Bullbuster In Action:

Fresh Bait Is The Best Bait

Author: Patrick Meek

Summer is approaching, the surf temperature is warm, and the Pompano bite has slacked off from the beach, but that doesn't mean it's time to retire your surf rods until fall because the surf is loaded with fresh bait.

When the surf is as warm as it is now, I won’t bring a full arsenal of rods and reels to the beach mainly because I don’t have the patience to reel in Ladyfish and Blue Runners non-stop. What I like to do is start at the bottom of the food chain and work my way up. First, I will start by collecting sand fleas with my rake in the surf. Once I have collected enough sand fleas to get started, we will cast out two or three rods into a zone where the Pompano are most likely to be. Now that the surf temperature is in the 80's, most Pompano have swam off to cooler water, but there are still a few Pompano hanging around to catch if you are willing to deal with the bait fish that can quickly become aggravating.

The good news is you can use that bait fish that you caught using a sand flea to catch Blacktip sharks off the beach. I absolutely love catching Bull Reds and monster size Black Drum off the beach and chunks of Ladyfish make great Redfish bait and hooking into a Blacktip shark on spinning gear just adds to the excitement! I use the Bullbuster 300 lb - 500 lb Grander Leader Coils with the matching crimp sleeves to build my 7' casting shark leaders. I prefer 18" of camouflage 49 strand cable over wire as a bite leader to avoid kinks and use nothing less than 150 lb swivels for connections.

With all the fresh bait in the water it is usually only a matter of minutes after I've cast my fresh bloody bait out that I'm watching one of my 12' surf rods bending over while 50 lb or 65 lb Bullbuster braid starts screaming off one of my spinning reels I have designated for catching Blacktip sharks. After letting the shark run for 6-10 seconds, I'll tighten my drag enough to let the 11/0 circle hook do its job and hold on tight! Most of the time just after hookup, the Blacktip shark will jump and thrash out of the water making it even more exciting. Pound for pound, Blacktips are one of the strongest fighting fish and even more fun to catch on spinning gear.

One of my co-workers from Louisiana came over one afternoon while visiting on vacation and I was able to put them on some fish from the beach. We started from the bottom catching sand fleas from the surf and worked our way up the ladder by catching fresh bait, which produced a couple sharks within minutes. They also went home with Pompano for their first time and Spanish Mackerel that we caught that day. I'm pretty sure they will be back to join us for another adventure on the sand one day.

Until next time...

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