Posts Tagged ‘bait’

Savage Gear 2012

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The Future Is Savage, at least when it comes to supreme lure actions. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Savage Gear is the brainchild of Mads Grosell, a detail-oriented engineer 100% consumed by fish and fishing. With paper and pencil, Grosell has scribed, then constructed the ultimate baitfish actions in Savage Gear hard and soft 4PLay lures.  For pike, musky, halibut, bass and a host of inshore species, Grosell plays with predatory instinct with the full control of a puppet master.

The Savage 4Play is a complete line of hard and soft baits with extensive available sizes and diving characteristics.

Developed and retailed in Europe, Okuma Fishing Tackle has brought Savage Gear to the United States.  Our selection is concise, focusing on the most unique and productive of the selection, but be assured, there’s more to come.

For now, enjoy the 4Play lineup in all its custom configurations, the Larvae, Cutbait Herring and incredibly versatile Sandeels.

Check out the Savage Gear 2012 USA catalog here:  Savage Gear USA 2012 Catalog

See the footage of Savage Gear 4Play lure actions here:  Savage 4Play Video

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

Team Rezkill Wins Islamorada Dolphin Tournament!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Conditions were downright ugly for the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, which took place on June 4th and 5th, but not unfishable. Capt. Luis M Perez, Ryan Smith, Audie Lim Sang, Mike Walker and Ray Ragolta pulled off the dock Saturday morning with a full load of goggle eyes.

Team Rezkill 36' Contender

Team Rezkill's fishing platform is a 36' Contender with triple Yamaha 300's.

The plan for the tournament, run-and-gun using feeding birds to locate the dolphin that were pushing up bait from below. “Run” might be an overstatement, as 10-12 foot seas made the going slow and the visibility challenging. The rig of choice: size 65 Cedros baitfeeder spinning reels loaded with Sunline 40-pound mono. 60-pound leaders, looped via Bimini Twist and finished with 8/0 Gamakatsu offset hooks.  Live goggle eyes were cast to schools, baitfeeder released to allow the bait to swim freely, then wait for the take.  Allowing plenty of time to eat the bait, with a turn of the reel handle the baitfeeding function is ceased and the drag system engaged.  A straightforward approach, and in calmer conditions, a ton of fun.

Dolphin at gaff

Big seas made for few photos and interesting conditions for locating solid fish.

Thirty miles Southeast of Islamorada, the birds became plentiful, as did the fish. The problem…small fish. Loads of 5- to 8-pound models. A dime a dozen. The kind of fish that make for a fun day, but not a tournament win. In the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, teams are allowed to weigh just 2 fish a day, with the top three fish creating the final team weight (if a team weighs 4, the smallest is dropped). Quantity in this case is of little value, it’s quality and locating good fish on each day that wins.

Taking a beating at every turn only to find ongoing numbers of small fish, Team Rezkill changed the plan mid-morning. Instead of looking for the next school in hopes of scoring a quick big fish, they chose to sit on a large school in hopes of working a larger fish from below the more aggressive bailers. The tactic produced a standout 9-pound fish in fairly short order. Sticking with the approach then yielded the first really solid fish, an 18-pound cow, but no more from the school.  Rezkill is forced to go back on the hunt.

Whale Shark

A visit from a whale shark is taken as a good omen and always a welcomed sight.

Now getting late, the next batch of birds has just two fish beneath it. One beautiful bull that takes 2 baits but spits them both, and a 20-pound cow that finishes Rezkill’s day one total weight of roughly 38-pounds.

Day two is no nicer than day one, although Rezkill’s 38-pounds has them in second place behind a weight of 42-pounds.  In the running, motivation is as high as the seas.

Fishing is tough.  Again lots of small fish, but no quality.  The day becomes a long grind and finally after 3pm, the bow is pointed for the marina.  Still working for fish on the way in, a very thin weed line shows off the starboard side. With no fish on board and a never-give-up attitude, two baits are set to slow troll the edge of the weeds on Cedros CLD-20 lever drag reels, custom rods and the same line/leader setups.

