Floats, Corks, and Balloons for Live Bait Rigs


  Floats, Corks, and Balloons for Live Bait Rigs

  By Craig Lamb

Flying kites, fishing with worms and bobbers, blowing up balloons. That’s kid stuff, right? Not exactly. If a savvy saltwater anglers says, he’s going to fly a kite then pay attention. Kites and the techniques used for targeting pelagic species are deadly when used by an experienced angler.   The same holds true for balloons. The same party balloons used for your kid’s birthday party have a special place and time when they are equally as productive for saltwater species. Floats, like balloons, have special applications, too. Here’s a look at how they work, including a few tips from Capt. George Mitchell, host of Yamaha’s Coastal Chaos short form TV series.   Go fly a kite “Kites are great for sailfish, but they also do the job for dolphin, kingfish, and other offshore cruisers,” notes Mitchell. For the unaware, a specialized fishing kite is flown off the stern. A common setup is to fly a pair of kites, each with two live bait rigs. Fishing lines are snapped to release clips as the kite sails away, taking the baits the desired distance from the boat. The idea is keeping the bait on the surface. That causes a commotion that predators find irresistible. You also get the added benefit of stealth, since the leader and line stay above water. That can be a challenge during the height of the fishing season. Under calm conditions here’s how Mitchell manages to fly a kite. “You’d be surprised to know that even on the surface the wind might appear to be calm with flat seas,” he says. “Even so, there is always some wind blowing above the surface.” Under that scenario, he adds a 40-inch helium balloon to the back of the kite. “It really gets it up in the air, and you can easily manage the distance of the kite,” he adds.   Blowing balloons “You can really get a bait out further with a balloon, over a bobber,” notes Mitchell. That is because the larger surface area of the balloon catches more wind. You get better hook-setting ratios too. Again, the larger size creates more resistance. The fish must take a firmer grip on the bait when pulling it down. Balloons offer a less expensive alternative to kite fishing, and they are ideal when fishing areas where keeping baits at specific depths off the bottom is key. Use balloons at night, too. Just insert a glow stick inside before blowing up the balloon. Or, you can use glow-in-the-dark balloons if available. Mitchell offers this tip for balloon fishing. “Tie a basic overhand knot,” he says. “But make sure you keep the knot above the line to the leader knot.” Doing so keeps the balloon above the weight and balanced for a more controlled presentation. When using balloons with a light wind, you can angle the balloon to take the bait away from the boat much quicker than with a bobber.   Floats and corks Mitchell likes to use small floats for catching live bait. “I use the kind with a little lead weight in the bottom,” he says. “That holds the float steady and upright.” Aboard his boat, you will find a box of bright, fluorescent sliding corks, but not intended for what you might think. “I use them not so much for bouncy as for visibility,” he says. “I use one closer to home and one further away, so to speak, so that young eyes and old eyes can see what’s going on from far away.     Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!   Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com   

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