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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, I'm wanting to know the basics for rigging gear for reef fish. Ill be making some kayak trips BTB this year and will be focusing on saltwater species snapper, grouper, kings, etc... How do you rig live vs cut bait? How much weight to stay on the bottom? Wire leaders, species dependent? When to use bait vs lures? Preferred lbs test line? I've done freshwater, brackish, fly fishing, ice fishing, deep sea charters for saltwater except once or twice. So I'm ready to try some offshore for myself. Thanks for any advice y'all have. Ill be out there soon.
 

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What the heck does btb mean? Seems like saying I’m going in the gulf, or kayakaing offshore makes more sense. Sorry to derail
As far as the fishing catch live bait just past the bar then fish less weight than you think you need, most of the better fish are higher in the water column.
 

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BTB beyond the breakers, perhaps a regional term. What do you use to catch your bait? Cast net, sabiki? Hook in the lips, back? What sort of bait fish pogies, mullet, bunker, herring? Circle hooks? Sounds like you just let them free swim, good to know. I’ll have to get some sort of live well for the kayak. Thanks for the reply.
 

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at the end of the Destin Jetties most mornings you can catch all the bait you want with a sabiki rig. If it's tough, try tipping the sabikis with a little shrimp or small pieces of squid. As far as fishing, it goes without saying to make sure you have all your safety gear, including a life jacket. An EPIRB would be imperative if you fish alone.
Rigging, you can use a 10-12 inch light wire leader to a j-hook and fish live bait on top for kings. Other stuff is out there too like sharks, ling etc.
As far as bottom fishing, depending on the current, you can use a 3-8 oz weight. Look up the knocker rig, the chicken rig and if you're familiar with bass fishing, a Carolina rig works. I always use circle hooks for bottom fishing.
 

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Fantastic! I've got a waterproof vhf radio, bright flag on a pole, noise making devices etc... I was going to pick up a PLB as well. That way I can take it anywhere. I had heard circle hooks were a good go to. I used to catch black tips from the pier on Tybee island GA. Circle hooks and cut mullet were the go to out there. I made my own steel leaders. Typically they were 6' long. that way a running shark won't fray the line with its tail. I still had it happen one time, probably like an 8' bull. I know the Carolina rig well. I was recently introduced to the drop shot using a palomar knot. I'm rigged up with 20lbs braid for my inshore stuff. I do have 2 bigger rod and reel set ups, 1 spinning, and 1 bait caster(an old Penn Jigmaster) with 50lbs braid. Once I'm more familiar with the waters the goal is to scuba and spearfish off the kayak. Thanks for the tips.
 
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