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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My question is: When using gotchas for these fish do I need to set the drag on my reel so that they can run with it or is it best for the line to remain tight during the initial strike?

Thanks!
 

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You should have your drag set to how you are going to fight the fish. You won't see fish much bigger than 3 pounds during the summer months, but if you hook up with a really nice one or even a fat albert, adjust during the fight. The only time I set my drag tighter than it should be is when casting heavy weights on a spinner or when I have a fish under control and coming over the rail. Under control is a key here. I have seen and have lost fish at the pier that weren't ready and took a strong run.
 

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I set my drag before I fish and leave it that way during the fight. If the fish takes a lot of line out, this changes your drag setting to a stronger one. In this situation, loosen the drag when the fish makes a long, hard run to minimize the chance of a breakoff.

Seems whenever I use GoCha's, the fish always hook themselves. I use the cast and jerk retrieve method.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Shoeless, Drum Runner, and Sandcrab

Thanks for the info on gotchas. I have a three piece 7' rod that I am concerned with. This info is just what I needed to hear. I didn't want to not have any drag at all set cause blues are capable of breaking 2 piece rods in half. Sure wouldn't want my 3 piece setup to become a 4 piece. When I have caught them in the past I do recall that they hit with a definite bang. I never had any problems with my one piece using natural baits, but I want to be extra careful with this one. So, some drag but not too much initially. Then make adjustments accordingly.

I hadn't thought about them hooking themselves on lures. I will be replacing or breaking off one of the treble hooks. Easier for me to get a blue off. And I will try the jerk and retrieve method with the gotcha.

Thanks again guys! :cool:
 

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If ya cut off one hook on each treble and smash the barbs you will have effortless hook release...unless Mr. Blue gets lock jaw and won't give up the lure. A little squeeze in the gill plate area helps this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For blues, I'll feel more secure using grippers to hold them by their bottom lip. Squeezing the gills........... well, maybe after a lot of practice removing gotchas. I haven't caught a spanish ever. Will use that technique with them too.

Thanks Shoeless!
 

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"didn't want to not have any drag at all set cause blues are capable of breaking 2 piece rods in half." :eek: :eek: :eek:

No fish can break your rod if you have your drag set right and use the recommended line and weights.

I see rods broken all the time at it is usually because someone gets stuck and tries to pull too hard on the rod - bending the rod past its recommended stress points.

Your line should break before the rod if you have the drag set right...
 

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The most important thing to have on hand when unhooking Blues or any other TOOTHY fish is a pair of needle-nose pliars or similar. Hold the fish below the head-no problem, just stay away from the teeth with your digits.
 

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When the blues are thick in the water and I'm using two-treble hook lures, I usually remove the front treble and replace the rear one with a single hook. This makes removing the hook real easy. ;) If you can replace the large single hook with a bucktail, the better!
 
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