It took a little experimenting to see how they fished and how bottom fish reacted to light once you put a light source deeper then 20 fathoms, then 30 fathoms and deeper. It was not on till the last 2 years night fishing for codfish off of Block Island which cemented his belief that codfish like most fish are extremely attracted to light sources, especially when your rig is dumped right next to another unlit fishermen's rig on the boat!
It was during this summer that two ideas were then merged together, one being in finding a source to supply a particular sized light stick in 6 different colors. The second was in going to the main source that makes the same rubber curly tails which you commonly see on all the codfish boats out of Montauk and points up north. But here the idea of merging the chem stick with the curly tail was tweaked once again.....the use of a CLEAR TRANSPARENT COLORED CURLY TAIL with a chem stick inserted inside of it!
When I first say a clear colored curly tail I thought it was a little strange, since it reminded me of one of those small jelly fish that you would find washed up on the beach when I first saw them. Then I was shown how this clear transparent curly tail could have one of six color light sticks inserted inside the clear rubber, so that a fishermen could have just once color curly tail, but yet carry along a few red, orange, blue, green, yellow, purple/pink sticks in a little small container in your tackle bag.
Now I should point out that this is just one way to use a clear transparent 6 and 8 inch curly tail. OE TACKLE also will dye these same clear curly tails to expand upon the common solid colors you will find being sold on the party boats or at tackle shops that sell codfish terminal tackle, you could now have a glowing 'see-through' red, blue, pink, red, yellow grubs when the chem stick is inserted inside. Thus you will now light up the clear curly tail in ANY color of the chem sticks you choose!
Lets move along to give you an idea of what OE TACKLE will be bringing fishermen who target not only codfish, but also tile fish and even black sea bass when fishing at night for them.
It was another idea which was tried since many times party boats in this region have to get onto certain wrecks during the night during the offshore sea bass season, set anchors and then sit and wait on till the sun comes up before customers start to bottom fish. During the night espeically during the months of late November and December, you would typically be night blue fishing to keep busy. Now you could drop the glow curly rig down to the bottom and catch sea bass. Yes you are going to lose some of the rubber tails to the bluefish. But with the curly tails being relatively cheap to purchase, it was worth losing a few grubs to catch some big sea bass, since you were the first fishermen dropping a line down to the bottom and the sea bass jumping on the glowing rigs!
Here we will start with a description written on top of the images.
This is a an example of the 3 types of curly tails, and most are very familiar with the two towards the right, the HOT PINK and the FLO RED. For those who think they are similar, they are not! The HOT PINK is the PREFERRED SHADE that you want, though the FLO RED is an excellent choice also. If you don't believe this, keep using the FLO RED and we will keep using the FLO PINK! But both are the top colors to keep in your tackle bag, on till we were able to get the clear colored curly tail.
It does lead to two questions that are always asked:
1- Does color matter on terminal tackle lures that are dropped to depths where there is little or no light?
2- Whether fish are more attracted to a lure due to the vibration and action it gives, then the actual color of the lure?
I know these two theories can be debated endlessly by some pretty sharp fishermen!
Over the years, the 'heavy hitters' from the Bay that would fish upon the Viking Fleet and Helen H on their Georges Bank and Shoals trips, would carry these colors. All these colors work, and please don't think that it is just the two colors shown in the first image that only work.
Oranges can out fish at times both the pink and red, and yellow colored curly tails will exhibit the same success in out fishing reds and pink curly tails. Do some of you remember years back when some top fishermen would use the thinnest yellow surgical tubing as standoffs on their codfish bait rigs?
One other color which I should mention that has great success and which is not shown here is WHITE. It should not be dismissed and I know a few fishermen who swore that it was one of the best colors to use at times...mind you for both as a jig teaser and with bait.
Below are some of the original curly tails used over the last two decades with Mustad O'Shaunessey #3407 hooks and Rosco swivels. These have caught more then their share of codfish and these as you can see have been fished over the years. The Orange and Yellow curly tails have a 'flake' look to them. Whether that makes a difference, I cannot say.
Here are the two sizes of curly tails we use for cod fishing, the one to the left being the 8 inch with a 9/0 OE jig hook and the one to the fight being the six inch with a 7/0 OE jig hook. They are inserted into the transparent curly tail with OE 4x Gold open ringed eye offset point Beak hooks. These are the hooks that are attached to all OE TACKLE jigs. Notice you can see right through these curly tails.
Now we have assembled all the components to make our glow curly tail rig with a 9/0 OE Gold jig hook, an already activated chem stick (notice the size), and a 8" pink curly tail. The reason why we choose the pink curly tail will be seen shortly.
Let me point out some properties about these chem sticks OE TACKLE uses.
1- This size chem stick can fit into the smaller 6" curly tail
2- Once the chemical is activated, it will glow for up to and over 3 days!
