Saltwater Tenkara

Zwego01

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I am a relative newcomer to Tenkara fishing. I have used my Tenkarabum 36 to catch a variety of trout using both wet flies and nymphs. I have recently spent a 6 month period on the SW coast of FL and wanted to see what I could do with Tenkara off the beach. However, I did not want to risk the Tenkarabum rod in saltwater so I purchased a Maxcatch Nano 3.6 m rod which I think is a great rod, especially at the price. Using this rod, I walked the beach in the early morning catching a variety of saltwater species including Ladyfish, small Jacks, small Pampano and Lizardfish. These fish attack the lure with a vengeance and fight harder than their size would suggest. I did have one large fish attack my lure and immediately break off but don’t know what it was. I will admit I strayed a bit from traditional fly/Tenkara lures and was using an ultra light crappie jig head (1/32oz) with a chartruse power bait jerk shad. By jigging this setup in the wash or just beyond, I would get fairly regular hookups. I also used this setup or the infamous mop fly in several ponds and freshwater canals catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, talapia and surprisingly one peacock bass. i fish saltwater pretty extensively with both fly rod and spinning gear but can say this is just a blast. If you have a Tenkara rod, I would suggest that you give it a try as it is completely different from these other methods. Very easy to do and just a lot of fun.
Thanks
Zwego
 

pcolapaddler

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I have a couple of Tenkara USA rods and have been wanting to try saltwater. I live in SE Alabama and the Gulf as well as inshore opportunities are available.

I usually fish fresh water for Bluegill and Bass.

Tell about your setup - line, leader, etc.

Sitting by the pond or on the river with my little Buddy...
 

patrick62

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I saw a video of some guys who stapled a couple of feathers to a flip-flop, added a big hook and chucked it in the surf with a long cheap fixed line rod. A bluefish nailed it, and hilarity ensued.
 

Zwego01

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Pcolapaddler - I used a tied “line” that approximates a saltwater fly leader using sections of mono joined with blood knots. The one I tied up for this was 3-1/2’ of 40 lb Berkley Big Game, 5’ of 30lb, 2-1/2’ of 17 lb with 1-1/2‘ of 4x leader. I thought about using a 6” bite tippet with heavier mono (17 lb) but I didn’t loose any fish due to bite offs. The line/leader is stiff enough to turn over the little jig that I am using pretty effectively.
As noted in my original post I used a lead 1/32 oz crappie jig head that I have trimmed to reduce the weight a bit. I top this with typically a 2-1/2” pearl white or chartreuse Berkley powerbait jerk bait. I like the jerk bait better than their paddle tail at the same size as the action you can impart to the jerk bait more closely resembles a wounded bait fish. The 2-1/2” size is very close to the actual bait size that fish feed on in this trough. You could also use a Clouser minnow or other baitfish fly pattern and get similar results as long as you can generate a jigging/fluttering action which I think is key to induce strikes.
It is important to be able to see your fly/lure action so a pair of good polarized sunglasses is important. I typically cast the little jig out while standing on the beach in no more than ankle deep water. The great thing about a tenkara rod is how much action you can impart to the lure by slight hand motions. I hope you give it a try as it is a lot of fun although certainly not a traditional Tenkara or fly method but It works surprisingly well.
 
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