Sport Fishing - - GAME PLAN -

An­glers need tough tackle to pull hooked fish away from oyster bars. Bar­rera uses 20- or 25-pound lead­ers on his 10-pound braided line and 7-foot-6inch G. Loomis E6X in­shore rods when fish­ing in Texas bays. He up­grades to 30- and even 40-pound fluoro­car­bon lead­ers when fish­ing oyster bars.

“A 32-inch snook will pull you into the oys­ters,” he says. “I tell my clients to try to keep the fish out of the bar as much as pos­si­ble. As soon as I see it in the bar, or they feel it, I tell them to open the bail, and I’ll use my trolling mo­tor to go up to the bar and get the line out of there.”

If you do hang up on a bar, “point your fish­ing rod at it, grab the spool and pull back slowly, and you’ll usu­ally roll over the oys­ters, then the hook comes free,” says San­ders, who out­fits his south­west Florida an­glers with 7-foot rods with 3500 or 4000 spin­ning reels spooled with 20-pound braid and 40-pound fluoro­car­bon lead­ers.

Todd uses a 7-foot medium-heavy rod in the Pan­han­dle, with a 4000class spin­ning reel spooled with 20-pound braid and usu­ally a 25-pound fluoro­car­bon leader. When he’s tar­get­ing bull reds around deeper bars in 6 to 8 feet of wa­ter, he ties on 30- or 40-pound fluoro­car­bon lead­ers.

Low tide is a great time to learn the lay of the land, so to speak. As the tide low­ers, ex­pos­ing oyster bars, make vis­ual note of the struc­tures and how long they re­main sub­merged.

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