Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Lip Lock
When I bring a cobia onboard, I want it measured quickly so I can release it if it's not a keeper. The problem is that these fish can be tough to hold and often flop violently. To make the process easier, I filed the barb off a 5/0 J-hook and epoxied it to the underside of the tip of a ten-foot tape measure. I'll lay the fish on the deck and plant the hook in its top lip. As the tape is pulled back toward the tail, the tension keeps the hook in place so I can get an accurate length even if the cobia is still moving. For safety, I cemented a wood block to the bottom of the tape measure so I don't get stuck if the hook pops loose.
"" James Victory, Gautier, Mississippi
Ed Lutero
Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Star Power
Adjusting the free-spool is a snap with a leverdrag reel, but I fish a lot of star drags. The problem with free-spooling them is that the line often runs off very quickly and makes a bird's nest. I took a foam pool noodle and cut a small block from it, then I shaved one side at a 45-degree angle to create a wedge. When I set my star-drag outfits to free-spool, I'll jam a wedge between the spool and the top crossbar of the reel. Now if a fish hits, the line will come off smoothly, but the tension will stop bird's nests from forming.
""Randy Alkins, Warrington, Pennsylvania
Ed Lutero
Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Sportsman's Tips - June 2007

Beat the Heat
Many depthfinders and GPS units include media-card readers for electronic charts. But the readers are heat sensitive, and where I live in Texas, the temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Removing the units after each trip isn't very efficient, so I came up with an easy fix. I bought an inexpensive windshield sun shade at an auto-parts store and drape it over the center console when the boat is parked in my driveway. The shade reflects the sunlight and keeps the brutal heat from harming my electronics.
"" Mark Butcher, Pearland, Texas
Ed Lutero
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