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  #1  
Old 10-03-2010, 08:50 AM
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RobS RobS is offline
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Default rig for livelining

1. from a boat
2. from the beach (which requires some casting)

this question is for livelining our most abundant baits right now:
mullet and spot.

I have in mind what I'd use but would like your suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2010, 04:00 PM
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Bob D'Amico Bob D'Amico is offline
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Default Re: rig for livelining



Livelining from a boat the old K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Stupid, is the best approach. I recommend a Fish Finder rig with a leader length of 36 inches although some guys use 48 to 60 inches. Hopefully you have an electronic depth finder/ fish finder which can display any fish and what level in the water column they are stacked. Natural humps are a favorite hang out for most fish.



If the fish are hugging the bottom you will want to use a fish finder slide with an attached bank sinker to keep your bait down. Normally a bank sinker of just a few ounces is fine unless the ocean swell is rocking the boat hard. If the fish are suspended in the water column eliminate the sinker or use one just heavy enough to keep the live bait below the surface.

Personally I prefer drifting rather than anchoring the boat but I always prefer using Gamakatsu 8/0 Circle hooks. Second choice Octopus hooks. With Octopus hooks you have to use a size that works with the bait but is not so big that it will kill it. Nothing less than 6/0, but 8/0 is the optimum size. Using Mullet, size 8/0 may be problematic since they are relatively "delicate."


BTW I do NOT like "Live Bait hooks," for two reasons, first they are thicker and kill your bait and second most of them have a straight shank and eye which is not ideal for snelling. A bent back eye works better with a snell knot and your pull on the hook will be direct. (straight Hook diagram HERE)

With any hook, and bait always be sure that the BARB is exposed - that is critical for Circle hooks.

The reason why I prefer Circle hooks from a boat is that they are "forgiving" since it usually difficult to "feel" a fish sucking in the bait. Consider that you may have a lot of line out in the water; the boats rocking, the wind is blowing and the current is pulling, add that all up and your "feel" is diminished (note depthfinder/fishfinder image above - depth is 101 feet!)

Livelining in the surf or from a jetty is trickier because you have to cast and then contend with the incoming swell and waves. You are an experienced fisherman so I know that you will agree that "casting" live bait in the surf is better described as "softly lobbing your bait." Here I also use Fish Finder rigs, but no longer than 24 inches and only with Octopus hooks, 6/0 minimum, 8/0 ideal (using big chunks or a large live bait like Menhaden I prefer 9/0 or 10/0 hooks).

Use a pyramid or Hatteras sinker on the fish finder slide; weight depends on surf conditions - swell, current, rough water etc.

Another rig that works well for livelining in the surf is the SlapShot rig with a 9 or 12 inch leader. This rig keeps your bait at the bottom where most fish in the surf will be located. I ship a mess of SlapShot rigs to customers in November and December who fish the Outer Banks for striped bass.
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Last edited by Bob D'Amico : 10-07-2010 at 12:49 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-03-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

what is the reasoning behind long leaders for ff rigs?
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
what is the reasoning behind long leaders for ff rigs?
Longer leaders only for livelining from a boat - allows the live bait which has been wounded by the hook to swim around erratically and look like an easy meal for notoriously lazy striped bass.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2010, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Bob,

Thanks, yes I understood the long leader from the boat only

That makes sense w.r.t. the bait fish being able to swim around erratically. As I've usually used a 24-36" leader on a 3 way (though switching to the fishfinder this season) never really thought about a longer leader.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2010, 03:28 PM
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Thumbs up Re: rig for livelining

Your order is in the mail - completed in less than 24 hours!

Be careful, Gamakatsu hooks are very sharp.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2010, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Sounds good, thanks! Will let you know how it works out.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2010, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Went out this morning, didn't live line but caught a fresh spot, cut and tossed the head on a slap shot rig (8/0...one of the ones you JUST sent ) and picked up a 35 1/4" 14.5 lb striper within about 20 minutes.

Thanks, Bob!!
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2010, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

I hope you kept it for dinner!
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2010, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Yes, and it may buy a few more dinners since I entered it in the ac derby. won't win this week (don't think as someone is bound to enter a bigger one) but your name gets entered into a drawing
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2010, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

New to the forum (although I've been lurking for a while) so be kind
My favorite surf fishing rig has always been the high low with clam. With everyone but me catching fish this fall I switched over to the fishfinder with bunker--still not catching. I understand the concept of the fishfinder, allowing the bait to float/move without restriction--my question is does this work from the surf? Seems to me my line is always relatively tight, is there that much sliding of the bait?
  #12  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Hi, Don. Welcome to the forum. They work for bunker. It gives the fish a chance to gobble it down before feeling the resistance of the sinker and getting spooked. It doesn't matter with a clam. They suck it in so fast the sinker doesn't come in to play.
  #13  
Old 01-30-2014, 09:25 AM
GoMets GoMets is offline
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Default Re: rig for livelining

Working through my off season preparation, and thinking and rethinking tactics... Found this thread which has a lot of application to what I do live-lining herring in the Hudson river.

Bob D'Amico, your post above (from 2010) was really helpful. One question for you though if I may: I've been using offset Octopus hooks from Gamakatsu for live-lining herring with fair degree of sucess - predominantly fishing from the shore. But I've been tying the hooks on with a Palomar knot, and only now am seeing that most folks using Octopus and/or circle hooks are using a snelled knot. This is clearly what you are doing with your rigs as depicted above.

Could you explain for me the benefits of using a snelled knot with this hook design when fishing live bait? And what is the benefit over using a straight shank hook with a non-snelled knot?

And one more quesiton if I may - what size Octopus hook would you use to live-line river herring? I've been using 6/0, again with a fair degree of success, but you seem to really stress the bigger hook sizes and I would bump up a size if it would help my hook up ratio...

[Side note, boy the archives of this forum are great reading from curing the winter doldrums]
 


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