All week the snappers have been playing nice--a literal yellow brick road behind the boat and they eat every bait drifted back--and “Poof!”, the current completely stops. The chum bag hangs lifeless off the stern of the boat and no fish are visible.
My anglers look at me like I can “fix it”. It’s actually a big joke to call your local tackle shop and request they turn on the current. The fish that were up in your chum the day before are still in the area--remember, they still live there.
We definitely aren’t going to limit fast, but we can still catch enough for dinner. The main issue I see is due to the fact that the idea behind chumming is to centralize the fish into a position close to the surface so that we can present a bait to them. Well, no current allows our chum to simply sink and meander around into a large area, essentially scattering the fish.
The best way to set up on one of these days is to spend a bit of time driving your boat over the area you want to fish, locate the biggest concentrations of snappers on your bottom machine, and anchor right on top of them; or, if it’s possible, drift over them. I’ll lay off the chum, utilize longer than normal leaders, and as small a hook as we can get away with.
Live shrimp and small pinfish are typically the ticket to consistent bites. When dropping your rig down to the bottom, slow your drop by pinching the line as it comes off the spool to make the presentation as natural as possible.
In closing, don’t give up due to conditions; just lighten up your rigging, slow down your presentation while staying in contact with your bait, and you should still make it back to the dock needing a fillet knife.
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