Posts Tagged ‘rod’

Fish of the Week – Redtail Catfish (Pirarara)

June 14, 2011
Our “Fish of the Week” is redtail catfish, also known as pirarara in Brazil. One of the most ubiquitous of the giant cats, it appears to have very few habitat limitations, just as happily living in acidic, blackwater lowlands streams as it is in alkaline highlands rivers. They can be found in all parts of clear (blue) water, blackwater and whitewater (sediment carrying) rivers, including small tributary streams.
Redtail Catfish

Redtail Catfish

Their unique markings and bright coloration makes them very easy to identify – their bright tail is an instant giveaway. Their dark upper body contrasts sharply with a cream to white segment below the lateral line posteriorly. The mix of contrasting colors highlighted with red makes this catfish one of the most striking of the big cats. Its body color is dark olive to shiny black, its abdomen white and lower fins red. Its dorsal fin and adipose fin are fringed with red.

A very powerful fighter, redtails are known for a sustained, line-pulling initial run and the ability to find a tangle of submerged logs at the end. Adults can grow up to 60 inches and can weigh more than 100 pounds (the IGFA world record is 113 lbs, 9 oz. caught in the Rio Negro). Found in the Amazon basin in Brazil, their seemingly endless appetite makes them easy for anglers to engage. They’re ominvores, as they feed on fish, detritus, crabs and fruit (we’ve actually caught them on pieces of watermelon!). They’ve been landed on everything anglers use, ranging from free-swimming live bait to a Wooly Bugger fly (cut bait is easiest, for practical purposes).
An entire head of a traira on a circle hook is a durable and widely accepted bait for redtails. Use an Amazon rig, configured as follows: “For Redtail Catfish, a large (14/0) circle hook haywire twisted to 12 to 18 inches of strong (120 – 220 lb. test) wire then twisted to a heavy (180 lb. test swivel. A two ounce (or heavier – as current demands) egg sinker is allowed to run freely on heavy line (50 pound or greater) braided line. This wire reinforced ‘Amazon’ rig helps keep piranha away from the actual running line and minimizes the loss of hook, line and sinker.”
Set up your road according to your preferences. Try a woodchopper rod (medium-heavy baitcaster or spinner) equipped with heavy braid (50- to 65-pound test). You’ll have fun catching these guys on light tackle – they’re very durable fish that don’t tire easily.
Several types of water are usually productive. In a river without a lot of features, a curve will often suffice. Drop the bait into the deeper, channel side. If deep pools with eddying water are available, select these types of water. Often, piranha activity on the bait is followed quickly by a take, which may summon the redtail. In any case, the traira head is a great bait even when almost entirely denuded. Let the piranha have their way and wait for your quarry. If there is a redtail there, you’ll usually meet up within 15 minutes. If not, move on.
To succeed with this tackle, you must survive the first run. Make sure your boat is ready to move upon the hookup. The “take” is usually a no-doubter – redtails grab forcefully and move on. With an open bail (or clicker on), allow line to be taken until you’re certain the fish is moving away from you and has had a chance to engulf the bait. Point the rod tip upward, engage your reel and allow the rod to be pulled downward until it points at the fish. With resistance occurring, a redtail will usually react with a screaming run, hooking himself with the circle hook in the process. This method is highly recommended because it will unfailingly result in a safe hookset in the corner of the fish’s mouth, never in its gullet or stomach.
Depending on the size of the fish and the underwater structure, anglers with light tackle can be spooled on the first run. Make sure the boat stays with the fish and you keep a reasonable reserve of line. Don’t try to stop him with a thumb or a tightened drag – you’ll probably just break him off. Let him burn off that first blast and then you can start to fight back. The key to landing a big redtail on light tackle is to get him off the bottom. If possible, get nearly over him, but offset at an angle, and work him upwards. If you can lever him into the water column, you gain the tactical and mechanical advantage and can probably land the fish quickly. If he is able to remain on the bottom, he will seek cover or structure and even though you may have survived the difficult first run, you can still lose him to an unforgiving snag. Once at the boat, redtails can be easily lifted from the water by their heavily boned pectoral fins. He’ll talk to you the entire time you take your pictures. Put him back to fight again.
If you’re record hunting or simply want to land the highest possible percentage, a heavier rig (i.e. – an Ambassador 7000 sized reel with a stiff, short and heavy Ugly Stick rod) can be used with line up to 100 lb. test. This is enough to slow down the runs and then muscle all but the biggest redtails off the bottom, the key to landing them.
John With Big Redtail

John With Big Redtail

Acute Angling – Official Website

Part Five of Paul Reiss’ Interview with Bass Fishing Source: “What Peacock Bass Fishing Gear Do You Really Need To Land Monster Peacock?”

