Cockpit Tips

Success on the water is directly related to your years of experience. With 25 years under his belt, John Unkart, who has been mate of the Strike III, which runs from Ocean City, Maryland, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is willing to share his tips about bait size.

  • Remember to match bait size to the current preference of the targeted quarry. Tuna, marlin, wahoo, and other large predators will all attack small, medium, or large baits, but their preference for one over the other can change daily - the bait that captured a 60-pound yellowfin on your last trip might draw a blank on the next one. Switch around until you find the bait du jour.
  • Smaller school fish like dolphin or king mackerel often won't attack large or medium baits. Sure, we all want to catch "the big one," but if you pull big baits only, you might miss out on a fishbox full of schoolies.
  • Start the day with a mixture of baits. As fish hit your spread, eliminate the sizes that don't attract strikes, and put out more of those that do.
  • Using the proper size is important for lures as well as natural baits. Again, to find the right size, start off with a comprehensive mix and test out different sizes until you figure out what the fish want to eat.