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El jefe
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hey guys ju8st wondering if anybody has had any luck fishing hard spots , i bought cpt Carl's hard spot book even though i fish spi just trying to maybe learn some tips but am having no luck spoting " hard spots " on my furuno
what depth are they at? how to spot them while at cruise speed [15-22 mph }
are they this far south ?
any help from some body that knows how to fish them HELP
thanks pilar
 

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We have lots of hard bottom down here at SPI, but hardly anyone knows the spots but the pros on the head boats. It also takes a high quality powerful fishfinder and the knowledge of what to look for. You must know where is it in advance because you must be moving very slow. You are looking for a 'thin-line' clay bottom as opposed to a 'thick-line' soft sand bottom. I've got numerous hard bottom numbers for SPI, but I'm not giving them up. Sorry. There is hard bottom areas on the East Bank. The first time we found it, we were just drifting and searching for snapper bites. It took a while but we did find some. The East Bank begins 15 miles due east of the SPI jetty. Good luck.
 

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A hardspot is usually very small and is just that, A hard spot on the bottom. It can be rock, clay, or even an old piece of debrise. Usually only one or two big snapper gather on a hard spot. If a snapper isn't there a shark usually is. On a recent alnight hard spot fishing trip, Ronnie on the 36 Contender "AGGREVATED" fished 14 hard spots out in the old yeller area. Out of 14 spots we caught 3 snapper and a hundred sharks. The 3 snapper were all over 22lbs. each.

How to find a hard spot? First of all there is no way you can identify one at speeds much more than 15 knotts.
If you have a good 1000 watt bottom machine and properly placed and installed transducer you might get away with 15 knotts.
At 7 or 8 knots a hard spot looks just like a spike on your bottom machine. The red bottom line will be thin and at the hard spot it will get thicker than tnin again really quick forming a spike. You have to determine wind and current to effectively drop your bait right on that spot. I use at least 20 ounces of weight to get it down fast.
a pipeline inside 30 fathoms looks just like a hard spot when you cross it. If you are able to run down the pipeline it would appear as an endless hardspot.
I'm sure there are hardspots all over the gulf, luckily I have a good friend who is a commercial fisherman (little billy wright). He supplies me with all the hardspots we can handle. He finds them while running from one spot to another at 6 or 7 knots commercial fishing. He can't waste his time trying to grt a big snapper to bite. He needs numbers.
I do know that 3 years in a row the star snapper was caught by either little Bill, or someone on his boat or Bubbas's boat "Good News".
They really know how to fish hardspots.

Capt. Jeff Gerrans
 

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CHA CHING

Think you are mistaken about three years in a row the star fish came from Bubbas or lil Bills boats they are great fisherman but that didnt happen I dont think. You can see a hardspot at 30 knots with a furuno if it is working correctly. People trying to fish hardspots from someones book is wasting time. Normally if it is in a book it has been fished and fish are no longer on them only sharks so trying to fish someone elses numbers is a waste of time. Normally when you catch the snapper off of a hard spot it is done and the fish never come back. It is sad to kill the brood stock of the snapper fishery but that is where the egg layers live. Leave them alone if you can.

Charlie
 

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Charlie

No, I'm not mistaken. Little Bill won the star 4 years ago, the year after a friend of Bubbas's won, the year after that Bubba's Dad would have won but was DQ'd for some reason.
I will agree, you can see a hard spot at 30 kts if you know what your looking for. Do you really think Carl has fished every spot in that book?
 

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CHA CHING said:
Do you really think Carl has fished every spot in that book?
Well if he has, then this quote is wrong.

CHARLIE said:
CHA CHING People trying to fish hardspots from someones book is wasting time. Normally if it is in a book it has been fished and fish are no longer on them only sharks so trying to fish someone elses numbers is a waste of time. Normally when you catch the snapper off of a hard spot it is done and the fish never come back. It is sad to kill the brood stock of the snapper fishery but that is where the egg layers live. Leave them alone if you can.
Because I have personaly caught 2 snapper over 20# off numbers in that book. And I have only tried a few of them.
 

