it go deeper, or faster to shallower**
- Size 8 spro swivel
- Lures (4-5 divers are recommended)
- Diving lures (blake’s favorite is a yo Zuri deep [or shallow] diver with a redhead and white body)
- Rat-L-Traps - a great versatile option for trolling
- Halco Max 110 - a heavy lure that stays deep in the water column
- Big Popper - on a calm day, this can be one of the coles ways to catch topwater
- Kastmaster Spoons - check the hooks on cheap knockoffs. You cannot go wrong with a spoon and they are great lures for casting into meatballs (*note - don't go into the middle of the bait ball*)
- USE WIRE LEADER
- 50lb fluorocarbon is recommended
- Bring an assortment of 8-12 oz weights so you can get it past the bait-stealing fish fast and target the strike zone more effectively
- Squid and cut mullet are the preferred bait
- Blake ties a rig at the time (1:19:00)
- If using bait for snapper or other reef fish, you must use a circle hook to stay legal
- 30lb braid with a line-to-line attachment to 30lb mono. Topshot allows for a bit of stretch when the kings go for a hard run as well as abrasion resistance if your line does happen to scrape on the rigs. You can also measure your top shot to know how much line you have out while trolling.
- You can either troll short distances (e.x. If you are in 40 ft of water you can let out 30-35 feet so that if you are fighting a fish, the other bait remains in the strike zone.)
- Conversely, you can also troll farther distances (50-120feet) with one line shorter out (so it runs shallow) and one line farther (so it runs deeper).
- You can also get live bait via a sabiki rig for some premium bait.
- Other notes
- For coming back in, you can come in backward
- Pay careful attention to currents and know your limitations
- Bring appropriate equipment
- You can find a detailed description of the trip >>here<<
Have a great day, Ryan Woods