EAST COAST BOTTOMFISHING – RODS AND REELS

EAST COAST BOTTOMFISHING – RODS AND REELS

EAST COAST BOTTOMFISHING – RODS AND REELS

  • Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On December 22, 2016
  • Comments
  •  5

Bottomfishing is ideal for anglers of all ages and experience, offering an abundance of available target species up and down the East Coast.

Bottomfishing is a serious business across the coastal US, and dropping down on wrecks, reefs and rockpiles are tops in most anglers books, but more productively so if you have the right weaponry. Cod, blackfish, and red hake dominate the Northeast; red snapper, grouper and amberjack own the Mid-Atlantic; while cobia, king mackerel and a million other wreck beasties too numerous to list inhabit Florida’s reefs and bottom grounds. Deeper water targets demand you have gear that’s strong enough to winch in large fish while still having enough finesse to feel smaller fish on the bite. The key to success is lining up with solid gear to tackle bottom brawlers on any level.

Average bottomfishing depths run from 40 to 250 feet, so a high capacity spool to hold plenty of line is a main consideration, as well as utilizing a high speed retrieve around a 6:1 ratio to turn the head of a large fish and winch it up from its lair before he can root down. Absolutely go with a conventional reel for maximum muscle power. Mid-level price point conventional reels for dropping baits include a Shimano Torium 16 to 20 or Penn Squall SQL30D levelwind, and for a more proactive approach to drop hammer jigs or bucktails, dial in a Shimano Talica 20 or Avet SXJ as the compact design on the reels offers tight and controlled action on the jig. Spool up with 50-to 65-lb Power Pro braid and connect via Albright knot a 8 to 10-foot top shot 40-to 50-lb Trik Fish monofilament shock leader to prevent any abrasive line cutting sharp edge cut offs of wrecks or jagged bottom structure when a fish tries to get you fully involved in his house. The shock leader also has enough give to prevent pulled hooks on fish such as AJ’s and blackfish when they dig down hard on their initial runs.

Bottomfishing rods need to have consideration built to feel subtleties to bounce and feel the bottom structure, but have enough backbone to turn the nose of a 50-pound class fish once hooked. Look to use a 6 to 7 foot rod, rated anywhere from 20 to 50-pound, moderate to fast action, medium to heavy build. For live bait or chunk fishing, I implement a Lamiglas 7040 CT or BL 6640 C and for jigging purposes with metal slabs, butterfly jigs and big bucktails, I have had success with the Shimano Trevala TVC 60H and OceanMax MAX OMGS 661-3050.
Have these rods and reels ready to put the beatdown on any fish that may come across your offering so you won’t be the one crying at the dock for the one you might have missed because your rod or reel slipped or broke. In future blogs, we’ll go over proper rigging and tactics for bottomfishing brawling species, but in the meantime, get your arsenal ready.

Gear Used

Shimano

Shimano TOR20HGA Torium Reel

The Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels are new to Shimano’s Torium series reels. They are compact, rigid, and powerful saltwater conventional reels with excellent castability and durability expected by saltwater anglers.

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Shimano

Shimano TVC60H Trevala Rod

Powerful, lightweight and light action, Shimano Trevala Jigging Rods are to be used with high speed, high power reels.

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Penn

Penn SQL30LD Squall Lever Drag Reel

Penn designed the Squall Lever Drag reels with function and ergonomics at the top of the list. The lever drag does not protrude above the frame of the reel. This means there is no way for the line to loop over and hang up on the lever of the Squall Lever Drag.

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Lamiglas

Lamiglas TFX7040CT Tri-Flex Rod

These Tri-Flex Graphite Inshore rods add power to move the most difficult Stripers, Blackfish, Amberjack and Grouper quickly away from line-parting wrecks.

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