After I have taken a fishing vacation to the seashore, the questions
Hoosier anglers ask most often revolve around the effectiveness of light
tackle in angling for salt water fish.
"Should I take my light tackle," Hoosiers ask me, "how about the ultra-light
Let me put it like this. On a recent day I stood on the rail of the
Hatteras Fishing Pier at Frisco, N.C., a few yards from two ladies. I could
not tell from whence they came, but they obviously were not local anglers.
One used a little five-foot ultra-light outfit which she eventually broke
(in a fit of poor judgment) when her bottom rig was hooked solid into something
that did not swim.
The other used a spinning rod that I would have called nothing heftier
They were baiting with smallish chunks of fresh shrimp on two-hook bottom
rigs (the same as most of the other 200 or so anglers on the pier). The
comparison ended there. They were caching more fish than most other anglers
on the pier, including yours truly.
Both used four-ounce sinkers which I was throwing on a light, eight-foot
rod designed to handle four-to-five ounces, not counting the bottom rig
and the bait. They were putting their baits out as far as I was. They couldn't
"wham" it out there like I could. But by using an underhand pendulum cast,
hey put their baits where they wanted them.
So why were they out fishing me (yes, that is an admission)? Because
the wave action seemed to affect their ability to keep in touch with their
bait less than it did my heftier tackle and line.
In short, they knew better than I, when they were getting a bite.
So, YES! Do, indeed, take your light, "fish-at-home" tackle to the ocean.
Sure, you will break those light lines now and again, and no doubt be a
cutoff victim occasionally. But you will have a ball telling about the
ones that got away.
ON SOUND 'N SURF--For many years
on my annual summer visits to North Carolina's famed Outer Banks (Avon
is my choice), I have used ultra light and light bass/bluegill tackle for
certain species under certain conditions.
When the water warms in the summer, light tackle is especially good
for pompano when they are in the last breaker (almost at your feet).
For this fishing, I use a quarter-ounce jig head (the flat jig head
Dan Gapen uses on his Ugly Bug is excellent for sliding along the bottom).
I dress the otherwise bare hook with a piece of fresh shrimp the size of
the first joint of a finger.
With breakers coming at a rate of seven per minute (one big one), if
I am knee-deep in the surf, I am often fighting a fish that is behind me.
Tricky business, that pompano fishing.
I also use my light spinning gear (with the same terminal gear and bait)
for wading to the potholes and channels in the shallow sound. But in the
sound, you may tangle with anything.