Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3905 Feb 14-28 - Page 28

26 Feb 14 - 28, 2020 VOL.39 • ISS. 5 Rolling Your Own Sturgeon Leaders S ay back in the cave man days when I had my first job in retail fishing tackle, one of my more important duties was that of tying leaders. I tied striper leaders, snelled hooks, and constructed sturgeon leaders. Typical of sturgeon leaders at the time, these were made by crimping 60 lb. test nylon-coated wire with #5 lead crimps. (Trivia: At the time, everyone crimped wire with a parallel crimp. I looked at the crimp and wondered if the hole could accommodate a re-entry of the end of the wire. It did, and so I started tucking in the end of the wire and “cross crimped” the sleeve. As far as I know, I was one of the first, if not the first, to cross crimp sleeves, a procedure that is now widespread.) At the time, I asked the boss why we needed to make leaders out of wire. He looked me straight in the eye and said it was because of the teeth. I knew there and then he didn’t know anything about sturgeon fishing. Never having seen a sturgeon, much less having caught one, I asked around the customers and apparently, the wire was there to protect the leader being cut by the “scutes,” those sharp buttons along the sides of the fish. A dear friend’s father, whom we called “Doc”, was a mighty meaty sturgeon fisherman and tied all his leaders with 70 lb. mono. I asked him about the line being cut by the scutes and he told me that he caught so many sturgeon he didn’t have to worry about losing one or two in the process. This was back in the day when sturgeon were plentiful, and were practically ignored by local fishermen. I thought a lot about what Doc said, and through the years I had been lightening my leader line such that I was occasionally entertaining the idea of using 30 lb. stiff leader mono for sturgeon. Since I was so used to tying hundreds, if not thousands, of leaders, it was no big deal for me to go the “one fish = one leader” route to keep things in tip top condition. Most fishermen to this day, dreading tying knots of any kind, will use a leader until it practically falls apart then complain of cheaply made leaders. This was one of the factors that lead me to tying my famous “Sturgeon Death Rigs” with 100 lb. test mono. The SDR was one of the hottest sturgeon leaders ever made, but because it was an involved rig to tie, came with a premium but fair price. The effectiveness of the leader was highlighted when Captain Sean Treacy caught and released a massive sturgeon of an estimated fourteen feet long on an original Red Death leader. Alas, after a couple of years of unprecedented success, the Fish & Game Department made all multiple hook rigs illegal for sturgeon fishing and so rang the death knell for the Sturgeon Death Rig, although it is still legal and effective by Steve for stripers, sharks, and “Hippo”Lau rays. What we have left now in terms of a legal sturgeon rig is a single barbless hook leader. It seems like there is little room for creativity, yet there are still a number of options to customize your leader. Next time around, I’ll discuss hook choices and leader materials. (Complete instructions for tying the Sturgeon Death Rig can be found on YouTube under “Sturgeon Death Rig”.) FISH SNIFFER COUNTRY SALTWATER REPORTS: CONTINUED FROM PG 25 SALMON • - ROCKFISH ROCKFISH • - ALBACORE ALBACORE SALMON 2912 831-633-2564 831-633-2564 Get to the fishing grounds Get fast on to our charter grounds boat in Moss fast Landing-Monterey the 50’ fishing on our 50’ Bay charter boat in Moss Landing - Monterey Bay WWW.KAHUNASPORTFISHING.COM Fish ALASKA 4.23.10 3102 P.O. 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Captain Tom Mattusch of the Huli Cat took a sanddab/ crab combination trip 14 miles west of the Pillar Point harbor for limits of Dungeness crab for 13 anglers with the pots as heavy as 24 crab this week. They also returned with 233 sanddabs to 11.75 inches. Out of Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, the party boats will focus on nature trips along with whale watching in the interim months before the rockfish and salmon seasons are anticipated to open in April. Captain Jerad Davis of the Salty Lady will also be running whale watching trips on Saturdays and Sundays through April. Dungeness crab are still available from the commercial boats in the harbor. Further north in Pacifica, rock crab along with the occasional Dungeness crab are taken on snares loaded with squid, anchovies, or sardines at the Pacifica Pier. The pier remains one of the most popular locations for crabbing from the shoreline in northern California, and it is open daily from 4:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m., weather depending. Perch fishing from the beaches both north and south of Half Moon Bay is getting some play, particularly with the increased popularity of surf perch fishing due to CONTINUED ON PG 27 Fish The Delta In Style Aboard Capt. Hayden Mullins’s 60’ Luxury Yacht! Q ueen of H earts CJ of Bodega Tackle headed down to Mexican water during a late January long range adventure and landed this massive yellowfin tuna. Photo courtesy of FISHSNIFFER.COM. Saltwater & Freshwater Full Time Charter Boat Since 2004 Powerful technology in the Ultimate Combo unit. 9” Chart Plotter with built in TrueEcho CHIRP Fishfinder. Featuring Multi-Touch Interface, internal GPS antenna, CMAP compatibility, Anti Finger Print and Anti-Reflective glass with excellent readability and brightness. • Salmon Fishing (when allowed) • • Whale Watching • • Nature Trips • • Full Bait and Tackle Shop • Call for Details and Special Pricing! 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