Figuring out live bait rigs seems like a simple task.
Just stick a wiggly worm or a lively minnow on a hook and let the bait do the rest to catch a variety of gamefish. However there are rigging tricks savvy anglers use to make their live bait presentations more appealing and natural looking to the predator fish.
Here are five tricks to help you catch more fish with live bait rigs.
Planer Board Live Bait Rigs
When searching for offshore walleye, you can speed up the process with a planer board trailed by a three-way swivel attached to the main line. Tie an 8-inch dropper line of 10-pound monofilament with a heavy enough bell or pencil sinker to keep the bait down near the bottom while drifting or trolling. Use a 2-foot leader of 12-pound fluorocarbon for a hook and minnow.
Nightcrawler Harness Live Bait Rigs
A nightcrawler harness consists of a small spinner, one or multiple beads and two hooks (an octopus bait hook and a Slow Death model) rigged on a leader line. Threading the nightcrawler on the rig works best for trolling for walleye along weed and timber edges.
Double Minnow Live Bait Rigs
You can double your chances of catching crappie while spider rigging by tying a three-way swivel to a main line of 10-pound test and attaching two drop lines of 8-pound test. The first drop line about 8 to 10 inches long features a number 2 hook on the end. Complete the rig by leaving 20 to 22 inches on the second line between the swivel and an egg sinker (secured by wrapping the line through the sinker about five times) followed by about an 8-inch leader to another number 2 hook.
Slip Bobber Live Bait Rigs
When crappie suspend in standing timber during the heat of summer, I keep a minnow in the fish’s strike zone by fishing it below a slip bobber like the Carlisle Slip Bobber. The rig consists of a bobber stop set at 8 to 10 feet on 30-pound braid followed by the slip bobber, a 1/8-ounce sinker and gold 3/0 Aberdeen hook.
When drifting down a river with live bait, a three-way rig is best for catching trout. You can use a swivel or tie loop knots for the two leader lines. The shorter line (about 3 inches long) holds a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce bell sinker; a second 18-inch leader has a #10 or #12 hook for worms or salmon eggs.