Costa Rica Diaries Part IV- the bait vs plugs

This is one of those a little “out there” kind of things that might only happen in my head and not in reality. I don’t talk about it because people generally do not agree with me, and are looking at me like I have two heads. But once in awhile you run into a guy who feels the same way you do, and you say to yourself, hey, maybe I am not as crazy as everyone thinks.

On more than one occasion I enjoyed a good pick of fish on lures when someone walked up to the beach and tossed a chunk or a live eel and start catching. And I stopped getting hits. I also had nights where I was getting solid fish en rigged eels until my partner tossed a live eel and I went fishless afterwards. Yeah, I accept that this is probably in my head, and this does not happen often enough to make any kind of pattern I could hang my hat on. I fact, a lot of times a guy with a plug will out fish a live eel guy, one of the reasons for that, he can cast further.DSC_5408

On this trip to Crocodile Bay Resort, live bait was employed almost all the time. You jig them up on saki rigs first thing in the morning, then you slow troll them behind the boat along the shore. I think regardless where you go in the tropics, this will be your best chance of success.

But forward moving boat, in and out of the gear, makes it challenging to make proper presentation with your lure. The first two days we spent inshore, it was fairly slow for few of us that tossed plugs in comparison to the back of the boat that trolled live bait. Not that they had an epic days, but they did better than us. Patrick Sebile felt that the live bait trolled behind the boat was killing his chance of getting fish to eat his plugs. So on the last day he refused to let the captain use bait and the whole crew just used plugs. Low and behold they had the best day out of three we spent fishing, with almost 25 roosters making an appearance behind the lures. Hooking those suckers a whole different story.

So that made me think that there might be something to my thesis that live bait can kill the bite forplug guys sometimes. I have no proof and I probably just imagining but I thought I’d throw it out there. I KNOW many of you guys have fished next to a chunk slinger who hammered the fish on bait and you did nothing on plugs. How do I know? I was with many of you. Perfect example, here is Bill Fischer hammering bass on just about every cast while there are dozens of guys around him casting fruitlessly. Yeah, we all say, “they want meat” that day.

But would they take plugs if there wasn’t any meat ?

That is a $64 000 question

2 comments on “Costa Rica Diaries Part IV- the bait vs plugs

  1. Peter Decina

    You’re not crazy. I had a similar circumstance happen this summer. My grandfather, who was an avid fisherman, would always say, ” you have to feed them”.

  2. Ron Mattson Sr

    Have seen it happen many times fishing for speckled trout/redfish/snook in the Gulf of Mexico. As a dedicated lure junky I will tell my guide not to alert other guides in his group if he values his tip. Shrimp or live bait will draw fish from your lue fishing area.


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