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Thread: This and that
07-29-2008, 02:00 PM #1
This and that
If you have a Min Kota Autopilot trolling motor and you have it on autopilot and it starts turning around and or wandering on it's own. Here are a few things you should check: (1) is the unit sitting level on the boat. To test this, your boat needs to be in the water. Take a level (bubble type) and place it on the slide off holder and see if it is level. If attached straight to the deck, check to see if deck is level. If it is not level, make you a wedge and or something similar and place it under the holder plate until it is level or slide it under the unit until it is level. (2) check your electrical connection and made sure that they are clean. (3) check your battery and make sure that it does not have a bad cell. (4) check the cable plug end connection and make sure it is not corroded. Note: always have your trolling motor power cable removed from the electrical source when charging your battery.
This is for you drifters. Ever notice that sometimes you are getting short bites with no hook ups. Well, most likely they are small cats and if you want to catch them, retrive your rig and put a small hook (no. 3/0) on and a smaller bait. But, if you are getting pole benders with the short bite, that is not a small cat. For this you can add a stinker hook ( another hook with a piece of fishing line attached to the main hook) and attach it to the end of the bait. Ever had your rod to bend slightly and stay in that position and you felt like it was pulling a limb or other stuff? Don't go jerking it, it might be a flathead holding your bait and mashing it prior to taking the bait fish down. Stop your trolling motor, pick up the rod and hit the release button with your thumb on the spool and don't be surprised if the line at some point starts peeling off. At this point, timing is everything, and you should let five to 10 seconds past before setting the hook if you are using a J hook. If you are using a circle hook, just raise the rod up or side ways (no jerking or hard set) and crank away.
White perch are an excellent bait and you can catch a lot of other type fish when you are 'perch jerking' using a jig. Bass and flatheads will hang around schools of white perch and you never know when one of them will take your jig. So, always have your drag set lightly so when they pick up the jig and run, you have a chance of getting then into the boat. To jig for perch, you will need a 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jig on 8 to 10 pound test line and a lite action rod. You only have to raise your rod tip up a short distance and then let it drop. If you notice slack in you line on the drop, you have a fish on and should bring it in (you can set the hook or just crank away). Almost all jigs have treble hook on them and hook ups are not hard to accomplish. Most fish hit a jig on the way down, not when it is coming up. I have discussed Sabiki Rigs elsewhere on Mac Byrum's Catfish University as a method of catching white perch.
If you are doing catch and release, take care of your cats. Don't place your fingers in their gills when you are handling them. Don't put a lot of pressure on their lower jaws. Never use a gaff on a fish that you are going to release. After you take your photo's of them, release them as soon as possible. Big fish should be eased into the water and if they don't swim off, recapture them and move them back and forth in the water until they get suffient oxygen and they try to pull away from your grip, now they are ready to go. You have to take greater care of big fish in the summer time than in the winter. If you bring a big cat in from deep water and it looks like it is bloated, you will need to release the air from it's bladder before releasing it. This can be done with a pvc pipe or with your hand down into it's mouth, you will hear the air gush out when you do it right.
Are people catching fish around you and you are not? Several things you are doing could be at fault. Did you gas your boat up on the way to fish, if so, you probably have a hint of gasoline on your hands and you have transferred it to the bait, same goes for motor oil. Did you shave that morning and put some after shave on or some colone, again, you have transferred that smell to your bait. Could be that the other boats are using a different type bait than you, did you check to see what kind of bait the fish were hitting. Next time you go fishing, take several different types of bait and you will be more successful.
Thanks for reading 'this and that'. Mac
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