Team Rezkill and Tournament Big Fish

Team Rezkill with the both the tournament's big fish and the one that put them into first place.

Not 30 minutes into the trolling effort a 17-pound cow awakens a clicker.  Now with one worthy fish on the boat, the visions of a second place finish are growing stronger.  Short on time, new baits are slid out the back and it takes less than 10 minutes for a 27-pound bull, the big fish of the tournament, to inhale the bait.  Bottom of the ninth, two outs and Rezkill jacks one out of the yard.

In baseball the game would be complete, but in sport fishing you have to make the dock. With less than an hour and a half to make weigh-in and still over 20 miles out, Rezkill had to press the 36′ Contender and triple Yamaha 300’s through the still relentless 10- to 12-footers.  Victory often comes with a bit of a price.

The last minute 27-pounder sealed up first place honors paying $6,000 and the tournament’s big fish honors, worth another $1,000.  Bragging rights until 2012, however, are “priceless”.

Congratulations to Team Rezkill from all of us at Okuma!

Dave Hansen On Calico Bass Basics

Friday, November 19th, 2010

At Okuma we’ve surrounded ourselves with an incredibly talented staff of field-testers who’s job it is to take the equipment we’ve designed to it’s limits, and beyond.  As a group, these professionals have forgotten more about fishing than most of us will ever know.  In order to capture their knowledge, we’ve asked, and they’ve agreed, to provide ongoing tips and tactics aimed at increasing skills and our collective success on the water.  This first short piece is by Dave Hansen, one of Southern California’s most exceptional saltwater anglers.

When fishing for calico bass, you need to decide whether you’re fishing with live bait or artificial lures. Personally, I prefer to fish with live bait… not that I can’t fish with artificial lures, but with live bait the bite is almost instantanious when it’s cast into the proper spot. Once the fish has bit the bait, it’s important to wait a few seconds before setting the hook. This will allow the fish to swallow the bait. When setting the hook, swing as if you’re trying to break the pole. Giving a “love tap” will only alert the fish that something bad is about to happen which will result in the fish spitting out the bait.

Calico bass are great fish and easy to catch with a little preparation.

When we head out on the water, we figure out where were going to fish. With all the books and videos out today, we have a vast number of spots that we can all fish. One of the most important things to consider are the conditions. What are conditions? Conditions can be weather, water clarity, tidal movement and current. When the wind blows out of the east…fishing is the least. When the wind blows slightly  from the west…fishing is the best. As far as tidal movement, what I’ve found over the years is slack tide on the inner boiler rocks seems to be what sparks the fish. Current; down hill current is the best. What I mean by down hill is the water is flowing from Los Angeles towards San Diego. Up hill is the opposite, water flows from San Diego to LA. If you wait for the perfect conditions, however, you’ll never go fishing.

When I’m fishing for calico bass with live bait, I use 12 lb. Vicious clear mono line. The reason I use 12 lb. line is because it floats, allowing for the most natural presentation whereas 15 lb. line or heavier line has tendency to sink, pulling the bait backwards. I use a bronze Mustaad thin wired hook (size of hook depends on size of bait). In the water, the bronze hook becomes invisible to the fish. Chrome and other colored hooks reflect sunlight allowing the fish to see the hook. The reason I use a thin wired hook, is also to allow a more natural look of the bait. Thick wired hooks add weight making it harder for the bait to swim as it naturally would. I use a medium to heavy 12-20 lbs Okuma Cedros Coastal rod and an Okuma Cedros 250 or 400 bass reel to complete the equipment list.

Okuma, Western Outdoor News and the Big Game 90

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Ever wonder what six days offshore on a premier sportfishing vessel would be like?  Okuma and the FV Big Game 90 recently partnered with Western Outdoor News to shed light on the topic… and the incredible excitement, comraderie and unadulterated fun that can accompany these trips. 

