First of the season... Technique Questions
I caught my first striper of the season Wednesday night. 34" keeper off a live eel from the beach. Great fight and I couldn't be happier, but I have a couple of questions on my technique I thought you guys might want to chime in about. Here's how I go about setting up. I have a 10' rod & spinning reel, 15lb test line, 18" leader of 30lb test with a #5 octopus hook. I use a fishfinder rig with a 3 oz pyramid weight. I hook the eel through the lower jaw and out an eye and then toss it out as far as I can. I place the rod in a sand spike and close the bail and set the drag real loose, loose enough that the line comes off the reel with little effort. I reel in any slack and then sit in a sand chair with a beer and wait for the fish. I might be plugging while I wait, but I invariably turn to see that the rod/spike has been pulled to the sand, fish on! I then pick it up and slowly raise the tip of the rod until I feel the pressure, then I set the hook. I feel like Rock Hudson in the old movie, "Man's favorite sport". He was working in an Abocrombie & Fitch as the fishing expert, wrote the book on fishing, etc, but didn't know how to actually fish. He gets entered in a tournament and is forced to fish. He ends up catching fish despite his ineptitude and wins the tournament.
Is there a better way to "Set it and forget it"? I also used Pogies for the first time, just the tail section & the head. I hooked the head through the lower lip and out near the eye, and the tail part by the lower fin. It seemed like they were hooked pretty solidly, but after a soak of more than an hour and no noticable taps I reeled in to find bare hooks. Is there a better way to bait a Pogie? Lastly, I also tried squid. Same as above, what's the preferred method of hooking them.
I know it's a lot, but thanks for any and all responses.