Question: What is the best way to determine the weight of your tackle when using live bait?
Capt. Joe Cacciola, owner of Sea Star Sportfishing in Oceanside, Calif.: Most anglers, when they’re fishing near Southern California shore waters, tend to use too heavy of tackle. By that I mean the rods, the reels, the lines, and the size of the hook. They go too heavy instead of going much lighter.
In general, inshore fishing doesn’t require, 30, 40, 50 pound tests and 3/0 hooks. What it requires is more technique and more finesse using lighter lines, especially if you’re going to be using live bait. The lighter line meaning 12 to 15 pound tests, maybe a maximum of 20. We like the lighter lines. You get many more bites with light lines than you do with the heavy lines when using live bait.
Certainly when you’re fishing offshore, that’s a whole another ballgame. You wouldn’t necessarily want to be using 12 to 15 pound tests to try and catch a blue fish tuna or a 20 pound yellowtail. The near shore fishing, which probably 75 percent of the fishermen are targeting fish in those near shore waters, they’re not venturing out 50 to 100 miles offshore. Most of the fishing action takes place near shore. That’s near the kelp beds and near the rocky reef areas.
So when you lighten up your tackle, you’re more likely to get more strikes, you’re going to hook more fish and you’re going to rely less on brute force as you are technique. It’s a lot more fun.
Capt. Joe Cacciola can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his website seastarsportfishing.info.