TheTight Line Vol 8 Part 2 - page 8-9

The number one method for many
anglers is to fish with topwater lures.
There is little that beats a good surface
strike and red bass often follow a lure
in view of the angler before belting it,
making the anticipation all the more
exciting. The second best thing about
a surface strike on bass is it gives the
angler a better opportunity to extract
the fish before it reaches home.They eat
both poppers and stickbaits, but can be
timid at times preferring less aggressive
presentations. For the surface, bass will
eat lures from 100mm through to giant
GT lures of 250mm or longer when the
mood takes them. The most common
sizes though, range from 100-180mm.
Some popular lures include Tiemco
Salty Red Pepper Magnum and Max,
Maria Loaded and Patriot Baby Pats.
Going sub surface with slow sinking
stickbaits ispossibly themost deadlyway
to chase red bass on the reef edge. The
strikes are not always as visual, however
the hook-up rates are better and the fish
hesitate less in striking. You also pick
up more bycatch from species which
aren’t as aggressive on the surface,
such as long nose emperors. It is hard
to go past lures like the FCL Labo CSP
S110s and S145S for this kind of fishing,
though the Mangrove studio Volador
and ASWB SS-90 are right up there.
In casting tackle, there are two ranges
of outfits that get a lot of use on bass:
one is a PE2-3 rod that casts lures in
the 20-70g range, such as the Zenaq
Fokeeto Twitch 70/3 or FCL 73L and
73M. This I team up with a 3500-4000
present, then this is the habitat they
most commonly occupy. Red bass fit
in on the edges. They can’t straight up
compete with the larger trevallies so
they occupy the fringes around them.
The good looking coral edges leading
up to, or away from a killer point are a
good starting locations, small channels
flowing off a reef or into a Blue Hole
are another. Open coral flats with
little bommies for cover,
or deeper open reefs that
look good but don’t get the
ripping current, they are all
worth a look. Some days the
fish will be found close to
cover, ambushing only the
lures thrown suicidally close
to nasty looking structure.
Other days, red bass will be
out roaming the reef edges or
coral flats inpacksandthebest
approach is to move quickly
and cover some ground,
making long searching
casts as you go. Once one
is hooked in this situation,
more can often be tempted.
Taking this approach on the reef
can yield far more the just red bass
too. Coral trout and other groupers,
emperors, jobfish and various ‘lesser’
trevally species will add variety to the
catch. If you want a mix of sport and
the opportunity to take some eating
fish for dinner, then it is a fantastic way
to spend a day or two out on the reef.
Bass love blue holes inside coral reefs
Even little ones can bury
you deep in the reef
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