Rigs and Methods

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Rigs and Methods

Post by allthegearnoidea on Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:11 pm




Uptiding:
This is a technique that demands you cast your bait up into the current at about 45 degrees using a breakaway lead to keep the bait away from the boat. It is mainly used in shallow waters when presenting the bait outside the"scare area" caused by the noise of the tide against the boat's hull and anchor warp. It has been suggested that fish that would normally pass or reside in the "scare zone" move out and thereby increase the concentration of fish just outside this zone. If this is true, finding the edge of the scare zone with your cast is the key. In Mayo the bays around Belmullet demand uptiding given you are often in less than 12 feet (4 m) of water! All this said we have caught fish from under a dinghy in shallow water and fast tides, so uptiding's success may lie in the expanded scent trail from the spaced baits wafting down on the current... Uptiding allows much lighter tackle to be used. The 18lb line, rod, reel and leads recommended for novices will work uptiding. An uptide rod offers you advantages over a standard boat rod but they are expensive. Fixed spool i.e. spinning reels with a decent capacity are the better bet when uptiding. Key elements in successful uptiding: -
cast across, not right into the current.
it is not beachcasting... just lob it out!
once the lead touchs down a belly of line will get the breakaway lead to grip
the shallower the waterand faster the tide, the farther the optimal cast
draw in the belly of line to ensure good bite detection - but allow for swells
bites will be several nods - drop the rod to horizontal and retrieve any slack
"strike" with a calm unhurried lift of the rod tip from horizontal to vertical
Uptiding Rigs:
The design will be some variation on a leger system, e.g.a standard 2 or 3 hook paternoster, depending on the fish available on a mark (ask the skipper). When fishing new grounds I have found the "ave maria" or "hail mary" a 3 hook design useful in that it helps me work out what kind and size of fish are available. The uptiding technique listed alongside presumes the use of a fixed paternoster (although this is not essential) rather than a running leger. A running leger is where the fish can take off with the bait and may hook itself, a useful system in heavy conditions.

The basic 3 hook paternoster for uptiding is a 10 foot (3 m) length of trace line, with a swivel at the top and a link swivel on the end to attach to a breakaway or grip lead. Just below the top swivel a 1 foot (30 cms) length of hook snood leads to a baitholder hook - try an Aberdeen design given you are likely to use worms as the main bait over sand or mud. Use a 2 hook pennel rig for bigger baits if seeking cod or bigger fish. Three feet (1 m) below this, another 1 foot (30 cms) hook snood is positioned, with the final snood either a further three feet (1 m) below the second hook, or just above the link swivel in the event you want to entice some flatfish with some sequin and bead enhanced worms! Most flatfish - plaice and flounder in particular - are attracted to shiny and colourful objects so anglers will thread sequins and coloured beads, even a flasher spoon, to make a Baited Spoon.
The diagram below (a fictional useless rig) is designed to illustrate three different methods for attaching hooks to a trace. A "flapper" rig lets the hook(s) revolve around the trace (1 & 2). Personally I don't used bait clips or impact shields on boat rigs.
Lures is a standard name for any kind of artificial bait that predatory fish will strike at, so it could reasonably be used to describe everything from mackerel feathers through to 1 kilogram pirks! There are more varieties of lure than there are fish (well almost!) so there is no point in our trying to decribe every one, so this section will look at the main varieties, how and when they are used, and how to get the most out of artificial lures.

Feathers: The standard set-up of six mackerel feathers is just a trace with six hooks on blood loops or a similar short snood, to which dyed feathers are tied. Nowadays we have more sophisticated 'feathers' made from plastic and shiny new materials. I have found that the white ones work best after dusk, and the red best during the day. I have caught mackerel on bare silver hooks, so nothing fancy is required. Other variations on 'feathers' that work well include bits of multi-coloured plastic cut from a burst beachball (make sure to include some white), thin tubes of silver painted rubber, and I've seen fly fishermen have fun with mackerel use salmon flys! One word of caution - the smaller the hook the more fish you attract - big 5/0 or 6/0 hooks on feathers are a waste of time. Feathers are used in spinning and the more feathers and weight used the bigger the rod. A beachcaster will get you well out into deeper water from most shore marks, and even a 20 lbs boat rod will handle six feathers and a "full house" of mackerel. Feathers can take mackerel, scad, pollack, coalfish, cod and codling, whiting, pouting, haddock and just about any available "round" fish swimming on a given mark.
Baited Feathers: This is where a strip of fish like mackerel is added to each hook, it is an excellent boat rig: I have seen all of the above and pollack, gurnard, cod and even a puzzled John Dory fall to baited feathers.
Bass Bullets: These are relatively small and very streamlined lures that are used on a light spinning outfit (something like a carp rod) for spinning from the shore for bass. Their internal weight is enough for excellent long distance casting from shore. They seem to be most effective when they are retrieved very quickly, perhaps mimicing sandeels, a favourite bass 'snack'. They will, like all lures, take other fish including pollack, big wrasse, and anything predatory that will ambush it or even chase after it!
Eddystone Eel and Red Gills: These are long plastic lures, akin to jelly worm with their own hook, that are designed with tails that will wiggle as they are retrieved. Red gills have long been known as superb pollack lures and Eddystones (named for the famed lighthouse in England) are a similar lure - effective on long traces. They come in every size and colour now, but red is my favourite for the simple reason that it always works!
Muppets: These are American style lures that are made to resemble squid or other fish. They have proven particularly effective in wreck fishing around Ireland, and accounted for the new record 29 lbs (13 kg) pollack taken from a Courtmacsherry boat in 2002.
Pirks: These are typically big heavy and silver. These are traditionally used in wrecking where the single lure minimizes snagging potential and the sheer size of the lure excludes a lot of the smaller fish from the equation. Pirks can weight 2 lbs (1 kilo), however 6 ounzes (175 grams) is more usual!
Plugs: These are yet another artificial lure, originally developed for fresh water fishing and until recently the province of the pike fishermen. Plugs were originally developed for fishing in weedy lake margins and rivers. Most will float. Some are designed to sink slow, some more quickly. On others, a variably sized diving panel at the front (see below) drags the lure underwater when you began the retireve. This can often be adjusted to determine how fast the plug will dive when retrieved. The faster you retrieve the line, the deeper the plug will dive... This basic concept has been developed, to the point where salt water lures do not float (!), are weighted for distance casting, and will now wobble, spin, dive, surface, jerk and twist.
Jellyworms: These are small hookless plastic worms that have tails that wiggle uncontrollable when retrieved. They are typically used on long flowing traces and are particularly effective for pollack and coalfish, especially on reefs and wrecks. The main difference between jelly worms and the red gill or eddystone eels is that the worms are hookless. With the constant walloping bites of mid-sized pollack on an Irish reef, worms tend to fall apart after a short while. Check that the body material is tough enough!
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