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I have another question about rigging for bottomfishing for you experts out there, I use 40 lb mono or braid with a 50 lb floro leader around 2-3 feet long with an egg sinker above the swivel, usually fishing with frozen cigs/menhaden. When I was fishing this past weekend I'd drop it down and when I reeled up at the end of the drift the bait would be wrapped around the main line 50 or so times. I don't know if it happened during the drop or the retreive, but since I wasn't getting any bites at all on those drifts I think it was on the way down. Its pretty annoying, especially since it eats up a lot of fishing time while you're untangeling it.

When we'd fish back home with rigs like thisit was never an issue because we'd be anchored out in the river current and that kept your leader out of the way,so I'm a little perplexed here. What can I do to keep the bait untangeled?
 

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Have you been hooking your bait in the middle? Try hooking your cigar minnow through the eyes, this will keep it from spinning like a helicopter on the way down....
 

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try dropping the bait for about 10 seconds then put your thumb on the spool and stop it. when you feel the weight hit the swivel you should be able to drop it all the way to the bottom. sometimes with whole baits rigged this way, when you drop them the weight is falling faster than the bait. this is my theory anyway.
 

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jlw1972 (2/11/2010) when you drop them the weight is falling faster than the bait. this is my theory anyway.
Did you come up with that all on your own.

Generally, I'm not an ass hole, but you really walked right in to that one.
 

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Yeah drop it down like 30 ft and stop it..Wait a second..drop it to the bottom..When your are thumbing it you can feel it really well with braid and can bounce it a little.. After a few cranks off the bottom..HOLD ON!
 

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alexa041 (2/11/2010)
jlw1972 (2/11/2010) when you drop them the weight is falling faster than the bait. this is my theory anyway.
Did you come up with that all on your own.

Generally, I'm not an ass hole, but you really walked right in to that one.
yeah for some reason it sounded a little more intelligent in my head
 

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Use two swivels to securethe weight. We rig our weights up with 150# leader about 12 inches long. We fish deep most of the time so we will rig several different weight sizes. Like 6,8,10,12 oz. That way it prevent the weight riding up on the line while it is going to the bottom. What happens to the way your are rigging is the bait is some were around 50 feets or more from the bottom when your weight get's there. Plus it will for sure tangle all up on you. Plus like it was suggested, hook your circle hook to the head of your bait. That way you will get more hook ups also because that big grouper you are after eats head first which makes for a good hook in the corner of the mouth. Trust me it works. Gene
 

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PURPLE HAZE (2/11/2010) Use two swivels to securethe weight. We rig our weights up with 150# leader about 12 inches long. We fish deep most of the time so we will rig several different weight sizes. Like 6,8,10,12 oz. That way it prevent the weight riding up on the line while it is going to the bottom. What happens to the way your are rigging is the bait is some were around 50 feets or more from the bottom when your weight get's there. Plus it will for sure tangle all up on you. Plus like it was suggested, hook your circle hook to the head of your bait. That way you will get more hook ups also because that big grouper you are after eats head first which makes for a good hook in the corner of the mouth. Trust me it works. Gene
you asked to hear from a expert , and so you did
 

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Another trick when fishing dead cigs and hooking through the head :cutthe tail off

Not only does this help keep the bait from "helicoptering", but i think that opening upthe skin it lets out a little more scent

If I am dropping really deep (+600 ft) - I forego the slip sinker and go with a three-way and shorten up the leader - and use a fairly light line from the swivel to the lead so the sinker breaks on a hang
 

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slipsinker (2/11/2010)Have you been hooking your bait in the middle? Try hooking your cigar minnow through the eyes, this will keep it from spinning like a helicopter on the way down....
Yeah I bring the hook through the eyes/mouth and gills and then hook it through the stomach again, going through the eyes would probably help though.

That weight sliding down the line theorymakes perfect sense...I'm really not sure why I didn't think of that:banghead Hopefully we'll get a weather window this weekend and I can try these brilliant ideas on the water. Thanks for the help all!!!
 

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Purple Haze hit it right on with the weight between swivels. i usually use about a foot of heavy mono for that and then connect flouro leader for the bait. i use to have the same problem and this will fix it.
 

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The OLE Basket Weave 101.

Yea its frustrating when your bait gets tangled up around your mainline. It is a "Nature of The Beast" when it comes to bottomfishing. I will use 2 swivels like mentioned before, it sure helps in getting your bait on the bottom. Sometimes you just get a bad barrell swivel. The most important thing is hooking your bait to where it is hydrodynamic. I hook mine in the head also. I will hook my whole cigar minnows tru the mouth starting underneath and going tru the top of the head, usually coming outbefore the eyes. Menhaden I will hook the same way. The mouths of dead bait can-will come open and cause the helicopter effect, plus resistance. Hooking the bait in the mouth will help keep the mouth shut.
 

