Live Bait part 2

By Brendan Nolan with Mick Clarke
1st Jul 2012

The second in our series on live bait

So we have caught our live bait, we know where we are fishing…now what exactly do we do with that live bait we have in the live well. You rig em up and catch some fish. Simple. Of course as we discussed in the last issue there are a number of different live bait options, and with these different options come different options of rigging them. We will start with the big guys first… Bonnies- The important thing you need to know about Bonnies and in fact all livies is when handling them is to do so with a lot of care. Try not to damage them at all or take off too much slime off their skin. Also with Bonnies get them to your vessel/craft as quickly as possible and into the Lunar Tubes as quickly as possible. They must NOT be allowed to tire out or they will die quickly. Another trick with the Bonnie when rigging it up is to hold it upside down, as this stops it vibrating wildly. Ok so we have our Bonnies now the decision on how to rig it depends on your target species. First lets cover Tuna, Billfish, Kingies and Dorado. With all these species no wire is used. Just a single or circle hook on fluorocarbon or leader of about 0.5mm up 0.7mm. The single or circle hook size should be a 4/o up to 7/o. Use a power swivel (always use power swivel) size 4 at the end of the leader. The hook must be pushed through the upper lip or nostril of the Bonnie. Couta. Wire trace must be used. The front wire of the trace should be no 5 or no 6 wire, and no 7 or no8 for the back wire. Single hook – size 4/o to 7/o -at the front of the rig and pushed through the top lip or nostril. One treble(size 4 or 2) halfway down the Bonnie and the other smaller treble at the back of the Bonnie. If you are putting your hooks through the blue upper half of the Bonnie use black hooks. If you are putting the hooks through the bottom silver half of the Bonnie use silver hooks. This will ensure your hooks are less visible to the target game fish. When hooking in the silver or bottom half be very careful not to pierce the middle to deep as this where the organs are. Couta tend to chop the rear half of your live bait and come back hence the two trebles. Wahoo(Micks favourite). The front hook is a single hook as per the Couta setup but only one treble halfway down the Bonnie or just behind the pectoral fin as a Wahoo will swallow the whole fish. Wahoo are very inquisitive, even more so than Couta and will study a bait first which so often means if you have two trebles you won’t get a bite. Ok so that’s the bigger bait covered now for the smaller guys. Mackerel and Mozzies- Tuna, Kingfish, Dorado and Billfish- same as per Bonnie but just the Fluorocarbon or Leader scaled down somewhat to 0.45mm. Hook and swivel as per Bonnie rig. Couta and Wahoo–Wire trace once again of course. Same rig but just scaled down for a smaller bait. The front single hook should be a 2/o up to a 4/o and inserted through the upper lip or nostril. Front wire size no 4 and back wire no 6. Use no. 4 trebles positioned in the rear half of your live bait. And with the Wahoo as before just one treble halfway down the body. Sardines- with sardine the hooks pull easily and they die quickly so they are not ideal live bait. Best for dead bait. However if you are going to swim a sardine use a no 4 treble through the nose. The photos attached will give you a better idea of exactly what we talking about. Mick ‘The Codfather’ Clarke and Go Fish conduct one on one and group clinics throughout the year in which trace tying is an integral part. So if you want even more info give us a shout
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©2012 Go Fish Magazine
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