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Topic: Couta - standard trace for dead bait  (Read 8275 times)

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Offline nico

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Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« on: July 08, 2010, 10:55:43 am »
What you will need (lots of '4's in here):

 
  • 2 x size 4 trebles. I like VMC or other good makes, this is a small hook and needs to take a lot of strain, so don't skimp on quality! I have had more than one shop-bought trace fail on this aspect.   
  • 4/o single, Big Gun or similar   
  • no. 4 power swivel - black   
  • #4 piano wire, and #8 piano wire - try not to use shiny wire, the "camo" colour is best.   
  • small tear drop sinker, 3/4 oz is a good all rounder for smaller bait fish   
  • Couta duster (I like any colour as long as it is chartreuse and pink with lots of flash, lol). In very clean water, use a glow bead or remove the attractor altogether.
Everything else is Bait!

Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 10:56:12 am »
Start by connecting the trolling single to the main trace with #4 wire, using a haywire twist. Please note that my twists in these picture are not incredibly nicely done, if you are fishing something like the Petingo for crocs you want to take care and do this properly!
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 10:56:40 am »
Next, connect the two treble traces to the single. These are made out of #8 piano wire. You need to measure these so the front hook will go about halfway down the bait on the one side, and the other hook will be in the tail area on the other side. NB: if you are using a single with non-closed eyes like I do, you have to loop both treble traces through the eye made by the main trace as they can (and will) slip out the hook eye when under large amounts of strain.
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 10:57:07 am »
Next, take your tear-drop sinker and make a 90 degree bend in it.
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 10:57:51 am »
This slips onto the hook in a streamline configuration. Not only does it make the bait swim straight, but as it moves on the hook it gives it a bit of a swimming movement in the water. I prefer this to the moulded on sinker. I always take spare sinkers as some will slip off and be lost.
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 10:58:12 am »
Lastly, slip on your couta duster, and attach the swivel to your main trace. I like to fish with a much shorter trace than most others, and for three reasons.

1.     In KZN waters, where we do not have masses of couta, competition for bait is not high, so you have to show as little steel as possible to entice the couta to bite.

2.     The smaller couta that is our bread and butter are schooling fish, and a hooked fish can drive them into a competing frenzy where they may strike at the swivel costing you a fish.

3.     Long pieces of piano wire easily kinks and breaks, good nylon (or fluoro) leader deals better with tail thrashing etc.

The picture below is a big sardine / small mackerel trace, which gives you an idea of how short the main trace is!

The completed trace:
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 10:58:43 am »
Variations:

For live bait, remove the duster and the chin weight.

When fishing for crocs, especially with live bait, up your treble wire to #10 or higher, and your leading trace to #8 or higher. Increase hook sizes, and consider using singles (good quality 6/o in front, and good quality 4/o in the back)

In extremely clean water, consider removing the duster with dead baits to try and make the bait as natural looking as possible.

If you are catching shoal couta in clean water, remove the swivel and use an allbright onto your leader.

More thoughts:

Always downrig at least half your baits with a sinker on a rubber band. Couta are not generally surface feeders, and the deeper you get the more chance you stand of getting them. This is why fishing on pick in the current often works better - your baits are deeper. If you have a downrigger, use it! This also gets you into striking zone for other species like kaakaap.

Couta feeds in the vicinity of wreck, reefs and drop-offs, they are not generally a blue water fish. The best depths are from 20m to about 50m. In Sodwana and the like, you will find good fish on the shallow side of the edges of the canyon in slightly deeper water.

It can be more productive to pick a reef known for couta and fish it extensively for a few hours than running between spots. The couta seems to move from reef to reef, so chances are that while you are moving to a new reef, they are leaving it!

When you cannot get your bait to swim straight, feel free to cut of the tail. I like the baits to look very natural, so will first try with the tail, and if all else fails I will snip of the ends so you end up with a daimond shaped tail in stead of removing the whole thing.