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Hard Spots

Well I think Carl has fished most all of the spots listed in his book. Sometimes he may have left a fish on a spot cuz sometimes there are two maybe three fish on a spot. I dont think Bill C was ever DQ from the star tourney he has always placed somewhere if you check the past final standings. In 2001 Bill was 5th in 2002 he was 4th I couldnt get the 2003 results for some reason. Speaking of sharks when the Snapper are fished from their home (hard spots) sharks take over so if you are catching sharks the spot has been fished. These fish live on these spots for ever if they are not disturbed. A 20 # snapper is approximately 20 to 25 years old and a 30 pounder may be 50. Remember these are your egg layers. They lay as many as 100 times the eggs of a 10 pound fish so please try and conserve these fish.

Charlie
 

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Well I have caught snapper and sharks off the same spot at the same time.

And are you saying that the older fish never move out to take an unoccupied hard spot?

The regulations cause the problem you speak of. They limit you to 4 fish. So why not go after 4 big ones?
 

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Gonna call BS on the "they live forever in that one spot".
 

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Hard Spots

In my opinion the fish never leave the spots. I have found that after a hurricane and I guess becaue of the currents, sometimes fish show up on a spot that has been fished out. I have never caught a snapper and a shark off of the same hard spot at the same time but I guess it can happen. As far as the regulations you are correct but 4 big fish dont taste near as good as four 7 or 8 pounders. If you must fish hard spots and the fish yu catch is not a tournament winner send her back. There are several ways do do that just use the method that you like best. Good fishing.

I think they were talking about C. C,s book



Charlie

charlie
 

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Gary Grahm of tamu galveston (bottom hang guide author)told me that although he has not completely figured it out that larger snapper seem to migrate away from school fish and will move to different hard spots...seems to corelated to breeding somehow. Little bill was dq'ed cause he worked as a deck hand on his dads boat (brand x)...I commercial fished with bill sr and bubba and quit after one trip cause I was releasing undersized fish and bill told me to throw them in a basket "he had better things to do than waste time and bait catching the same small fish twice"...both are great fishermen but don't seem to care about conservation. Rick Mcgaffey was the king of hard spots in galveston though before Carl even knew what a hard spot was. I worked at the yacht basin for several years and ran a tackle shop so I had the good fortune of picking everybodys brain. Big snapper require 3 things 1.time 2.gas money 3.a damned good bottom machine....there are some rigs where you can always get sows but they are way out there 65 miles and further.
 

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Hey Z,

Do you have any additional info on the bootom snags book you mention? I did several searches on google but did not come up with anything relevent. Any idea who the publisher is and if the book is still in publication?
 

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It's still available but almost all of the numbers in it are Loran TDs and they are old. you would burn a LOT of gas trying to find them and would have to have a working Loran on board since there is no accurate way to convert them to Lat/Lon.

Try calling (409) 762-9800. That's the number that's on the inside cover of my copy.
 

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I know it can be converted. The problem is that it isn't accurate enough to use for bottom spots. It would be OK on land where you could see what you were looking for if you got within 100 feet of it but the conversions just won't work for bottom spots. You'd be talking about searching a circle 200 feet in diameter with the most accurate conversion possible.
 

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WilliamH

I wandered into a chart place in Galveston a few days ago and saw some of Garys old hang books. I caint remember the name of the place but it was in old downtown Galveston and they sell marine charts books etc.

Charlie
 

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Cha Ching

If you commercial fish or charter fish you are not eligable for the S.T.A.R.(mr.c would be in that catagory) , Sure seems like Charlie has won it twice once the year before last and his fishing partner leads it now with a 28.5(threes a charm), I would take stock in his years of experience especially if he decides to give it away on this board for free. Calm Seas........Capt. Scott www.circleh.org
 
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