- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On January 18, 2019
As we reap the rewards of a solid blackfishing season so far this winter, its easy to get bogged down in the intricacies of choosing the right rod and reel to battle the bulldogs, but just as important, certain accessories outside of the terminal tackle must be brought to make blackfishing a productive endeavor.
Before you even get started dropping baits, when setting up on a wreck, have a pre-prepared marker buoy to drop down and mark the wreck for easier pinpoint anchoring. A simple sash weight tied with 125 feet of 1/8 inch rope wrapped around a Clorox bottle will suffice to unfurl and mark the wreck.
You’ll be using plenty of green and white legger crabs as baits, but the crabs aren’t going to cut themselves. A solid pair of strong, sharp cutting scissors are needed to cut through the hard shells of crabs, trim legs off, and cut off claws. Large whitelegger crabs with a 5-inch carapace can’t be cut in half with scissors, so utilize a Bubba Blade 12-inch Flex knife to halve and cut legs off the big crustaceans.
Wet hands coming from constant handling of slippery blackfish and slimy crab baits will instantly freeze into useless blocks of ice on subzero days. Fleece-lined Neoprene Glacier Gloves with the peel back fingertips are smart to wear not only to keep your hands warm and dry, but as added grip on the slimy baits and fish.
Most fish are lip hooked, thus a sturdy pair of needlenose pliers or a dehooker is used to dislodge hooks from the toothy maw of a tog. On the end game, bring a Rapala digital scale to weigh the whitechinners and release them unharmed as well possess as a Rapala retractable ruler to be sure you are in compliance with the length regulations.
And finally, to bring a blackfish into the boat, set up with a wide mouth, rubber mesh EGO net to dip under a chunky tautog. The rubber netting will prevent scraping off any of the protective fish slime the tog relies upon when rooting down into crevasses of wreck structures. Sure, the proper rods and reels can make or break a tog trip, but accessories to make the day run smoothly are just as important.