Across the country, there are more than 30 million licensed fishers out there on the water, meaning there’s lots of competition for the best catch. However, bottom fishing has become one of the best ways for you to get a great catch with a little added technique. If you’re trying to bring back some exciting fish, you need to learn what the best captains out there are doing and how to bottom fish.
Here are five tips to succeed.
1. Go With a Long Leader
When you’re looking to get the most out of your bottom fishing rig, you need to be prepared to use a long leader. The benefits of long leaders might seem obvious to some fishers, but it’s not until you get out there with a long braid that you can really tell what you could be getting.
If you want to increase your bites, consider a 50- to 80-pound braid. If you attach a three-way swivel, you’ll be able to get a lot of potential bites. Attached to your swivel, tie on a monofilament or a fluorocarbon lead that’s at least 50 feet long.
Make sure you top it all off with a smaller barrel swivel. You should use leader and filaments that can handle around 80 pounds of load. Add a dropper loop at the end of the swivel so that you can sink appropriately.
Based on the kind of depth that you’re looking for, you can switch out your sinker. If you drop it to the bottom and then crank it just a few times, you’ll be able to get your bait to move more naturally. Whether you use live or cut bait, the movement should be pretty attractive to the fish.
2. Anchor with Your Trolling Motor
If you have a large thrust trolling motor, you should use a system to help you stay in position. When you use an electronic GPS system built into your motor, you can stay in the right location for longer.
With the help of an electronic system, your motor is going to be triggered to go back where you intended to be.
When trying to anchor traditionally, you’re going to have to put a lot of work into it. Making sure you drop at the right location, have the right weight, and don’t end up dragging the anchor, you have a lot to worry about.
With a digital system, you can set it once and forget it. You’ll be able to move and reset your anchor easily, meaning you don’t have to crank up your motor. Let your trolling motor do the work so that you don’t have to drop a loud anchor or run the full motor.
You won’t disturb the fish and you’ll be able to get where you need to go.
3. Don’t Race To The Bottom
When you’re trying to succeed at bottom fishing, you need to be patient. If you rush to get down there, you’re more likely to disturb the fish, disrupt the water, and make it harder.
Drop your rig too fast and you’re likely to get tangled. If you rush, you won’t be able to position yourself accurately.
You want to drop every angler at a fair enough distance so that each drop counts and you don’t have to untangle your lines later. When you’re out there untangling, you’re just sitting there, not catching fish. You waste your time and miss out on some good opportunities.
If you go out with a bunch of fishers and one drops their rig too fast, they’ll clutter the bottom. The tangled and unnatural look to their rig will keep fish away and won’t attract them to your many lines. The more you take your time, the more likely that everyone succeeds.
4. Avoid Too Many Rods
If you’re going to go out to nice clear waters, avoid leaving a huge footprint. If you try to overdo it with too many rods, you’re going to end up cluttering the space and making it hard to bottom fish.
Find a simple rig with a simple braid that works for you. Get to know a region and abide by the concept that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Having just a few free lines with a few pieces of live bait is much better than fishing with many lines. You’re not more likely to catch something with more lines. At some point, you’re more likely to hit snags, end up with tangles, and ruin an otherwise perfect day of fishing.
5. The Best Fishing is Low on Weight
If you’re looking to get the best fish out there, there was once a concept that you needed to weigh your lines down heavily. Some fishers went out with strictly weighted rigs that stayed low in the water.
However, that concept is slowly changing because if the current allows for it, you could go with no weight at all. Naturally presented bait or even cut bait through a chum line can get you the biggest red snappers you’ve ever seen. Without having to go down even 100 feet, you can angle for these fish and see great results.
It turns out that bigger red snappers are higher than most fishing folks believe and if you weigh your line down too much, you’ll miss out on them. You can even use sporting tackle if you’re taking the approach of using a lower weight.
Learning How To Bottom Fish Takes Practice
If you want to succeed at bottom fishing, the number one thing you need isn’t equipment, but practice. Learning how to bottom fish and bring back the best catches takes years, but it’s possible if you put in the time.
For a list of tips that every great fishing expert knows, check out our latest guide.