"The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?" Lee Wulff
Ahhhhh! The glorious days of spring. Warmer temperatures, especially warmer water temperatures, bring out the fish that we’ve been waiting for all winter. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, large snook, and cobia have all shown up in the last two weeks. It’s time to get out the live and cut bait rigs and head to the water. I thought we would take a look at pre-assembled live and cut bait rigs this week.
From left to right – Ready rig, single drop rig, double drop rig, double monofilament floater rig, and double drop surf rig
Ready-Rigs – By far the most popular and easiest to use of all the preassembled rigs, Ready-rigs consist of a steel leader, weight, swivel, and snap swivel. You just tie your line onto the swivel and snap on a hook and you are fishing. Real basic but they work great. Ready rigs generally come with either ½, ¾, 1, 1 ½, 2, or 3 ounce weights. The depth you are fishing at as well as the amount of current or tide there is will determine how much weight you will need on your rig. The goal is to use only the lightest amount of weight needed to hold your bait to the bottom. This will ensure that you feel the bite when it happens.
Drop-Rigs – By design, drop-rigs have one thing in common. The weight goes on the bottom of the rig with the hook arms located above. This allows you to cast out into the water and consistently keep the bait a foot or two up from the weight. These rigs are a godsend if you want to stay off the bottom where the catfish are lurking. Drop-rigs can come as a single drop with an arm for one hook or doubles with arms for 2 hooks. There are also many other options with drop-rigs. While most use steel leader line for construction, monofilament line is also used. If you are using cut bait, and need to keep it floating to the side of the drop-rig, small floaters are used on the arms prior to the hooks.
Surf-Rigs – While a surf-rig is basically a double drop-rig, it varies by having stiff hook arms to keep the bait away from the center line. Most are constructed of a heavy monofilament center line with steel spring loaded arms. Also, they generally have a much heavier weight on the bottom to assist with very long casts out to the surf. When used in combination with a 12 to 16 foot surf rod, casts of over 100 yards are regularly achieved. The Bait House has a complete line of pre-assembled rigs for your spring fishing. Remember that we have dock access for your boat and we can always be reached on your marine radio to check on bait availability. New tackle and gear arrive weekly. We also have rental rods and reels as well as aerated bait buckets for your day on the water. Thanks to those that email at Jim2988@msn.com and as always, Good Luck Out There!
Jim can be found daily at the Bait House - Clearwater Municipal Marina, phone 446-8134
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