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Offline Bwana

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Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« on: December 24, 2015, 09:45:56 am »
BWANA'S SUMMER DORADO TIPS AND TRICKS




With summer in full swing and the dorado showing up in good numbers again I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks that have given me good success over the past few seasons with these yellow acrobats of the sea. There are many ways to catch them and on a good day they'll eat just about anything, but on days when the sea is up or they've got lock-jaw these tricks will hopefully help you get one or two when everyone else comes back blank!


Lure Selection


As mentioned, on a good day they'll eat a bare hook or even a piece of banana skin. Other days they'll leave alone even the freshest live mackerel. The big mistake that a lot of guys make is that they use lures that are TOO BIG. Now you will have success with dorado as bycatch on your marlin and sailfish lures but the best way to target them specifically is with lighter gear (20lb line class) and SMALLER LURES. Some of my tried and tested favourites are the following:


Image 1 - Trolling lures - hard body and soft body in the smaller sizes
Image 2 - Casting lures - Drop shot, Onda-onda and Needlenose plugs
Image 3 - Size comparison

« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 10:53:53 am by Bwana »

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 09:55:01 am »
Rigging of Soft body lures


There are many ways to rig small trolling lures, including stiff rig single, free swinging hook, double rig hooksets (in a variety of offset angles) and my personal favourite the semi-stiff rig. I am not going to debate the pro's and cons of each and if you have a favourite then stick with it, but in my experience the rigging that I am going to show you now is not just easy to make it is deadly when used with smaller size lures.


You will need :
80lb or 100lb leader line
7/0 Mustad Kendal round (TN) these hooks are sharp, cheap and can be re-sharpened to needle point (never use chemically sharpened hooks on trolling lures they blunt easily and you will miss fish)
Soft body trolling lure
Nylon coated wire (150lb+)
Pliers and side cutters
Lighter 


Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 10:00:49 am »
Rigging Soft body lures (contd)


Step 1
Take the hook and the nylon coated steel wire, make a figure 8 wrap around the shank of the hook and bring the wire back through and finish with 5-8 barrel wraps. Lightly melt the nylon coating with a lighter to seal the barrel wraps


Step 2
Measure the length of the wire so that it sits up against the back of the lure head or even better, fits into the back of the lure head so that the hook point and bend are outside of the skirt. Bend the wire back on itself to make the loop for the Albright knot


Step 3
Take you spool of leader line and tie a 6-8 turn Albright knot on the nylon coated wire, making sure to seat it tight and trim the tag end properly
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 10:01:22 am by Bwana »

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 10:10:14 am »
Rigging Soft body trolling lures (contd)


Step 4
Take the remaining tag end of the steel wire and bend it up at 90 degrees to form a 4-5mm pin for securing strip baits


The finished product will have the stiff rigged hook with a double section of wire with the bait pin. There is sufficient flex in this hookset to absorb the strain from the dorado's jumps and head shakes.


Step 5
Slide the trolling lure onto the leader and snug the Albright knot into the back of the lure head


Step 6
Measure your leader to 1.1m and then tie a perfection loop knot http://www.animatedknots.com/perfection/ in the end. This will allow rapid changing of pre-rigged lures on the snap swivel terminal on your rods. For this type of fishing I recommend a 100lb class small snap swivel on 40-50lb leader onto your main line.


« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 10:11:02 am by Bwana »

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 10:25:19 am »
Rigging simple strip baits on soft bodied trolling lures


This is an absolutely DEADLY tactic for dorado. There are many articles on rigging heavy duty strip baits for billfish, however the simplest and most effective strip bait for sweetening your lures in the spread is the humble chokka strip.


Step 1
Buy a good quality whole chokka, trim off the tentacles, slice open, remove the guts and lay flat to form a square of meat. Next trim strips approximately 20mm x 120mm in size. These can be scaled to fit the size or your lures. Trim the strips into a tapered shape to fit under the skirt. They can be salted and frozen for future use or used fresh. One large chokka will give you approximately 10-12 good strips.


Step 2
Take the strip and secure the top of the strip on the bait pin on the hookset. Next take the latex bait cotton and wind even turns down the length of the strip towards the hook shank. Use firm pressure to secure the strip neatly to the hook shank. Tie off and secure the cotton.


Step 3
Slide the lure down onto the hookset making sure to straighten the hookset with the hook point downwards and the strip bait seated right up against the back of the lure head. Use scissors to straighten and trim the strip so that it doesn't spin in the water.
You're ready to go!


Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 10:35:52 am »
Setting the spread


It is best to keep things simple when pulling lures for dorado, don't set too many lines as it will only complicate matters when you hook up and need to clear lines. My standard spread uses 4 rods and one teaser


Teaser - either a simple spreader bar with 15 x 6 inch pink squids OR a squid chain with a bird, rubber squids and brightly coloured pusher. This is run off a teaser line on the port or starboard side in the clean water outside the prop wash approximately 6-8m behind the boat. I also have a bucket on deck at the transom on the side of the boat I run my teaser to help stow it when you bring it in while fighting a fish.

Spread
Rod 1 - Short flat line is always a brightly coloured deep diving lure such as a Williamson Speed Pro 130 or Rapala X-Rap 20 which I position below the prop wash and swimming at the same distance as the teaser from the boat. This is a trap line - fish swim up on the teaser and then go for the deep diver. It has been successful on many species such as dorado, wahoo, tuna, bonnies and even sailies.


Rod 2 - Right long is a small soft bodied trolling lure rigged with a squid strip, I usually position it 2-3m behind the teaser


Rod 3 - Left long is a small soft bodied trolling lure with a squid strip, it is run one wave further back from the right long


Rod 4 - Shotgun is usually a small brightly coloured jap feather or jet feather, rigged with a short piece of wire. This lure runs two waves further back from the left long line.


Your set spread will have a diamond shape when viewed from above.






« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 10:48:13 am by Bwana »

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 10:47:31 am »
Live Bait


Another very successful tactic for catching dorado is to drift or slow troll livebaits.


Slow trolling - don't overcomplicate things, set only then number of lines you can manage if chaos breaks out! I fish three livebaits:


Long surface - usually a small mozzie on light fluoro with a circle hook. This bait runs about 50m back off the T-top
Short surface - usually a mackerel or bigger mozzie running 10m behind the transom also on fluoro with a circle
Downrigged - usually a mackerel running about 20m back, downrigged with at least a 4oz sinker. I use a #2 treble with wire


Drifting - one of my favourite ways to catch dorado. Set up a drift along a current line of colour line. Start chumming with sardine chunks and then set three rods with live baits. The most effective way to stagger your baits is as follows:



Long surface - usually a small mozzie on light fluoro with a circle hook. This bait runs about 40m back under a balloon
Short surface - usually a mackerel or bigger mozzie running 20m back also on fluoro with a circle under a balloon
Downrigged - usually a mackerel running about 20m back, downrigged with at least a 4oz sinker. I use a #2 treble with wire


The balloon and circle hook rig works like a charm often the fish hook themselves immediately just from the resistance of the balloon. You don't need to set the balloon too high up your leader I like my baits to swim between 2-3m below the balloon. Often you'll see your livebait swim straight up to the surface and then the ballon starts skating across the surface followed by an angry dorrie jumping with your circle hook firmly in its jaws. Epic stuff! Keep working the chum and you can often attract multiple dorado. It's a good idea to have a casting lure (needlenose plug or onda-onda) close by if there are followers.


Simple but deadly - circle hook trace with a balloon and livebait






Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2015, 10:52:27 am »
Well there you have it guys, just a few tips and tricks that I hope will help you get more Dorado this summer. Feel free to ask questions and I'll help where I can.


Tight lines!


Some of the victims of these tactics:




Offline dodger

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2015, 11:34:27 am »
Very informative thanks :+ cred:
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Offline MZeee

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 12:36:24 pm »
BWANA- You're a machine!!! :dor: :dor: :dor: Thanks for the informative post. I will definitely try this out as soon as I get a gap from work this season. Hopefully I will post my catch up here as well.

Offline Shaun17

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 01:00:45 pm »
Cracking post Mark... let's do a hands on tut in a couple weeks!!

Have some  :+ cred: bud!!!

Offline SAfish

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2015, 01:29:28 pm »
 (clap) Awesome tutorial.  :resp: :+ cred:

Offline WalkersKiller

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2015, 03:47:17 pm »
Superb post bru, real great info there  :+ cred: :+ cred:

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2015, 05:06:36 pm »
Another one for the books! Thanks Bwana :+ cred:
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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2015, 06:10:49 pm »
Mark what can I say but thank you......thank you for taking the time, the effort and the energy not only to put this post out there but the knowledge you share bud makes us all better and responsible fishermen. :+ cred:

Offline maganything

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2015, 07:05:55 pm »
Top quality as usual Mark!

Offline colin

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2015, 07:09:06 pm »
 :cgrts: well presented. :corrct: :corrct: :toppie:
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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2015, 07:11:30 pm »
Great tut as usual Mark! Top quality info; simple and straight to the point. Nothing like first hand experience.

Thanks and :+ cred:  :+ cred:

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2015, 07:19:31 am »
Thanks for sharing Bwana :+ cred:

Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Bwana's Summer Dorado Tips and Tricks
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2015, 09:03:20 am »
Great post Mark!  (clap) :+ cred:

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