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Topic: How many livebaits in the water?  (Read 2892 times)

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Offline John F

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How many livebaits in the water?
« on: October 04, 2012, 10:27:55 pm »
During the last micro social we discussed several techniques for marlin including live baits. Some crews will only hold the livie line on their hands and others will put them up on the outrigger.

Got a few questions and would like to get input from those who have been through the ropes?

* How many live baits (3-5 kg tunny) can one pull with a crew of say 1+3 on a mid sized boat (19-21 ft)?

* What would be best outrigger/hand/downrigger?

I know lot's of factors will come into play and shape the tactics, so please feel free to share as much as possible and enlighten us poor mortals!

Thanks!

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Offline tkei

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 08:14:14 am »
Personally i would only run 2 livies at a time. One either on outrigger or in hand (I use the hand method. as I dont have riggers ounted. they int he garage) and 1 on a down rigger. That way you covering the water column and less chance of them tangling. Put a 3rd out there and unless the crew are ont he ball you could get tangles, especially if a fish takes the downrigged 1 and comes up immediately through the other 2.
 

Offline dugong

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 08:18:45 am »
We dont fish with livebaits often, but you only need one, if there is a marlin in the area he will chow it, that said def not more than two.
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Offline bryant

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2012, 10:15:41 am »
Morning John


Livebait for billies is labour intensive, and takes time to do right.


I was lucky enough to grow up learning from some of the best live bait fisherman in the country, guys who have mastered the art and really know their game.... We do not pull plastic, its a personal choice, we like live bait and all the problems that comes with it.


Obviously swimming livies starts with catching livies. This can be the most testing part of ones day, sometimes you are busy setting your rappies etc and you get your first bite, other days you pull for the whole day and get no bait. We like 2 daisy chains on the out rods, and then we pull 4-5 rappies out the back. I fished with Piet "scrap" growing up, we used to pull 16 lures looking for bait, 8 rods, but with a rapala and a feather on a 3 way swivel on each line ( the rapala swims down, and the feather pulls above it). We favor pinnacles for bait, but often during comps, the pinnacles become a highway, so the fish sound and become impossible to get hold of. We will then do 2 thing, firstly we put a japan rappie about 200m ( this often works) and secondly we focus on deeper water and will look for skippies.




So finally you have been looking for 5 hours and finally have a bait, and its hooked in the gills and dies, welcome to livebait fishing <: <: . Sometimes one must swim what ever they can, we have used dorado and even a kingy as bait before. We will swim a bait up to 20kg if we have to, but a big bait is full of problems, sure they dont die easily, but we have had them swim away from marlin, to counter this we trim the inside of the tail with a knife so that it has less surface area propel its self with.  All baits are different and have pros and cons, the most common baits we get are :


Yellow fin Tuna


These are my favorite bait, they live long and you can pull them all over the ocean. They often just open up their pec fins and glide behind the boat.


The only con is that because the head is broad, its affects your hook up when using a "J" hook.


Skipjack

These fish are hard to keep alive and have to be looked after. They dont do well in a tube as they tend to plug the bottom of the tube with their pointy heads. When you pulling them, they like to be pulled faster than most baits, we usually pull ours at 1200 rpm on one motor, but every bait is different. Also watch out for the slim on their bodies, its gives a nasty rash. Due to the narrow head, you get a brilliant hook up.


Bonnie/ Easter little Tuna

Also a great bait, you get them of all sizes. The jube jube size get swallowed like a tick tack. These fish are sensitive to how they are pulled though. Any where between 800-1000 rpm on one motor.








Having tubes on the boat makes life so much easier , they allow you to swim a bait and have 1 or 2 spare baits on stand by. They also allow you time to clean the deck and move to good water, we used to have hold the bait close behind the boat until we got deeper water ( shark problem) , but with tubes you just bang it in and drive like a gentleman to your fishing grounds.


