By Neil Taylor
Owner and guide: Strikethreekayakfishing.com
To catch fish: Do it right. Action: It is not hard to be had and if you make the right choices in gear: It’s easy. One that most miss out on: The teaser. Combined with the pompano jig, loop-knotted together, the jig/teaser combination accounts for some major action. The teaser: I make it. The pompano jig, I recommend the Silly Willy. More info below.
Spanish mackerel: The jig and teaser outfishes the silver spoon. Easier to work, it is pure gold for catching mackerel like crazy. Use 30-pound leader and don’t lose as much gear.
Silver trout. Whiting. Wintertime targets and great action. Ladyfish and jacks: Eat the jig and teaser every time they see it. Whiting, jig slower. Silver trout, jig as aggressively as you want but keep that lure combination down on the bottom. You can increase catches on silver trout, adding a second teaser on leader line tied off to the hook on the Silly Willy.
Whatever the species, this is all light tackle fun. Go ultralight for silver trout and whiting. It is a blast. For their size, a silver trout fights pretty good. No regulation on silver trout or whiting, you can keep what you catch. If you are lucky, they are decent size. Smaller fish, I dehead, guy and put on the smoker whole. It takes some technique to pull the bones and skin away from the meat but this can be a lot of meat for fish spread (Articles: http://www.capmel.com/try-your-hand-at-making-smoked-fish-spread/ , http://www.capmel.com/smoked-fish-spread/)
I make the teasers. I sell the teasers. $1 a teaser is cheaper than you will find anywhere and mine are built better than others that are out there. If you go in on it with someone else, get to 100 teasers and they are 75 cents per teaser. That’s as low as I go. That’s a steal of a deal. Mine outlast other teasers. Tie good knots and use the right leader and an Uncle Neil teaser will last for hundreds of fish. I have tied about 25,000 teasers. I have about 20,000 in stock. So I’m in no danger of running low. You should take advantage of it.
I can mail them to you cheap. Smaller orders, add fifty cents for the shipping. Larger orders, just add $1. Or, if you live around the Tampa Bay area, we can get together and you can choose your colors.
Leader: I suggest 25-pound for all around use. Ladyfish will wear through 20-pound. As mentioned above, upsize for both bluefish and mackerel. Toothy fish, you have to go up in leader thickness or you will lose a lot of tackle.
I use quality materials but I “triple tie” them: That’s three knots to finish and then sealed with clear nail polish. I wrap them a significant number of times before the triple tie. My teasers are built to last.
Teaser colors are your choice. If you want to catch pompano, get the pink. Pink will catch everything. I put “flash” in all teasers. Materials such as “lateral scale.” I believe the flash is key to catching the fish’ eye.
The jig and teaser is what you want to use for bridge fishing. You will hook what’s there. Including black drum, cobia and bluefish. For Gandy, Howard Frankland, Countney Campbell and for sure the Skyway Fishing Piers. Targeting silver trout usually requires the ship channels, areas near passes and bridges. For whiting, they are off the beaches and in the passes. Spanish mackerel, the Skyway is king. 12 months of the year you can get into mackerel action off the Skyway Fishing Piers.
Teaser sales so light over the years: People just don’t take advantage of this opportunity. Especially for mackerel. I’ve outfished the mackerel guys hundreds of times. I have a bunch of teasers I tied specifically for mackerel in white and silver. But they all work. Amazing: 90% of the fish are caught on the teaser and not the pompano jig. If no one ever buys them, I have teasers to last me for five lifetimes.
The pompano jig, I use the Silly Willy. Produced by Captain Joe, you can buy them directly from them but you can find them in tackle shops. To get pompano jigs from Joe, go to https://captainjoefishing.com/
Want to learn how to catch these species? Book a charter with me. I will show you how to do it.