Saturday, December 4, 2021

Catching the Big One

Matt Pressman’s first Snook. Photo by Capt. Jay Peeler

Matt Pressman’s first Snook. Photo by Capt. Jay Peeler

I have always believed that fishing lures catch more fishermen than fish. Over the years, I have purchased lures that bubbled, gurgled, burped, buzzed, sman backwards and glowed in the dark. I’m not making this up, and I must confess that this is only a partial list. I am even less proud of the fact that several of these lures were purchased at a very low price because I was among the first twenty callers.

My tackle box in the past hath runneth over with various contraptions that promised me that I had finally found the solution (read “secret”) to catching the “big” one.

Today, after a half-century of chasing fish over several states, rivers, creeks and oceans, I am convinced that simple is better. With few exceptions, I use yellow/chartreuse or white jigs tipped with a little piece of shrimp. Tipping with shrimp means to cut up a very small piece of the shrimp and putting it on the hook. You don’t need much; just a little to add scent. The cost of shrimp today sometimes makes me wonder what the logic is in paying more for bait than you would if you bought the fish. We are talking sport here, though, not economics. So, although a larger piece of shrimp isn’t necessary, if money is no object, it is alright to use a large piece or the whole shrimp.


Daniel Pressman’s Red Fish. Photo by Capt. Jay Peeler

Daniel Pressman’s Red Fish. Photo by Capt. Jay Peeler

stated, the only other real solution to fooling those smart fish is to use either live or dead bait. I mean, those fish we’re chasing naturally eat other creatures that live in the same water as they do. Sometimes those same creatures die a natural death and they likewise are scoffed up by hungry fish.

Now having disclosed my simplified fishing techniques, I must admit that my knowledge of fishing is limited to the salt-water backwaters of Florida. I’m certain that most, if not all fishermen, will disagree with this opinion, for if there ever was a topic that will have dozens of views, it’s the topic of fishing lures. But my opinion is what it is, and it is subject to change. For I’m fairly certain that I will in the future succumb to the sales pitch on a future infomercial! All I can hope for is that I’m one of the first twenty callers.

On a recent fishing trip with Steve Pressman and his two sons, Matt and Dan, several fish were caught including the first ever Snook for Matt and a red for Dan.

Remember to always use a de-hooker and don’t handle fish when releasing those you don’t intend to keep. It will help protect our resources for future anglers.

Capt. Jay’s Peeler runs fishing charters from Goodland, Fl. He may be reached at 239-970-2105. P.O. Box 777, Goodland, Fl 34140.

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