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Couta Trace  Rating:  Rating
 
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:25 pm
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dugongboy
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These are the live bait traces that I have been using for years, but bear in mind that everybody has their own way of doing them and there are countless variations, some people will only use singles/ two trebels/shorter trace wire/duster/no duster/rubber squid/cut the live bait tail etc....etc.....

This is the basic hardware needed      - #3 or#4 wire for trace      - #6 or #7 wire for between hooks      - #6 or #8 power swivels      - #4 4x trebels (I prefer Owner ST66)     - 1/0 Mustard big gun (it has quite a wide gape and a shortish shank. VMC also have a good live bait hook to use but bear in mind that different brands have different sizes) - various cuda dusters (if needed)

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:27 pm
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dugongboy
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Trebels are a personal choice - from the left -  VMC #4 3X   -    Gamakatsu #4 4X   -   Owner ST66 #4 4X    -    Mustard #2 4X

I prefer the Owner which are the same price as the Gamu's but are shorter and corrode less - the VMC's are also good but not as strong and the Mustard are very good and cheap but need to be sharpened !! There are plenty more like Eagle Claws/Daichi/ new Mustard's etc  - some guys also only use #2  - which I sometimes use on bigger baits.

As a guideline the Owners are R52 for 8 at Kingfisher and I think the Gamu's were R40 for 6.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:29 pm
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dugongboy
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Standard live bait trace - #6 or #7  wire between hooks (this is the business end so go thicker here - even to #8 if crocs are around)

Connect the single with a haywire twist - (small longnose pliers and cutters help but most experienced guys just use their hands.)

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:30 pm
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dugongboy
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Done.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:32 pm
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dugongboy
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Add the treble, the distance from the single will be determined by the size of the live bait available - this trace is for a small shad/big mozzie/small to med mackrel.

I like the trebel to be in the middle of the baitfish or just forward of middle pinned near the top. (couta will attack the front of the bait more often than not)

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:35 pm
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dugongboy
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Now add the #4 or even #3  trace wire  with a #6 or #8 power swivel - some guys will have a very short bite trace with fluro attached using an improved allbright knot - I have a few fluro traces on the boat but generally prefer about 1 meter of #4 wire.

This is also where you add a cuda duster/squid (I have even seen guys use bass spinner blades)

I leave some 'naked' and have some with dusters.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:37 pm
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dugongboy
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Finished.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:39 pm
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dugongboy
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Finished - just need that 'undersize' shad
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:40 pm
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dugongboy
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For bigger baits add a second hook - you can do an elongated loop so that you have some adjustment of length (I prefer not to have the adjustment and prefer the instant hookup although it is nice to have adjustment when baits are all different sizes)
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:42 pm
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dugongboy
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This is a bigger trace for big shad or small kawas - #1 and #2 Mustard trebels and 4/0 kendall round.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:44 pm
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dugongboy
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Small trace for very small shad and smaller mozzies. #4 3X VMC and VMC live bait hook (good trace for small lizzard fish in Mozambique)
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:45 pm
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dugongboy
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When (bait) times are hard and all you have are very small mossies/pinkies - VMC #4 3X - pin just behind head and drift.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:47 pm
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dugongboy
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Some guys like using a trace with two trebels(especially with mackrel) - pin the front trebel through the nose.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:49 pm
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dugongboy
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When trolling I only deploy 3 baits, all at different depths. Use teardrop sinkers and a rubber band to downrig - one with a 3oz.(middle) one with a 5oz.(deep) and one on the surface. Attach the sinker about 10 - 15 meters from the bait and pull tight, just be aware when moving onto shallower reefs or you can get snagged, also remember that if you cut your motors to drift the baits will sink - it takes a bit of trial and error but you will improve your strike rates as you are covering the water column. Also vary the weights depending on the conditions/current/wind.

If drifting/slow trolling then also throw a spoon, this often results in bringing the fish into the zone where they see the live bait!!

 

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:50 pm
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dugongboy
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The most important thing for live bait are these (yozuris/sabakis/mackrel jigs/jigs) - the ones with the bigger hooks are great for shad.
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 02:52 pm
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dugongboy
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I have just looked at the pics for the first time since posting them and have noticed one glaring mistake - you cannot tell the difference between the 'small' traces and the 'big' traces because I have zoomed into some of them to give a more detailed pic.
For example: the 'bigger trace' is actually about 23 cms compared to the 'small trace' which is only about 10 cms.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 03:42 pm
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matthewswanson1
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really awesome post.
Thanks Dugongboy

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 Posted: Fri Jan 14th, 2011 12:19 pm
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dugongboy
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Why you need heavier wire between hooks!!

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 Posted: Fri Jan 14th, 2011 12:44 pm
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Happy Dog
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Awesome and nice couta. I will definetely be using your advice on traces as realitively new to boating. I have recently bought a boat so the learning curve is going to be steep and all the help and advice I can get will help.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 19th, 2011 09:10 am
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CLS
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Welcome Happy Dog, hope to see you on the water with rods bending.

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