Catching A Paddlefish – Tips and Techniques
Paddlefish will be found in low current waters in all seasons except springtime. In the spring, which is the spawning season, they shift location to up stream areas where the water levels are higher. You can try your luck in catching paddlefish in both situations, although you will have better luck in the upstream moments.
Catching paddlefish is lots of fun, especially because you do not have to be a seasoned fisherman to do it. Another thing which makes it so much fun is the simple equipment used. You won’t need to invest in expensive equipment to snag this precious fish but you must keep it heavyweight. The paddlefish is huge, weighing over 200 pounds on average so your equipment must match up to this weight. With less than $200, you can assemble everything you need to go ‘paddle-fishing.’
So what do you need? You need:
– Baitcasting Reels
A rod between 10 and 15 feet is okay. The longer it is, the further you will be able to cast. Any line would work, but a 30 pound monofilament works best for the paddlefish. The heavier the line, the better it will be at baitcasting. 5 ounce weights and 8/0 or 10/0 are good enough. The gaff will be used to land the fish.
It all begins with tying up. Use a large, treble hook and leave up to 2 feet of line which you will tie to your weight. This will ensure that the weight is on one end and enhance the retrieving process.
While holding the spool with your thumb, turn the rod to the side so that the handle of the baitcasting reel is facing upward. Position yourself so that when you cast, you do not cast into the wind, otherwise a backlash will occur. When you are ready, cast your line, aiming for the opposite end from where you are. Release the thumb slowly without lifting it off the spool; otherwise the line will come off the reel. Baitcasting reels are great because they give you more control over the placement of the lure. They allow the lure to be placed just about anywhere paddlefish could be hiding or lying low.
Allow the weight to sink in for sometime and ready yourself for retrieving. Push your thumb down immediately the lure hits the water to keep the spool from spinning and then reel up the lure. Baitcasting reels have excellent braking system that you can quickly tighten if the spool continues spinning when your lure is already down. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire channel or moved closer to the shore. If you’ve nabbed your fish, bring it up the rod. You will have an easier time if you have someone else to help you here.
The reel position will be determined by the hand you intend to use to cast. If casting with your right-hand, keep the handle to the left side of the reel. If casting with the left arm, turn the handle to the right.
Baitcasting reels are prone to backlashing. Try not to jerk the rod or your line will become entangled in backlash. If you adjust the braking system correctly, it will control the spool.
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