Monday, July 31, 2006

Back-Bouncing Live Minnows

By: Craig Stillwell

This will be the first of several techniques for successful Striped Bass fishing on the Sacramento River.

First the rigging:
  • Rig your rod nearly the same as you would if you were going to set up to back-troll for Salmon.
  • Tie your line directly to a three-way swivel, then use 6-8lb leader approximately 7" long and tie it to one end of the three way swivel.
  • Tie a snap swivel on to the other end.
  • Now cut a 22-30" leader (I use 15 lb. Maxima) and tie one end to the three way swivel, and the other end tie to a minnow hook (use your own discretion on the size hook, I vary mine depending on the size minnow that I am back-bouncing).
  • Use a cannon ball style sinker, attached to the snap swivel. Match the size weight to the area you are back-bouncing. I generally use a 1 to 1-1/2 ounce in the slower, shallow (less than 12 feet) water, and a 2 to 3 in the deeper faster moving water.

Now the fishing:

With your boat facing upstream, come to a standstill and begin to let your line out. Once you have hit bottom, continue to let out more line, and work it back slowly.

Now you want to ease the boat backwards very slowly continually working your rod up and down allowing your presentation to move back with you. As you pump your rod, you must feel the weight bounce on the bottom every time. If you can't feel your weight hit bottom, try letting out more line very slowly. If you still can't feel bottom, then reel in line until you do.

The faster backwards that you allow your boat to go the more rapid pumps you need to make with your rod. I like to move backwards rather slowly, and therefore I would only pump my rod at 2 to three second intervals.

Moderation is the key when you are letting out line, as well as when you are reeling in line to find the bottom. I will usually leave my reel in free-spool for the first five minutes or so when I am starting a run. I just keep pressure with my thumb, and I can let out line more easily in my attempt to stay on bottom. Once I am comfortably out, I will then take my reel out of free-spool and begin bouncing.

Vary your speed according to the experience of anglers present. With beginner anglers I would suggest moving very slowly backwards, It is much easier to stay on the bottom this way. Keep in mind that anytime you pump your rod slowly up and on the way down you can't feel bottom you are either hung up with your weight, or you need to let out more line.

Do not be discouraged if it takes awhile to get the hang of it. Start in slower,shallower water to learn. Remember that the more line you have out, the harder it is to feel bottom. I have had hundreds of fish caught directly under my boat with this method. I will usually put more weight on the beginners so it is easier for them to stay in contact with the bottom.

The bite will be very distinct, sometimes during your pump, other times on the down fall, but you will have no problem interpreting the Striper bite.


At 6:59 PM, Blogger Palister9 said...

hi there.. u got nice tips and fishing info here man... love to read it more. hope u don't mind as i already link your blog to mine. keep up the good fishing and catch the big one man!!!


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