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Sergio

Favorite reel-rod-line-lure combo. for weakfish in the surf

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I have seen many posts about Weakfish and wonder how different they behave to our Weakfish.

 

I would like to hear what is your preferred equipment when specifically targeting them.

 

My favorite outfit for throwing in the surf a 1/2 to 1 1/2 oz. soft plastic shad body on a shad jig head (my favorite lure lately)is:

 

8-1/2 ft ABU Conolon Premier CPCST862MH Salmon/Steelhead graphite rod with the blank exposed above the trigger.

 

Shimano Calcutta 200A, spooled with 14 or 20 lb Fireline spliced with an Alberto's knot to a 5' 30 lb clear mono leader and then with an Albright to a 1' 50 lb mono bite leader (might use 30 lbs straight if water is too clear). I tie the lure with a loop knot and no metal of ANY kind in the line.

 

Here is a photo of my IGFA All Tackle World Record 15 lb 3 oz Stolzmann's Weakfish caught last October.

 

Does it look much different than your weakfish?

 

sergio.jpg

 

I was fishing for roosters (that is why I had my 6500CSM and 12 ft rod) when I saw it in the wash chasing sardines. I replaced the Ranger with a 1-1/2 oz bucktail type jig and the fish hit at the third short cast.

 

I have not seen Salmon/Steelhead rods used for weakfish from the surf. In my opinion they make great weakfish rods. They are very sensitive if of a high modulus grafite, specially with superline and so light that you can go to 8 1/2' without noticing the extra lenght (handy if long casts needed) and the action is perfect for fighting this soft mouthed species.

 

Thanks for your comments

Sergio

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Oops! Sorry for posting this message here when Dman posted first one about the same topic. Don´t ask me how I did not see Dman being on top of the board. It is only 12:19 AM here so I can not blame the late hour! smile.gif

Sergio

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Sergio, yessir, yer darn tootin' it looks different?!!? It's much, much bigger!!! biggrin.gif

 

Other than that, no, it's just like ours, only LARGER. As for using steelhead/salmon rods in the surf...this is something I've been doing for the past 4 season and will continue to do for many more. For throwing the small 3/8-1oz lures that make up the bulk of my non-fly fishing beach walking, the Loomis SUR1023S can't be beat. The rod is light, capable, and tough! I went to this type of softer tipped rod to cushion all fishes mouths while using the unforgiving braids that I so love.

 

All tackle record....very nice. Hey, you seem to have piles of pictures...what say we whip up a nice Serio's Photo Page to go along with all our ugly mugs here? wink.gif

 

(and here is really is 3:30am!?!?)

 

TimS

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Sergio,

 

Nice fish! Looks almost exactly like our weaks (I call them trout) except a little skinnier. I've caught one 16, a few 15's, and a whole lot of 14's and 13's and by the time they get that size our weaks are starting to get a bit "girthier" than your fish. Proportion wise your fish looks like the big 8 and 9 pound bucks we used to catch in the early 80's, only bigger. Boy could they fight.

 

I always liked a parabolic rod for big weaks. You have to be so careful to protect their soft mouths. The trouble with a fast rod with a soft tip is that the truly big fish "bottom out" the give in the tip then they are pulling against a very stiff butt section. A rod that bends through the handle offers more give under a heavy load. For open sandy beaches which I believe are common to your area I very much favor a slow, parabolic rod action. I just have less fish come "unbuttoned" with them. For jetty work I am forced to use a faster rod in order to have enough backbone to horse a played out fish and to steer it around obstructions. I am convinced that I drop more fish with them. So for tender mouthed weaks I like it soft and slow clear through the butt.

 

I've caught more weaks that weighed in the teens on this lure than all the others I fished. An undressed ball jig with a 9" Strawberry Red, straight tailed worm. It's a light very translucent red. The brand I always used was Mann's Jelly Worms. It could be because the worm matched bait here. Sand eels? Seaworms? But man, that lure will catch the big ones.

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It's interesting to see how some of our Atlantic ocean fish have counterparts in the Pacific. As in the case of the Sailfish the croaker family outgrow their Atlantic cousins.

 

Off California they have the Corbina, (very similar to our weakie) and the White Sea Bass which is not really a bass but a surf cousin to weakfish that can be in the 40 to 50 lb class.

 

Congratulations on a beautiful fish, Sergio, it's a good thing you don't have larger bluefish on that side, nobody would swim.

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I have a 9ft uglystick salmon/stealhead rod that I use, well... for salmon and steelhead! So can I use this rod effectively in the surf for weakies? The tip is very limber, and soft. And it casts light stuff pretty good, so what do you think, is it okay? Thanks for your help

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Sergio:

 

Nice fish!

 

One of the predominant features of our Weakfish (other than the beautiful golden fins and bright spotted colors) is a nice pair of fangs in the front of their mouths. These fangs leave a nice clue on a live herring or bunker when you miss the fish and bring back bait only.

 

Do your Weakfish have the vampire fangs?

 

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Thanks for the Photo Page offer TimS. I have some old photographs of some very decent fish I caught when younger and I did not care to take photographs for a long time until fairly recently when my kids started fishing and most of them have been taken with digital cameras. The bad news is that because of a weird confusion, the machine where I had most of them was hit by the ILOVEYOU virus. I lost some very good pictures that I will never see again.