When slow drifting or on pick with trapsticks, dedicate a crew member to whipping a spoon. It will not get as many takes as the baits, but it raises the fish into range of the baits - another reason to fish as deep as possible!
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 11:02:33 am »
Some results.
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Offline Sailfish

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 11:12:12 am »
Super post there Nico  :thmsup"
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Offline REEFMAN

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 11:13:56 am »
Awesome stuff...  (clap)

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Offline super_daav

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 12:37:29 pm »
Thanks Nico!! Good stuff! Can you tell me a little more on a whipping setup (rod / reel / spoons) & special technique as never seen it done but heard about it? Or am i overkilling this?
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Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 04:17:10 pm »
Thanks Nico!! Good stuff! Can you tell me a little more on a whipping setup (rod / reel / spoons) & special technique as never seen it done but heard about it? Or am i overkilling this?

 
Hi super_daav,
 
If you look at this thread:
http://www.ultimateangling.co.za/index.php?topic=709.0;msg=3646
 
And you scroll down to the third reply, you will see a whipping stick in action (although this time with a jig and not a spoon). It is basically a fairly soft glass rod with a small KP. Everyone has their own way  of whipping, I favour a jerk-retrieve-repeat style. Some guys jojo it up slowly, others wind like hell.
 
I guess it is no different from jigging, just old-school style! And although I haven't tried jigging specifically to raise fish to the baits, I can't see why a shiny jig won't work.
 
Fishing Adventures does quite a bit of light jigging for all kinds and may have more experience on this.
 
And below is my favourite whipping spoon.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 04:26:04 pm by nico »
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Offline super_daav

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 04:45:24 pm »
Thanks Nico!
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Offline Capt. Hook

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 06:48:49 pm »
Credits to you. Thanks
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Offline CAPTAIN MORGAN

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2010, 08:49:54 am »
Next, connect the two treble traces to the single. These are made out of #8 piano wire. You need to measure these so the front hook will go about halfway down the bait on the one side, and the other hook will be in the tail area on the other side. NB: if you are using a single with non-closed eyes like I do, you have to loop both treble traces through the eye made by the main trace as they can (and will) slip out the hook eye when under large amounts of strain.
Hi Nico,
 
Excellent post! Sorry just if I may add, I found sometimes when hooking into a big croc the wire( and I use nr 9) pulls out of the eye of the hook and subsequiently I now put split rings onto the hooks and attach my wire to that which solved my problem..... I just thought to share this with you.
 
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Offline Durran

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2010, 03:26:53 pm »
Hi Nico,
How long do you make the two treble wires?

Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2010, 03:37:04 pm »
Hi Nico,
How long do you make the two treble wires?

It depends on the bait mate. I make one size for sard and macks, where the long trace is just too long for the sard (say 7cm and 15cm), and a different size for bonnies (say 13cm and 20cm). Thats a guess though!
 
When making bigger traces, you need to up your hooks sizes.
 
I am, as a matter of fact, making couta traces tonight, and at that point I will make the effort to measure them for you ok?
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Offline jaenswart

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2010, 04:03:31 pm »

It depends on the bait mate. I make one size for sard and macks, where the long trace is just too long for the sard (say 7cm and 15cm), and a different size for bonnies (say 13cm and 20cm). Thats a guess though!
 
When making bigger traces, you need to up your hooks sizes.
 
I am, as a matter of fact, making couta traces tonight, and at that point I will make the effort to measure them for you ok?

making some for me..thanks Nico your a star  :happ: :happ: :happ:

Offline nico

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2010, 04:07:57 pm »
making some for me..thanks Nico your a star  :happ: :happ: :happ:

Geez, first I am Bennie's be-atch and now I am yours! :hehe:
 
When you fetching them? Bring beer. LOL
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Offline jaenswart

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Re: Couta - standard trace for dead bait
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2010, 04:17:23 pm »

Geez, first I am Bennie's be-atch and now I am yours! :hehe:
 
When you fetching them? Bring beer. LOL

If I leave now we can launch in the morning with a babelaas :-)

Seriously, take some pics tonight, I'd like to compare some notes on our couta traces.