Should you have interest in a trip like this for yourself, look no further than the Big Game 90.  One of the many proving grounds for Okuma product like Makaira, Cedros, Andros and Cortez reels, Capt. Mike Jewett and his crew were chosen for thier ability to locate and connect with bigh fish, while taking tackle to its limits. 

 
SAN DIEGO — The late Sunday afternoon start for this year’s WON charter aboard the legendary sport fisher Big Game 90 meant it would be tough getting to Cedros in time for a decent bite the next day. But patience and trust in the crew would be the watchwords for this trip that paid off in the end.

With everyone aboard, BG 90 departed H & M Landing. Captain Mike Jewitt held his safety briefing and on-board fishing seminar with a wry sense of humor and wit while bait was being loaded. The plan to run south would include paddy hopping our way and a stop first thing in the morning past Isla San Geronimo at the Sacramento Reef to fish rockfish and possible yellowtail in the area.

Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield was on hand with Okuma Catalina Rods and Reel bags for all participants in the Won-Big Game 90 2010 Charter as well as the Okuma Soltera reel for a top raffle prize. Other trip sponsors Turner’s Outdoorsman and Sufix provided line spool ups and gift cards, while Lazer Sharp sent along dozens of hook packs. Williamson trolling jigs and jig packs and spools of Seaguar fluorocarbon rounded out the swag for charter participants.

• CHICK FARR WORKED THE IRON for a nice forkie gaffed by BG90 Chef Jacob Hensley.

• STEVE TOMIYAMA SOAKED SQUID to trick this bluefin displayed by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

• RUSS CARMONA WITH LING taken while fishing near the Sacramento Reef. The reef was named after the side wheel steamship that wrecked here in 1872.

BG 90 second-captain Justin Brands moved the boat down the line overnight in calm seas and light winds and at grey-light trolling rotation was begun. Just past 8:00 a.m. the first kelp paddy of the day showed off the starboard bow. Sliding up alongside, baits were tossed out and jigs thrown beyond the kelp.

“I’m metering plenty of fish down to 10 fathoms” called Captain Jewitt over the loud speaker.

Immediately, small 15-pound-plus yellowtail began to be pulled over the rails with 12 fish at this first stop. Definitely a good sign this early in a 6-day trip.

While working the paddy angler Steve Tomiyama of Poway fished a fly-lined ‘dine on one of his own custom rods for a lone 25-pound bluefin, gaffed and hauled over by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

After working each paddy for a short while and the bite having tapered off, Captain Jewitt would sing melodiously over the P.A., “ Up, up, up…let’s get back to work, looking around,” meaning it was time to reset the troll rotation.

The day continued without much distance covered when plenty of paddies holding fish fell along BG 90’s path to Cedros. As evening approached the captain announced we’d be fishing the “Reef” in the morning, then early the next day we’d be arriving at the island.

Anchoring in the darkness of the early morning hours Captains Jewitt and Brands along with the deck crew made squid using the crowder and hand nets for 30 scoops of bait. The current ran steadily southward forcing the crew to sweep the heavily-laden crowder net along from bow to stern as they loaded it with lively squid.

True to his word Captain Jewitt moved Big Game 90 to waters off the point, east of Cedros, at the salt works and the early morning hours were spent wrangling in bottom fish along with big yellowtail to 35-pounds while fishing dropper loop sardines and squid.

Okuma Rep Mansfield soaked a dropper loop squid from his Catalina rod and Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix line when his reel began screaming as line paid out on a big fish. Once the drag had done its job and the fish turned, Mansfield was joined by Captain Jewitt at the rail saying, “That’s gotta be a black sea bass! Go easy, and wind!”

• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water. • RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan. • GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.
• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water.

• RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan.

• GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.

After several runs by the fish, and a lengthy workout for Mansfield, the huge black surfaced near the boat amid cat calls and shouts from anglers at the rail. Mansfield decided to release the fish after a few quick pictures and the fish, estimated by the captain at 145-pounds, was carefully deflated and let go.

