Wire leaders have their place at the coast, especially if big chopper blues are running through the surf or if you are dropping baits to barracuda on a sunken wreck… but, here’s a tip that I think will save you some time and headache when the Spanish mackerel are making their presence known along southern Atlantic beaches during the summer months. Spanish mackerel are notoriously gun-shy of striking lures retrieved from piers and their wariness increases exponentially when a wire leader is included at the business end of your fishing line. Instead, some people tie flourocarbon leaders or try to make their own monofilament leaders…which is fine.
But, I have gotten into the habit of buying 4/0 or 5/0 baitholder hooks in Eagle Claw snelled hook packages (usually 6 hooks and lines). All you need to do is snip the hook off the end and tie a Gotcha plug or spoon onto the tag end and you are ready to go. The loop is already perfectly formed and just tie it on. The baitholder hook is large but certainly isn’t a waste. I love catfishing as much as anything else fishing-related and the hooks hold chicken livers and cut bait great.
Just a little tip to save you some time when the Spanish mackerel are slamming baits and you don’t have the time to sit down and tie a hand-crafted fishing line leader.