Using proper tackle when live bait fishing is important to match bait size, it can increase number of hits and precentage of fish landed. For example, if the bait is three inches long, stay with 4 ought or less on your hook size. For shiners 8 to 10 inches long, use 5 and 6 ought hooks. Use weed guards only when necessary in heavy cover. At least a seven foot heavy action rod, we prefer 7-1/2 G-Loomis GL2. It has a soft tip to help you cast distance and back bone to turn a trophy when needed. Spool them up with 20 to 30 lb. Berkley big game line when fishing cover, grass lines, trees etc. It, sounds a little over powering I know, but it is all about being prepared when that big one hits. During the winter months the bigger the better when it comes to wild shiners size. Summer months we tend to change tactics, down sizing in bait is key once the feed changes to shad. The tackle should also be down sized, like the line. We convert to 40lb Stren Superbraid and here is the key, attach a 17lb clear Berkley big game leader to it. It will give you an edge over the other anglers.
Live bait fishing can be done with shiners and shad. Shiners live longer if hooked properly, one option is to hook them through the bottom lip, then through the nostril. Care must be taken not to hit between the nostril, this is where there brain is located. Careful not to break the neck of the bait, when slipping the hook upper ward pass the bottom jaw look for the small holes (nostrils) once located hook should penetrate with very little pressure. This technique makes the shiner swim in a downward motion, and works great for trolling. Hooking in the dorsal fin will make the bait swim up and away from the line or bobber, thus creating more action, but the bait will wear down much quicker and die sooner, so wait until you are anchored to try this technique. You can hook the shiner in front or behind the dorsal fin. Each method allows the shiners to be steered under, over and around vegetation to exact points.
Live Bait fishing is the most productive way to catch fish anywhere or any time. That is why we take the time necessary to catch fresh bait each morning. Only during tournaments is it necessary to pre catch and store baits so that you will not run out of bait during the tournament. Day old baits are not as energetic as fresh and they will die much sooner than fresh baits. We believe that, the fresher the better, better catches and better quality of catches than those fishing with lesser quality baits. Compare our catches, both quality and quantity, on a regular basis with any other boat. Check out the page to see why we use fresh bait every day.
Don’t spend your money on expensive store bought rigs for live bait fishing. Just get a few materials together and tie your own simple Carolina rigs. Not only are they cheaper, but you’ll have more success with them and have the satisfaction of catching fish on your own home-made rigs.