FishSpeak by Lenny rudow
The fish are trying to tell you something… but can you hear it? Scientists and savvy anglers know that many fish detect vibration with their lateral line, a series of scales running down the sides of fish with pores. These pores are connected to canals with clusters of sensory cells known as neuromasts, which have hairs linked to globs of jelly-like material. Fish use this system to hear vibrations in the water. And many fish communicate with each other using vibrations.
Croaker, sea trout, grunts, drum, tuna, and marlin make noises by rubbing their jaws or vibrating their air bladders. What those fish are saying, no one knows, but anglers must remember that these fish are listening, too. The next time you try to catch a blabber mouth, remember this sound advice.
Fish hear yelling or even loud talking. While towing a hydrophone behind boats on the troll, we found human voices were audible over engine noise 3 feet below the surface and 30 feet behind the boats. Warn your crew to remain calm and quiet when they spot a fish in the spread.
Keep the stereo volume down while fishing.
Sometimes noise can be good-when the usual lures don't seem to produce, try ones with equipped with rattles, such as Rat-L-Traps.
When throwing a cast net, use sound to your advantage; bait fish suspended at mid-depth will often dart for the surface-and right into your net-if you yell loudly or stamp on the deck as you throw the net.
When the bite's slow, try spraying your washdown hose over the side. Sometimes the sound of splashing draws in curious fish.
Pre-Rig Punch-Out by John Meade After a long, hard workweek, many of us don't have the time or energy to prep and rig a pile of ballyhoo. What's the easy way to add some meat to your spread? Use pre-rigged ballyhoo. I bought three different kinds to see whose 'hoo hooted best.
Willies (www.williesbait.com) Price $8.50/3-pack mediums. Smell Fresh as a sea breeze. Appearance Good green tone, clear eyes, intact scales. Rigging Well-wrapped wire, with a loop small enough to slide on a skirt. Two sharp hooks protrude from the underside of the bait. Results With no weight, it skipped. After sliding on an Ilander, it swam great - until a fat mahi-mahi inhaled it.
Just Rite Bait Price $9/3-pack mediums. Smell Yum-like sardines. Appearance Shiny blue tone and clear eyes, but some scales were missing. Rigging Tightly wrapped wire but the bill hadn't been snapped off and the hooks needed a file. Results It tended to skip until I slipped a small chugger over the wire. Soon there was another mahi in the box.
Bionic Ballyhoo (www.bionicbait.com)Price $9/2-pack larges. Smell Salty. Appearance Awesome green hue, all scales in place, broad tails. Rigging Well-done wire wraps but the hooks needed to be hit with a file. Results Its motion did me right - yahoo for wahoo.
Totally Tubular Need some excitement in your week-night routine? Pop Billfish: A Challenge for Survival ($25; www.billfishdocumentary.com) into your home theater and watch intense boatside action as well as underwater footage of billfish corralling and attacking bait. This film isn't all about head-spinning excitement, though. It's an eloquent documentary portraying the struggle to protect billfish stocks-with just enough action clips to keep the viewer enthralled. I was surprised at the refreshing lack of finger pointing between recreational and commercial fishermen. It promotes the use of circle hooks and places pressure on foreign longline fleets. I call this one a must-see for all avid big-game anglers. -Jon Meade