By Tim Barefoot
We’ve all experienced the mid-day slowdown, when a hot morning bite tapers off into nothing more than a boat ride.
There’s a pretty simple explanation for this lull after the early morning feeding period. It’s right above our heads; it’s the sun! Fish don’t have Maui Jims… or even eyelids. Anything with a big eye, like wahoo or tuna, uses water depth to regulate the amount of light that reaches them.
The fish haven’t stopped feeding. They’ve retreated to depths where they are more comfortable. It’s the reason why the planer rod is many times the only rod working during the middle of the day. That rod is attached to the only bait you’ve got down deep.
There’s no rule that says you have to use ballyhoo and/or keep the trolling speed at 6 or 7 knots. Here’s a little tip I learned from another captain that has proven deadly during the mid-day lull.
Try this on for size:
Slow down significantly and put a couple big natural baits down on a downrigger. Ballyhoo are the trolling bait of choice for good reason. Ballyhoo are responsible for more trolling fish than all other baits combined. They are not, however, a naturally occurring baitfish everywhere. You know what is a natural forage item everywhere?
Squid! It is the bait that is down deep where the fish are, and it is a bait they eat. I’ve said it many times, “Don’t go to a Chinese restaurant and order a pizza.” Well, squid are like General Tso’s chicken when fish dive to escape the glaring sun.
On the downrigger with release clips, set one squid at 50 feet and another at 100 feet deep. One or both of them are all but certain to get a bite. Catching fish while all the other boats are just riding is fun, and another thing I like about this style of fishing is it lightens up the tackle considerably. Instead of winching a wahoo to the boat on the planer rod, you can use your stand-up tackle very effectively.
I know what you’re thinking… “Squid are so dang difficult to rig, and they are not readily available in the size I need.”
Think again! Recently, big beautiful squid have become “plug-and-play” easy to rig in seconds on a Chin Weight. They are readily available via Fed Ex or UPS. A major seafood importer has listened to us and now delivers the goods! Visit my website for details on both. Click on the video “Squid on a Chin Weight” for all the details.
See more from Tim Barefoot as well as the Squid on a Chin Weight video at BAREFOOTCATSANDTACKLE.COM