Sometimes, necessity is truly the mother of invention. And, quite frankly, I know of few groups that are more inventive than anglers. Along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, there is a fish that is super quick and that has the ability to cut one’s line not only with its teeth but also its tail. I am, of course, talking about the Spanish Mackerel.
Spanish, as we call them, are quick learners and will often change their habits based on previous fishing pressures and tactics. In a day’s time, Spanish can cover miles – which expose them to a number of potential fishing tricks.
One trick that few anglers use these days is the drink straw fishing rig. To make it is very simple but it will require a few items – some of which are a bit specialized. Namely, you will need: a black swivel, a two foot length of 80# monofilament, a clear bead, a clear water float, a treble hook, and a four to six inch piece section of a McDonald’s drink straw. The last item may sound odd but McDonald’s has the best colored and most durable of any commercially available drink straw.
The assembly of the lure is just a matter of order. First tie you treble hook onto one end of the line. From there, slide the drink straw down over the line and down onto the hook. Next, you will want to tie the black swivel to the other end of the lure. It cannot be over emphasized that the swivel must be a dull black since Spanish will strike at anything shiny or brightly colored. Now, taking your line from your rod, thread it through the float with the stopper facing the lure. From there thread the line through the clear bead and tie off the line to the swivel.
To operate the rig is also a very simple process – once you get the hang of it. The first thing to do is that you will need to fill the float with an amount of water. The amount of water will depend on castability, wind, desired action, etc. So, you will need to play with this a few minutes before actually fishing with the rig. Once your water level is where you want it, simply cast out the rig as you would any topwater lure and start vigorously jerking and winding in the lure. What’s happening is that the clear water float is causing a water disturbance to catch the fish’s attention. The bead and swivel beat against the peg on the float to keep the water inside the float. And, the colored straw is what catches the eye of the fish so that he’ll strike the hook.
As cheap and unorthodox as this rig may appear to be, it is still a highly effective way for catching fish. It isn’t something to be used every time that you fish for Spanish but it is a great little trick to hold back for those days when they seem to know everyone else’s tricks.