May 17, 2011

Paul Reiss, owner of Acute Angling, talks with Bass Fishing Source about peacock bass gear in part five of an exclusive interview. Read all about it below or click here.

What Peacock Bass Fishing Gear Do You Really Need To Land Monster Peacock?

The Peacock Bass fishing gear you need may surprise you according Paul Reiss of Acute Angling. The first thought may be to grab the biggest, heaviest tackle one can find in order to take on these beast of the Amazon. But before you head out and lay down your hard earned cash in search of your trophy see what it is you really need.

In this segment of our interview with Paul he explains the type of gear that gets results.

Peacock BassB-F-S: What kind of bass fishing tackle would you recommend in going after Amazon Peacock?

Paul Reiss: The tackle should always, always, always be geared to the lures being used. A pet peeve of mine is that first-time peacock bass anglers are often saddled with overly heavy peacock bass fishing gear because they went to a tackle shop to be outfitted.

Sure, the monster peacock is an amazingly powerful and violent fish, but rod and reel selections should be made based on the peacock bass lures you’ll be using, not the mis-perceptions of tackle salesmen who have never fished for peacocks. Heavy tackle makes you tired, snoozing anglers don’t cast and lures in the boat don’t catch fish. Peacock gear should be reasonably light so that anglers can fish without fatigue, make accurate casts and properly work the lures that will ultimately bring in their trophies.

We supply quality peacock bass fishing gear on our Blackwater Explorer yacht trips, however, anglers are always welcome to bring their own equipment. We recognize that folks are usually most proficient with the bass fishing tackle they’re used to.

If you’re bringing your own gear, I strongly recommend 3-piece travel rods. The new “Gary Loomis Signature Series” by Temple Forks Outfitters is a great line of rods for peacock bass fishing. They are relatively inexpensive, guaranteed, light, fast, durable and, of course, very portable. Two or three rigs will support all aspects of peacock fishing; a medium/heavy outfit; a medium and a medium light.

Read more about bass fishing rods.

medium heavy outfit will effectively cast and work the heavy prop baits. I recommend a baitcaster such as the Gary Loomis series TFG TRC 705-3 for best performance with these big plugs. If selecting another rod, avoid overlong (max. 7’) rods and never use long handled rods. They just make working the lure more difficult. Select a fast-retrieve reel, 6.3:1 or faster. We recommend a Shimano Curado reel (modestly priced and 7.0:1). Slow retrieving reels will not allow you to properly work your lure and will leave you very tired at the end of the day.

Medium/Light rig is best for the peacock rattle jig. With a properly set drag, a quality outfit in this category will efficiently handle even the largest peacock bass while providing casting ease and accuracy. For most anglers, a spinning rod is the better choice for this use, such as a Gary Loomis series TFG TRS 703-3 medium-light rod and a Shimano 2500 series spinning reel.

Read more about bass fishing reels.

Medium Outfit is not a must, but it’s a good backup for the other two rods (since rods can break) and it can be very comfortably used for Zara Spooks, Yo-Zuris and other medium size baits. This rig is a bass fisherman’s bread and butter tool. Bring your favorite reel since retrieve rate is not critical with this outfit. A good example would be a medium baitcaster such as the Gary Loomis series TFG TRC 704-3 with a Shimano Curado or Calcutta 250 size reel.

All of this peacock bass fishing gear can be purchased through Acute Angling at 866 431-1668.

More with Paul Reiss on Amazon Peacock Bass:

Paul talks with about the awesome Amazon Peacock Bass.

Paul shares some priceless Amazon Peacock fishing techniques.

Paul discusses the best lures for Amazon Peacock Bass.

Acute Angling – Official Website