Twenty huge, almost cookie-cutter, 30-pound-plus yellowtail took crocodiles, jigs, and dropper
looped sardines before lunch.

The highlight of any long trip has to be the fishing but when the food is as good as the meals served-up by Big Game 90’s long-time chef, Jake Hensley there is always something to look forward. Hot spaghetti and meat balls for lunch and a filling pork loin dinner were typical of the delicious and tempting meals for the charter group.

Throughout the day stops around the area produced good numbers of yellowtail with a short wide open bite around 3:00 p.m. netting dozens of fish to 25-pounds. Ralph “Chick” Farr of Laguna Niguel pulled in several nice forkies using the Tady 77 scrambled egg surface iron for great success while saying, “Man there’s nothing like cranking the iron for yellowtail!”

Another open bite followed as Big Game 90 found the schools of mossbacks again and again.

Rick Rosano of Carson, and pal, Jacinto “Jack” Quisquirin of Murrieta, took their share of forkies at nearly every stop throughout the trip and usually could be found fighting fish side-by-side. “This trip has been outstanding!” exclaimed Rosano after the day’s catch was safely stashed in the refrigerated hold.

Okuma had sent along several rod and reel combos with their Cedros and Makaira reels rigged and ready for action. Testing out the equipment gave those aboard an opportunity to get acquainted with the gear in a real-time fishing environment.

More than half of the boat’s legal limit of yellowtail had been taken through the day and by sunset most everyone was ready for a rest. A final raffle drawing gave lucky angler Gordon Gould of Winnetka the new Okuma Solterra reel ready to be loaded with Sufix line.

Tucked in close to Cedros the anglers shared other feast, an hour or so making mackerel with Sabiki rigs and it was time to hit the rack.

The bright morning dawn found Big Game 90 working inshore at the cove near Punto Morro Redondo. Several stops produced plenty of whitefish, reds and a few sizable yellowtail throughout the morning hours when the captain announced, “We’re going to run back down and see if we can’t find the schooling yellowtail off shore.”

A little more than an hour’s run along the inside channel and a feeding school came up in front of the boat just as the engines were eased. The bite on 20-pound forkies would be a wide open frenzy that caught some anglers napping in their bunks.

Plenty more of the feeding fish filled the afternoon and around 4:00 p.m. Captain Jewitt announced that the boat limit had been reached and it was time to shut off the yellowtail action.

Plenty of discussion and argument about where to go next took place until the captain held an impromptu meeting in the galley to announce his plan. “You guys all did a great job,” said the skipper. “We are heading offshore to possibly find some tuna and work our way back up the line toward home. That way we can possibly hit a school of yellowfin and see what we can do,” he concluded.

The assembled anglers actually applauded the skipper for his success at finding so many quality fish and for going the extra mile by taking the boat out chasing tuna.

Overnight the boat moved offshore to a point twenty miles west of Islas San Benito and at dawn a small paddy produced a few football yellowfin and another shortly after that.

Heading northward trolling rotations kept up throughout the day and through the next until at last the final hours of the thirty hour return trip were winding down.

• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN'S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail. • OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action. • MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.
• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN’S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail.

• OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action.

• MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.

• JACKPOT WINNER KEVIN MARTIN with huge yellowtail taken while fishing a dropper loop squid near Cedros Island.

Longtime Big Game 90 deckhand Brad Morgan matched up the biggest fish of the trip to determine the jackpot winner and Kevin Martin of Lakewood proved to have the biggest catch with a yellowtail that looked to be close to 40-pounds.

Off-loading at H & M landing everybody enjoyed the fruits of their trip when bag after bag of fillets and plenty of whole fish hit the docks. There’d be lots of great stories and shared experiences to tide these anglers over until next year’s WON-Big Game 90 Charter.

Contact Info: H & M Landing www.hmlanding.com 1-619-222-1144 2803 Emerson Street, San Diego, 92106; Big Game 90 www.biggame90.com 1-858-270-7525             1-858-270-7525