MATCHING THE HATCH

Amberjacks are notorious needlefish hunters. And when they meet one, this is what happens!

Amberjacks are notorious needlefish hunters. And when they meet one, this is what happens!

That was another hard day targeting Amberjacks! I was casting all type of lures, trying all possible combinations of action, but the results were pretty much zero! The moon was perfect, the current was right, but that day, the wind stayed completely calm making the fish so damn lazy.

Days like this, are always testing my nerves and since I did not have much time, I had to try all the tricks in my book. My next move was to use a “Panic Popper” to see if the fish where active on the calm mirror like surface. After a couple of pops, a pack of needlefish panicked by the exploding effect of the popper, I instantly realised needlefish where present and I felt sure the amberjacks were close by. The first lure I tried was a 55g 3D needlefish, but it was too deep and the current was too strong to allow the action to work properly, so I had to use the bigger 105g model. This is no problem for me, since I am used to cast jigs up to 150g if needed, but I only brought the pink and not the needlefish. This did not stop me from attaching it to my clip and cast it into the deep.

When I met the bottom, I started to retrieve it with jerking motion, once in the mid water my needlefish had two strong strikes, but without a hook setting. Bummer! I took out my lure and after a short inspection I saw the “sandpaper teeth marks” that clearly belong to amberjacks. They were probably small fish and they attacked clumsy on the lure. I was very lucky to have some T-Treble Spike Stingers that are normally for pike fishing! Who cares?  The 2/0 size fits perfectly on the 105gr 3D needlefish. Awesome!

After a few meters retrieve on the next cast I received a very strong strike! Boom! A brief powerful fight ensued and soon a good an amberjack lay at my feet. Super cool ha? Imagine the violence these fish use to attack their prey! For one more time, observation, good choice and combination of the lure and rigging, saved the day!

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When lures are relatively big, rigging them with alternative options can be very effective!

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