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Fish baits for different species


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Reading the recent reports of catches and as my friends and I are about to prepare for a weekend on the tope, spurs, doggies, huss and TBR, I thought I would ask how you use mackerel, flats, whiting etc for the above and more. 

Last year we split the way we set up the baits, predominantly mackerel, but using whole, flapper and fillets. We didn't see any difference between them except for a couple of dropped screaming runs when using hermit crab. I was surprised at how big a bait a thornie can swallow, most of the mackerel were large joeys.

So for those of you who fish more regularly for the above and other species howdjadoit? 

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Tope and spurs - large mackerel flap (one whole side) hooked once

Rays - we seem to find the big ones will take a mackerel head and that seems to work well.

never caught a huss - but i imagine they are the least fussy?

also never used whiting fillet as bait - but did freeze some in case my frozen mackerel stocks got low - would be interested to hear!

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For thornbacks (raja clavata) I use small chunks of herring, cross sections no more than an inch thick. I’ve found no correlation between bait size and fish size. 
Squid is also good, cut internet 1/2s or 1/3s, no bigger than about 2”. Bigger squid baits are just dogfish magnets.  

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1 hour ago, JonC said:

Bigger squid baits are just dogfish magnets.  

Interesting, last year we got more of the other species than doggies but didn't use much squid, thanks for sharing. 

2 hours ago, mike farrants said:

also never used whiting fillet as bait - but did freeze some in case my frozen mackerel stocks got low - would be interested to hear!

We were using them whole about 10" long as I had read that tope and blue shark are caught on them. Personally I hauled in 3 or 4 big dog whelk on the one I used. 

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Dogfish are a menace in the Thames, they don’t hit too hard so sometimes you don’t know that they are there and once you have one on your hook you can’t catch a proper fish. 

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6 minutes ago, JonC said:

Dogfish are a menace in the Thames...

They can be at Drummore/Sandend but we missed them last year thankfully on both days. 

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53 minutes ago, JonC said:

Dogfish are a menace in the Thames, they don’t hit too hard so sometimes you don’t know that they are there and once you have one on your hook you can’t catch a proper fish. 

dont let @Andy135 hear you say that 🤣

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5 minutes ago, mike farrants said:

dont let @Andy135 hear you say that 🤣

I'm still quietly recovering from the shock of @Odyssey's weekend bait-gathering... 😱😭

6 hours ago, Odyssey said:

11 dogs for skate bait

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28 minutes ago, mike farrants said:

sandeel can be awesome for rays too - but you'll have to bind 4-5 together to get a big enough bait!

Good point, we get some real snakes off the mouth of the Tyne but it might be a bit early for them when we are going, but perhaps I can get them from next year 🤔

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36 minutes ago, mike farrants said:

sandeel can be awesome for rays too - but you'll have to bind 4-5 together to get a big enough bait!

I use two sand eels and a slice of mack for rays. Bind them together with the fleshy side of the mack on the outside! Use plenty of elastic to stop the small fish biting all the flesh off. 

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Bluey is a pretty good bait for Rays, bound together with some dirty squid

Although they seem to take anything in the Bristol channel

Crab does the business with Smoothies, they will also take squid and fish baits

Rag/squid for Bass

Black Lug, Blow Lug, Rag, whole dirty squid (or any combination) for Cod

The upper BC is coffee coloured, so scent is key

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14 minutes ago, Malc said:

What's people's thoughts on a dingle/dongle/dangle?

And also like they do it waaaay dahn sarf as in this video 

https://youtu.be/ViTLWgbunF0

Just watched the start of the vid and from what I can see a dingle dangle is what we would call a hair rig? The hook is presented just upline from the bait, rather than hooked into the bait itself. Don't see why it wouldn't work for larger species in the UK and might reduce unwanted bycatch of smaller species.

I've seen (but not used) a similar technique for livebaiting with a bridle, where the hook is presented off the bridle instead of through the livebait.

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50 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Just watched the start of the vid and from what I can see a dingle dangle is what we would call a hair rig? The hook is presented just upline from the bait, rather than hooked into the bait itself. Don't see why it wouldn't work for larger species in the UK and might reduce unwanted bycatch of smaller species.

I've seen (but not used) a similar technique for livebaiting with a bridle, where the hook is presented off the bridle instead of through the livebait.

Got and pics of that?

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Used this when livebaitinf mackerel. 
 

The idea is that the bait is more natural than being lip hooked. 

Can be done with dead baits too as they’ll sit in a more natural manner 

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2 hours ago, Malc said:

What's people's thoughts on a dingle/dongle/dangle?

And also like they do it waaaay dahn sarf as in this video 

https://youtu.be/ViTLWgbunF0

Seems to me to be a bit of a needless gadget. Bait elastic wound round the top of a chunk of Mack or whatever then put on a hook is the same thing. Plus, I'd love to know just how many fish this guy looses whilst f'cking around baiting the thing up. He takes forever.

Defo not a match man. 

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24 minutes ago, Saintly Fish said:

Seems to me to be a bit of a needless gadget. Bait elastic wound round the top of a chunk of Mack or whatever then put on a hook is the same thing. Plus, I'd love to know just how many fish this guy looses whilst f'cking around baiting the thing up. He takes forever.

Defo not a match man. 

There is a movement towards this in the UK but less of the faff. A length of thick line with knots on it, wrap the bait(s) to it and the line is attached by hooking or tying it to the hook hair rig style. The reason I found it interesting was the guy said it was better for fish that take the bait down and run like tope etc not like TBR or LSD's so if you just get a nod, nod, nod you can lift into it and retrieve, recast/drop back down. 

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2 minutes ago, Malc said:

There is a movement towards this in the UK but less of the faff. A length of thick line with knots on it, wrap the bait(s) to it and the line is attached by hooking or tying it to the hook hair rig style. The reason I found it interesting was the guy said it was better for fish that take the bait down and run like tope etc not like TBR or LSD's so if you just get a nod, nod, nod you can lift into it and retrieve, recast/drop back down. 

Well yeah, I suppose this method would prevent a lot of fish (even lsd's) from getting gut hooked. 
I was taught a similar method for cod fishing from the beach with live bait. 
Tie a small baited hook to the bend of a larger hook. Then a small fish takes the small hook and is trapped, then the big fish comes along and eats the small fish and the large hook. 
it works well in the respect that a small bait can be cast a long way, then a big fish can be had. 

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15 minutes ago, Malc said:

Tried that for bass when I lived in Cornwall but never worked, got more on peeler. 

Yeah, it's never worked for me either. But the principle is sound! 

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