How to Make an Effective Couta Trace
WATCH: SA Game Fish team captain Shane Dennis shows how to make a champion couta trace
Two hooks. Good wire length. And why you need to cut a skirt a bit. South Africa’s current game fish team captain Shane Dennis from Durban shows how he makes a champion couta trace:
WATCH: HOW SA GAME FISH CAPTAIN MAKES A COUTA TRACE
Shane Dennis (SADSAA Gamefish captain) showing his couda traces
Posted by South African Deep Sea Angling Association on Friday, 3 April 2020
In this video
- Shane shows the duster, swivels, hooks and wire gauge he uses to target couta
- He shows the techniques for twists and right lengths of wire in the trace
- A unique tip is him showing how to cut the skirt of the duster a bit to help it flair
- And then he shows a quick elastic-band tip for ensuring the duster sits well away from the bait
ABOUT SHANE DENNIS
A Natal local, you might remember Shane Dennis from the Natal Black team that gave Justin Paynter and Abed Khan’s SADSAA team such a run for their money at the 2019 SA Game Fish nationals. Shane and team took second place then, beating out 12 provincial and three SADSAA masters teams.
And today Shane is the SADSAA game fish team captain. And you can usually find him fishing along SA’s east coast or at his home base at Durban Ski-Boat Club.
WHAT IS COUTA ANYWAY?
Internationally known as the kingfish, couta or cuda is the king mackerel (also called Spanish mackerel), a migratory species found along most of Africa’s east coast – it’s one of the most popular species to target in KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique – as well as along the Gulf of Mexico in the Americas.
It’s a close cousin to Natal snoek (the queen mackerel) and it’s usually found at a depth of 10–70 metres. And according to the latest data stock levels are still very good, with limited traditional line fishing methods from boats and kayaks helping ensure there’s still plenty of good-sized couta out there – especially since they reach maturity in just 2 years.
SOME TIPS FOR FISHING COUTA
Most guys will tell you that you need to troll deep and slow for couta. And the slow troll can’t be emphasised enough – a good idle is usually all you need.
Then get a few lines in the water. You might want to try different rigs – they say you can quite successfully lure couta out of the depths with spoons, and then make the catch with your trace rig.
And then almost everyone suggests live baits. Or, if you’re using dead bait, at least ensure the swivels allow for a lot of movement so it looks natural. And then the trace as Shane shows is quite important – you need two hooks because the couta’s teeth are razor-sharp, and if you have only one hook there’s a good chance it’ll just slice your bait in half and disappear again.
Thanks, Shane, it’s awesome to get insights from a champ!
ABOUT THESE #NAUTITIPS
This fishing tips video is courtesy of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA) who, during March and April 2020 invited anglers from around the country to share their angling video tips. We’ll be releasing more every week. But you can also go and see the originals when you follow and share SADSAA’s Facebook page.
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