Pier Fishing in California

Resources :: Tackle Tips

Bait...Neatness Counts

It’s really important to match the size and type of bait to the hook that you have chosen. What you are looking for is to have the hook just covered with the point barely showing. If a fish bites, the hope is to have it get enough of the hook in its mouth so its hooked. If the bait is overly large or has all sorts of loose parts hanging from it you will be getting a lot of bites and very few hookups.

For example, if you are chasing surfperch and receive a lot of bites and keep missing them, most likely the fish are biting off portions of the bait and not getting the hook into their mouths at all. Try down sizing the bait and make it as cleanly cut and neat as you can and your hookup rate might go up.

Another point that effects your bait is what scents are on your hands while handling the bait. Scents to consider are cigarette/cigar smoke, oils, gasoline, scented soaps, etc. All of these and more can have an effect on your hookup rate. Remember most of the fish in the world can smell about a million times better than you can [that’s how salmon find their home stream].

Thread, fine wire, or cheese cloth are aids that help keep the softer baits attached to the hooks. In mussels, the lip area is firmer and will stay on a hook, but the softer central area usually is a better fish attractant because it will slowly dissolve in the water and act like a miniature chum slick.

If you really want to check out how to prepare bait look at the north-coast steel-headers. They have it tougher than anybody.

Lastly, be sure you have a very sharp knife when cutting bait. You want to cut bait, not tear it.

This Tackle Tip offered Ron Crandall of Ron’s Reel Repair