Dead Fish Tackle – Catching a Predator with a Dead Fish

Anglers know that the most attractive bait when catching a predator is a small live fish, which the predator is used to eating in this water body. Consequently, such a bait will be the most prey, but all this is fraught with some difficulties and inconveniences.

The necessary live bait must not only be obtained, but also kept in proper form throughout the fishing, and this is not always possible. In addition, when casting, live bait sometimes breaks off the hook, and the predator, too, sometimes pulls it off with impunity without catching the hook. Even if you managed to catch fry (of a low-value breed, of course), it is advisable to keep them alive and lively.

In winter, this is somewhat easier to do. You can, for example, store live bait in a special “aquarium” – a small recess in the ice. Somewhat more difficult in the summer. Some fishermen put live baits into the water by placing them in a fine mesh cage. Others adapt a glass jar for this, closed with a plastic lid, in which holes are made. This jar is immersed in water (in the coldest layers of water, on the shady side) – so live bait can be stored for a long time.

But live bait – ruffs and perches – cannot be stored together with other fish in the cage, since ruff mucus poisons them, and perches damage them with their needles.

A small supply of live bait can be well preserved in a thermos, if you fill it, for example, 2/3 with ice (take it with you in advance from the refrigerator). And place the live bait in a gauze bag that would freely pass through the neck of the thermos. Live bait will survive during the day.

And yet, if you did not manage to keep the fish alive, then you should not be upset – and you can also successfully catch dead fish. Knowing what difficulties one has to face when catching live bait, and even losing them when casting, some fishermen harvest these baits long before fishing – they preserve or freeze pre-caught fish. And when fishing, they are put on special devices – tackles.

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There are many types of tackle, they are on sale quite rarely, more often anglers make them on their own, choosing, in their opinion, the simplest and most convenient design.

Most often, catching a predatory fish with a dead fish is done by spinning, caught by a path and a plumb line.

Installation of a tackle for a dead fish

An example is a tackle, perhaps the simplest design. It consists of a piece of soft wire with a diameter of about 1–2 mm, a length of 5–10 cm (the length is chosen depending on the size of the dead fish) and two leads made of thin steel wire with hooks-tees. One of the leashes is made short (2-4 cm) so that its tee is near the head of the fish. The second leash is longer (5-8 cm), its tee is attached near the anal fin. The rod is inserted through the mouth into the fish.

The most successful in its design is the one that is hardly noticeable and holds the fish well.

Fishing tackle

As already mentioned, to create a certain stock of fish, they are sometimes frozen or canned. Freezing is easy, but with canning, the situation is somewhat more complicated, and not every amateur angler has been involved in this business. It is to them that the following recommendation is given. You can preserve fish in different ways, for example, for easy preservation of fish, it is enough to wrap it in a cloth soaked in a 2% formalin solution, or inject a few drops of a 40% solution into the belly of the fish using a syringe.

But a more durable canning will turn out if the fish is immersed for a long time in a 3-5% formalin solution. If you also add a little glycerin there, then the body of the fish will be more flexible.

Of course, before going on a fishing trip, canned fish must be soaked for 2-3 hours in salt water – this will discourage the smell of formalin and give the fish a shine. After soaking, the fish should be folded into clean gauze and sprinkled with boric acid in crystals. Directly on fishing, these fish can be stored in the same gauze, slightly moistened with water.

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With the correct attachment of a dead fish to a tackle, this version of the bait can be no less catchy than when fishing with live bait. The main thing is to properly fix the fish, while it is desirable that it does not sluggishly reach for the fishing line during wiring, but still bends with its body. This can be achieved if the body of the dead fish is slightly bent when attaching it to two leashes with hooks.

In no case should the bait be allowed to rotate during posting – it should move, not differing from a naturally swimming fish, then you can count on a bite.

The optimal size of the fish when fishing for large pike, pike perch and catfish is not more than 10-15 cm, in rare cases, when it is supposed to catch a very large predator, such as catfish, the length of this fish can be even more – about 20 cm.

If the fish is small, but a long cast is expected, then a small weight can be strengthened in front of the tackle – the casting of the bait will be not only distant, but also more ton.

Dead fish tackle

There can be several options for wiring the tackle, for example: slow, fast, stepped. This largely depends on the activity of the fish, the depth and nature of the reservoir. When fishing with a tackle, force casting should be avoided. Taking into account the activity of the fish, it is possible to change the nature of the tracking, its speed, to achieve in the end not only the best character of the “game” of the bait, but, of course, its catching power.

From the practice of catching a predator with a tackle, specifically a pike perch, when the bait has to be carried near the very bottom, it has been repeatedly noted that most of the bites occurred at a short distance from the bottom. On the one hand, this can be explained by the fact that you have to “drag” the bait along the very bottom, knowing that somewhere there may be a pike perch, but this is quite dangerous – there may be constant hooks …

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But you can try to carry out the wiring near the very bottom and without hooks if you strengthen a small sinker in front of the tackle, and remove it from the tackle itself. You can even replace it with a small foam ball, which will give the tackle additional buoyancy – this will protect against unpleasant snags. How far from the rig should the lead be secured? This will depend on how far from the bottom you want to place the bait.

Roughly it can be 10-15 cm. Or you can do a little differently: at the end of the main fishing line, fix a sinker (its weight must be chosen based on the required casting distance of the bait, the depth of the reservoir and the strength of the current), and at some distance from the sinker, a lateral leash should be strengthened with a tackle.

It is difficult to say with certainty which of these two methods of tackling the tackle is better. Some anglers believe that the first option is more catchy, but … in this case, the probability of overlap is more likely, since when casting the bait, the sinker still flies first. Of course, this can be avoided if, shortly before splashdown of the bait, the flight is slightly slowed down by slightly pressing the escape line, for example, with your finger.

Of course, a sinker attached to the end of the main line can also catch on during wiring, but in most cases you can insure yourself against this if, for example, you equip this sinker with small “whiskers” – steel wires diverging in different directions. If you only feel the likelihood of a catch (as in the case of a bite), you need to make a small jerk with the rod up or to the side – the “antennae” will help the sinker to get free. It is better to choose the shape of a sinker equipped with a “mustache” in the form of a cone or drop-shaped.

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