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always let the bait down in a sweeping motion. Do this by casting a few feet back before the drop, or walking foreward while dropping. It will never tangle
 

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Hook through the head with cigs and let down SLOW,Ifusing Northern mackerels,same as above, orcut the bait in half and hook through the head or the tail depending on which endyou areuseingand let down SLOW.Live baiting uses the same principal SLOW drop!!Double swivels will work, but99% of the time thereisNo need for two swivels. SLOW and steady is the ticket regardless of how deep you are fishing.
 

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I do not recommend to lowering your bait down SLOWLY. If fishing in let's say 200 feet and you have a current, of any speed, your bait will float way back before you get to the bottom, if ever. I want my bait directly under me when it hits the bottom with the least amount of weight attached. Alot less fish will be lost if it is directly under you. If you want to catch AJ's ,lowering your bait slow will work just fine. Also like suggested above deeper then 220 feet use a three way swivel. If you are fishing in 500 feet or so increase your weight to 20 oz for a two hook rig. We shoot it down as fast as possible. With the new braids that are on the market it has made getting a bait on the bottom much easyer and with less weight. It also depends if you are at anchor or drifting.We use different ways to get a bait down in both cases. Let us know what type of fishing and depth you are in and we will try to help any way we can. If you would like us to. Gene
 

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We've done the two swivel thing and it works great but an easy fix is to use a split shot on the oppisite side of the weight from the swivel.
 

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PURPLE HAZE (2/11/2010) I do not recommend to lowering your bait down SLOWLY. If fishing in let's say 200 feet and you have a current, of any speed, your bait will float way back before you get to the bottom, if ever. I want my bait directly under me when it hits the bottom with the least amount of weight attached. Alot less fish will be lost if it is directly under you. If you want to catch AJ's ,lowering your bait slow will work just fine. Also like suggested above deeper then 220 feet use a three way swivel. If you are fishing in 500 feet or so increase your weight to 20 oz for a two hook rig. We shoot it down as fast as possible. With the new braids that are on the market it has made getting a bait on the bottom much easyer and with less weight. It also depends if you are at anchor or drifting.We use different ways to get a bait down in both cases. Let us know what type of fishing and depth you are in and we will try to help any way we can. If you would like us to. Gene
We will agree to disagree on this one.We mostly fish in 150'-250' with braid on all ofour 6hr+chartersand even in the strongest currents havevery rarelyhad a problem.We match our weight to the current and work the boat. Also when I say slowly, I'm not meaning a snails pace, simply don't just let your rig zip to the bottom as fast as you can, always give the spool friction as needs be. In heavier current with heavy lead we drop faster but still at a controlled speed. Maybe I should have substituted SLOW for "controlled speed". Try all of the above posted suggestions from the great anglers on hereand I'm sure you won't have as many problems withleader wrap. They will all work, it's just what you feel the most comfortable with, fastest to re-rig,and the generalfishing conditions you are working with.
 

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Just put a bank weight on bottom, couple hooks above on loops, and drop as fast as you like. This is what we use for bottom fishing. For AJ's we use weight above hook and drop slow. Some people say my method is not as good on snapper, but it seems to outfish the other guys on boat using weight first. They spend more time trying to untangle lines.
 

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Just a couple of things I haven't seen mentioned here so far.

1. Straighten the bait out. Make sure it is as straight as possible after hooking it through the eyes. If it is still partially frozen, bend it a few times so it will limber up. As somebody mentioned, clipping the tail on a Cigar minnow often helps. This really helps with a live Cigar minnow or Blur Runner. If you cut a bait to use halves, vut it into diagonally

2. I never use swivel sinkers. If a fish cuts you off above ths sinker, next time he swims into a hole, ths sinker snags and the fish starves to death. In fact, I almost never use aswivel when bottom fishing. I use straight 80# mono from the bottom of the reel spool to the hook.

Pass your line thru the egg sinker, back around the sinker and down thru the hole again. This locks your sinker in place where it doesn't slip way up the line. Snell on a 12/0 Mustad circle hook and you are ready for bait. Swivels don't do much good, especially on a slack line. When you snell the hook, do not go through the eye of the hook. This keeps the hook straighter so it doesn't "Helicopter down.

Give it a try. I can re-rig faster this way than any other way. I like the feel of braid but it is a serious painintheass when rerigging. I ran single hand bottom fishing charters for lots of years, fishing the snaggiest bottom you can imagine. You learn to rig quick after dropping on a spot and having 6 "instant Break-offs" in less than 10 seconds. Granted, I seldom fish deep water anymore.

Another really serious problem with braid is, it is mighty hard to handle a snagged line. I grab 80# mono bare handed and break it. I almost lost a hand when I grabbed 80# braid in the heat of battle once.

I guess I got off topic a bit here. Sorry.
 
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