- ANCHORS AWAY An Alaskan captain who guided me to halibut and cod soaked down his entire anchor line with fish oil. "Even if a fish is half a mile away, he'll smell me," he said.
- SECRET BAITS A Virginia captain I once went striper fishing with used to pick the bunker gizzards out of his chum bucket. When he had three or four, he'd string them on a hook and lower away to get finicky stripers to eat. A Florida captain I know swears by lizard fish when live baiting for tarpon, snook, cero mackerel, and other southern inshore gamefish.
- COLOR CODED Several captains I've met paint the blades of their props yellow and black, believing that the colors will interest offshore gamefish.
- SMELL MASTERS To counteract negative scents-those of human sweat, fuel, or tobacco, for example-one captain I know insists that his mate wear leather gloves filled with chum for 10 minutes before rigging baits or touching lures.
- GOOD VIBRATIONS One captain, who shall go nameless for obvious reasons, insists that his best offshore trolling lure is his wife's running, battery-operated vibrator. He attaches the hook and leader with a strip of duct tape.