We asked two veteran captains about the gear items they use religiously.
Capt. Sonny Schindler, Mississippi Gulf Coast
Two hundred fifty days a year, you’ll find Capt. Sonny Schindler fishing the Mississippi backwaters and barrier islands, catching dozens of trout, redfish and flounder during a typical six-hour trip.
H&H Ford Floating Flipper
“Using a dehooker keeps me a safe distance from a stingray or hardhead catfish. Just hook the dehooker to the fishhook, pull the line against the dehooker, and the fish flops back into the water. I keep three Flippers on the boat.”
Boat Monkey Popping Cork
“Locally made in Hattiesburg, the Boat Monkey popping cork casts far and is loud as hell. The rig uses a short wire tough enough to survive an attack from a jack or redfish.”
Cuda 3-Inch Micro Shears and Boone Fisherman’s Pliers
“Micro shears are the perfect size for snipping tag ends close to the line. The blades work great on braided line. I like the long-nose Boone Fisherman’s pliers for freeing deep-hooked fish and handling feisty blue crabs.”
Okuma Ceymar HD 3000A Spinning Reel and Ceymar Inshore 7-Foot Medium-Heavy Rod
“The 7-foot rod provides clearance to launch a popping cork with a long leader. I like a rod with a solid backbone to work a larger fish without prolonging the fight and jeopardizing the fish’s health.”
“A 6-foot-long, solid stainless-steel spike anchor stops my boat faster than my Power-Pole.”
Capt. John McMurray, New York City
Within sight of the New York City skyline, giant striped bass swim the skinny marshes and back bays. After decades of experience, Capt. John McMurray of One More Cast Light Tackle Charters knows what it takes to catch them.
Daiwa Proteus PIN70XHS
“The perfect rod with enough balls to throw a big topwater and light enough for all-day fishing.”
Daiwa Saltist MQ
“Super-stiff frame with precision gears and instant drag pressure for solid hook-sets.”
9-inch Musky Mania Doc
“This walk-the-dog topwater plug with internal rattles creates a commotion that turns on striped bass.”
9-inch Lunker City Slug-Go
“When the bass get finicky, switch to a 9-inch Slug-Go soft plastic on an unweighted weedless hook. Use a twitch-twitch-pause to allow the lure to sink to the bottom and then dart through the water.”
MinnKota Riptide Ulterra
“I couldn’t fish the flats without my MinnKota Riptide Ulterra. The handheld remote controls speed and direction, and even deploys and retracts the motor. After a productive pass, I program the motor to repeat the track and stay on the fish.”