How to Use Dead Bait in Lure Fishing
Lure fishing is a tremendously exciting way of catching predators, but it does depend to quite a great degree on relatively clear water. It your river or lake is clouded, then lure fishing has to be queried in terms of effectiveness. This is the moment that you've really got to try something else, and this will probably be deadbaiting.
Ensure that your deadbaits are as fresh as possible. Pike are not scavengers, and they do like a succulent meal. Always go for dead sea fish rather than dead freshwater fish, 'faking freshwater fish can seriously damage stocks in some freshwater fisheries.
It pays to have a variety of baits with you — herring, mackerel, sardines and sprats are favourites, but any other sea fish that you might find on the fishmonger's slab are all worth a bash - especially on pressured fisheries where pike have seen most things before.
Once again, make sure that your trebles have squashed barbs and, above all, strike very quickly once a run develops. If you do miss a pike on the strike, then in all probability it's a very small fish that hasn't been able to mouth the bait properly. If it's a decent pike, then it will almost always be hooked as soon as a run develops. Deadbaiting can occasionally seem slow work but there are ways of livening it up.
Perhaps the most exciting way to fish deadbaits is under a drifter float. Wind can be a restriction. Ideally, you need a force three or above.
The great advantage of the drifter float is that you check out all the water from close into the bank, right out to a hundred yards plus.
The weighting of the rig has to be precise. Too little weight, and the drifter float will flop over on its side. Too great a weight, and the drifter float will sink so that too little of the vane is standing proud to catch the wind.
Make sure that the line from the float to the rod tip is well greased to keep it afloat. You can buy an automatic greasing device for this.
Stop the float fairly frequently on its trip out across the water. Simply shut the bale arm to prevent extra line being given out. This will have the effect of moving the float several yards either left or right, and in this way even more water is being covered.
Once the float gets to a good distance — over 60 or 70 yards (55—64m) for example — your binoculars will probably be neeeded. Watch the float very carefully indeed for any sign of a taking fish. Do not delay on striking because the fish could swallow the bait and then unhooking becomes a nightmare.
When striking, wind down until the line is tight to the taking fish. Then lift the rod and walk backwards up the bank, striking as you go. This action sets the hook even at very long range. Always make sure that your reel is filled to the very lip if you are drift floating. Sometimes you will be fishing well in excess of 150 yards (135m) away, and if a fish then runs another c20 yards (18m) away from you, you could be in trouble unless you have plenty of line to spare.
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