Once you have good water, its time to fish. Having more than one bait in the water can cause problems, big problems. Firstly, when a fish comes to eat, it doesn't commit to the one bait, it almost seems confused and doesn't eat properly often resulting in a fish dropping the bait. We have had fish eat both baits, as you can imagine, this is a problem. Trying to control 2 live baits when they become excited also causes issues, especially when a shark is following them. Lastly, when you have a strike, there is so much going on, the second bait gets in the way. If you have tubes, only swim one at a time. If you dont have tubes and you have 2 baits, swim one further back and the other right behind the boat


In our waters i dont like down riggers for a few reasons. In the states, the boats have as many as 10 tubes on the boats and filling them up with livies is not a huge issue, so if a bait get eaten by a shark they can just put another one out. We have to work for our bait and sharks are a huge problem, and most of the baits down deep will be taxed. I love holding the line, there is nothing more exciting than feeling the bait become excited and then having the line ripped out your hand, you need a degree of experience to hold the line. If you let go to soon before the fish has been eaten, the bait can sometimes swim away from the marlin. The full proof method is still having the line in a rigger clip with a elastic ( clip about 1-1.5m) off the gunnel at about 45 degrees to water. Either the clip opens or the elastic breaks, this ensure there is no chance of letting go early + its allot more comfortable hiding under the t top than sitting by the motors in the sun holding line. Having the bait near the surface allows one to keep an eye out for sharks. Once a shark is spotted, ill grab the line and start pulling the bait in, at the same time a crew member will gun the one motor. This allows us to get the bait away from the shark, just dont get tangled in the line.


Sharks are a problem with live bait, thats why we only use 130ib and 80ib outfits. You dont want to waste 4 hours fighting a shark on 50ib tackle.


When you are pulling your bait, there are a few things to watch out for. If possible try pull in the trough or cross the swell at a 30-45 degree angle. Pulling into a swell or with a swell will kill you bait quickly. The rigger will act as a shock absorber , but a good rule of thumb is that the clip with the line should pull as constantly as possible. A dead bait will pull tight and then slack, so always keep a eye out.


When a fish takes the bait and its time to feed it, dont feed it to long, especially with a circle hook. I was making this mistake, i was feeding like i would a J hook. My drop back is 10 meters, i will maybe give another 5 more meters then put the drag up. With "J" hooks i will still let him eat for a long time.


With live bait, we fish a period the day known as "prime time" , this is a hour before and a hour after the tide change. This is when the fish start to feed , with kona you get a reaction strike allot of the time, but with live bait, the fish must be feeding. I would say that 90% of fish on bait are taken in "prime time". Also marlin and hammers hang out together, as prime starts, the hammers will come up first, then then marlin.


b


Hope it helps....... I am not a article writer.... so sorry if there are mistakes..

Offline dugong

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 10:26:44 am »
Nice input bryant!!
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Offline John F

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 10:40:15 am »
This is what I'm talking about! Great info bryant! Thanks! +cred! Made it sticky!

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Offline Werries

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 11:04:32 am »
Very interresting article Marcos !... and a great reply by Bryant, very informative.
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Offline shagnrelease

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 12:46:54 pm »
There is really not to much more to it, Bryant has covered everything! Great response well done mate.
I wont use more than 2 , and I will have one at 30mtrs behind the boat with an elastic held by the angler, and the 2nd in an outrigger 5-10mtrs from the boat.

Offline Seventenths

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 11:58:46 am »
thanks guys, I learnt plenty. Much appreciated...
We often use bigger bait YFT up to 20-30kg (Southern Cape)... even a small stripey takes them! I was told a 300kg marlin can swallow a 50-60kg YFT without blinking - they can distend their lower jaws. John, I would say a YFT of 3-5kg is a bit light in the pants. Big bait = big fish, but this has resulted in a hungry 40kg stripey swimming in circles around a bait almost as big as him and had to put out the plastic! My ideal YFT is about 15kg but rarely seem to get what I want!
I don't do more than 1 live bait at a time we seem to screw it up too much! YFT seem to like knitting when they get chased.
Tubes rule! I have to say as I get older, plastic seems easier but def more fun/challenging on live bait...no two ways Bryant holding on is a thrill when a bill switches on the battery!!
Many marlin charter boats keep a livey, then when the marlin in the spread put in the livey... this seems common practice. It explains why, maybe sometimes, the fish sometimes loses interest as you mentioned the "prime time".... food for thought. I have tried this with limited success.
Cred to you Bryant and again thanks.
 
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Offline Capt. Hook

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Re: How many livebaits in the water?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 06:46:31 pm »
Excellent info. I have Piet moored next to me now and will have an opportunity to learn a lot from him which I will take with both hands.
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