As you mention, using superline on w/o mono topshot is my main reason to use Steelhead/Salmon rods.

Congratulations on the 10,000 posts TimS!

 

Hi Plug... we also have some other weakfish species (also called corvinas). The orange mouth corvina has a thicker body shape as your weakfish. In my area I can catch consistently three species. The Stolzmann's pictured is considerably smaller than my best but it is the first one I register under IGFA rules. I am sure I will better it this year.

We get most of then in sandy beaches with scattered submerged rocks and as you mentioned with your fish, they are very easy to become unhooked. I fight them differently to other fishes, with steady cranking and little pumping and I will NEVER pull (or even touch) the leader with my hand (don't do it with other fish also) when fishing from the surf, but wait until the fish is resting on it's side on the sand to grab it by the nape or the gills with my gloved left hand. They head shake a lot with the upper third of their bodies out of the water. I have used all kinds of soft baits including worms, they are my favourite artificial lure but I have never used worms consistently.

 

The California corbina is like your kingfish or whiting and the Pacific corv[/]ina is very similar to your weakfish Finrod. Some of the few fish that grow larger in the Atlantic are the Drums (red and black) and the Crevalle Jacks. White sea bass are as you mentioned also very closely related to the seatrouts and weakfishes of the Atlantic.

The mother of all weakfishes is the Totuava (Totoaba) endemic to the upper Gulf of Cortez in Mexico it can get to be 300 lbs. Unfortunatelly it is protected with no fishing allowed for it because the population is very low.

 

Our weakfish also have the vampire fangs you mention Paul and that is why I use a bite leader as the bigger fish can cut a line in their usual headshakes.

 

Thanks to all for your comments

 

Sergio

 

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Sergio, very impressive.

 

I target weakfish exclusively and I have to say that I've never seen one that had those proportions. How long was that fish? My largest weakie ever was 36" and 15-1/2# and its body shape and dimension was very different (it can be viewed on Tim's photo page). I am curious as to what a Stolzman's weakfish is. Is it a subspecies? I have to say that it is a fish that I've never heard of redface.gif.

 

The tackle we use in NJ varies as to where you are fishing for them. It is much dictated by current, bottom contour, structure among other things. Where I fish for weaks mostly the rod I use primarily for jigging is a light saltwater custom Lami (it looks like a 7-1/2 foot panfish rod!!!). However when plugging for weakfish I use a 9' Salmon/Steelie rod. You are right on the money with the outfit you are describing and how you handle the fight....cannot add much there. I use 10-14# Fireline (has properties that I am not fond of but does the job mostly) and 15# Ripcord Si. I tie direct for most of my fishing is in stained water and at night and visibility is not a factor.

 

Great looking fish.....wish I was there!!!!

 

------------------

DC<=><

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Dave... you would love to fish here in Mazatlan between December and April. You have an invitation for next year season.

 

I caught around 200 weakfish this last season, averaging about 7 or 8 lb. with my biggest one an Orange Mouth of about 16 lbs. A friend of mine caught a 24 lb. Orange Mouth Weakfish (Corvina) and another friend of mine Dave Allen (85 year old and fishes five times per week) caught a Stolzmann's much bigger than my record one and when I phoned him to tell him to register it with the IGFA representative he had a knife in his other hand and a fillet already off the fish!.

 

It is very unusual for us to measure fish. I have the info in my records, but I don't remember the length. I guess that this fish was around 40". Stolzmann's are also called Yellowfin Corvina and are more slender than Orange Mouths. Take a look at FISHBASE to find more information about our weakfishes, but watch your spelling or you will get no results smile.gif. If you want a list of all weakfishes of the world just write Cynoscion as genus. The database has some very clear drawings of them.

 

http://www.fishbase.org/search.cfm

 

The weakfish species caught in our area are:

 

Frequently:

C. stolzmanni\t Stolzmann's weakfish

C. xanthulum\t Orange mouth weakfish

C. reticulatus\t Striped weakfish (from a boat)

 

Ocassionally:

C. othonopterum\t Gulf weakfish

C. parvipinnis\t Shortfin corvina

C. macdonaldi \t Totoaba

C. squamipinnis\t Corvina aguada

 

I mentioned about only one type of set up because 95% of the time we fish in sandy beaches with scattered submerged rocks in the water. I have also been using Fireline and as you I am also aware it is not the perfect line, but... it get's the job done.

 

Although you can hit a blitz and catch 25 in a short time, our weakfish are not very abundant and averaging two or three a morning is considered by most a good day. You have to work hard for them but the thrill of feeling them take your plastic shad and seeing them shaking the head out of the water gets into your blood.

 

I am glad you liked the fish.

 

Sergio

 

 

 

 

[This message has been edited by Sergio (edited 05-11-2000).]

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Ismail... I have caught so many fish with Uglysticks that it would not be fair for me to talk bad about them smile.gif. That rod will fish, and use it if you have nothing else more suitable available, but you can not compare the sensitivity of that noble black stick to the one that a high modulus graphite rod gives you. Sensitivity IMO is very important when weakfishing.

Sergio

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Thanks Sergio. I guess I will stick with the ugly stick until the wallet gets a little fatter. And yes the ugly stick is super sensitive, I will try it next time I go out. Thnaks again

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