3- The chemical glowing process can be stopped if the stick is placed in a freezer and frozen
4- When the chem stick is defrosted it will then glow again
5- One stick should last for a full 3 days on an offshore bottom fishing trip
This size stick with it's particular dimensions was chosen since we have to insert both a jig hook and the stick together inside and within the walls of the curly tail. There are larger ones that are easily found on the market. They will not fit properly inside the curly tail...its been tried already!
The insertion of the hook is first since the point of the hook will create the channel in which you then can easily place in the chem stick. I see a number of fishermen who do not know how to start this process. Here is the process below in a step by step fashion.
Part 1: Starting the hook into the curly tail.
Part 2: Sweeping the curly tail around the hook.
Part 3: Completed OE jig hook inside the curly tail should look like this.
Part 4: Now that we created a channel with the OE jig hook, we can then insert the chem stick. You should break the chem stick to activate it first, then placing one end into the grub, press it in straight down along the hook. In the future this assembly process with a channel in the curly tail may be done and all any fishermen would have to do is activate and insert the chem stick in the curly tail. Notice that the channel is big enough for the chem stick to slide along the hook.
Part 5: This is the correct way to insert the chem stick into the curly tail. Press in one direction, without swiveling the chem stick around. If you follow this step by step inserting the hook in this fashion, the chem stick will quickly go right into and along the side of the hook in the curly tail.
Part 6: Now grab a OE DIAMOND JIG, in this image we are using a 10 oz GOLD HAMMERED jig. Close the eye of the hook to the heavy duty swivel and your set to fish. Right now that curly tail is glowing, but we are in the sunlight. Wait till you see how it looks in the dark.
Part 7: We now have placed the jig and glowing curly tube against a white back ground. Already the hot pink color looks brighter then usual. This can be seen even here with the top of the curly tail brighter then the bottom of the curly tail.
Part 8: Lights out!
Here we are simulating what would be seen in the dark. Notice the area lit up inside the curly tail, mind you that this is an 8" curly tail.
Now let me ask you....
Can you see the jig or the tail of the rubber grub?
Can you see the curly tail itself?
If you are using this setup, will it stand out from all the other jigs and teasers on the bottom where there is little or not light present?
Notice that you can see the tip of the chem stick above the head of the curly tail. This is a preferred way of displaying the chem stick, but whether it will attract and or catch more fish, we cannot say. I would personally keep the tip of the chem stick sticking out in this manner.
Part 9: Here is how it will look when it is squidded in as now the jig is going to the left and the glowing curly tail to the right.
So, has OE TACKLE come up with something new and out of the box for cod fishing and deep dropping for tile fish or fishing for black sea bass at night?
Let me point out that using glow - Cyalume (a registered Trademarked brand) and other chem sticks has been around in a number of fisheries for decades. From the long line swordfish industry to other deep drop fisheries, using a light next to a bait has been found to be much more effective in catching fish then if the same rig did not have some type of light source to make these fish take notice.This is where I am going to bring up the background on the use of glowing chem sticks in this region particularly out of Sheepshead Bay.
The use of glow sticks came around in the late 80s and early 90s here in Sheepshead Bay particularly on the night bluefish boats. It seemed that a few of the regular pin hookers who caught bluefish at night to later sell, used them. I also know two commercial sea bass fishermen from Virginia who also played around with glow stick for offshore sea bass fishing, but it was more novelty then routine, especially since the fishing was so good in that region and the glow stick was only used when the boat laid up over night on the fishing grounds.
The business of selling glow sticks eventually grew so big that Mike's Tackle became one of the leaders in selling 2 glow sticks in a package. At that time, John at the store eventually found a new source for the sticks (it happened to be in some tackle magazine) with the name CYALUME, when in fact they were not made by this company. Well shortly there after, a phone book sized cease and desist order was sent to Mike's Tackle to stop selling this product which he promptly did! There after, it seemed that fewer fishermen along with the party boats used a glow stick for night blues, and it's popularity faded on till now with OE TACKLE bringing out the glow in the dark curly tails.
In the future OE TACKLE will have a custom pre-made rig tied to both 40lb and 50lb clear TYNEX 54" leader material. In it will be a curly tail with a chem stick, and one of the various sized OE HAMMERED GOLD or NICKEL diamond jigs and ringed open eye gold 4x strength hook, with a swivel and dropper loop for attaching whatever teaser you would like to use.
The particulars of this rig and colors are still be worked out, but they should be available later this winter, along with a possible rubber imitation glow squid (my favorite style cod teaser).
The one thing that separates OE TACKLE hooks, jigs, surgical tube teasers and rigs is not the imitation of others, but in the innovation of terminal tackle and the rigs that you see being fished in the mid-Atlantic and New England region with incredible success by the fishermen that use them.
As we keep saying at OE TACKLE, 'if their is something better or gives you greater value out there in terminal tackle, LET US KNOW!'
But I highly doubt it!
I will keep everyone up to speed when these rigs are available.