HARRY'S GULP BAIT FLOUNDER RIG
Here's my attempt of rigging and how I use gulp bait for Flounder, Weakfish, Stripers,....etc.
This is mainly geared to flounder fishing but can be used for others as well
For this rig to be most effective it must be used in 15' of water or less. I suppose it could be used deeper if the current is not strong.
Since your fishing shallow water the lighter the jig head the better IMO.
I use a 6.5' fast action spinning rod and load the reel with 15-20 lb power pro. My choice is moss green.
At the end I tip it with a shot of 20-25 lb floro line, but mono will work too. I choose to join these two line together with a knot called the "Albright Special". Some use a barrel swivel. With the knot you can reel the jig head all the way to the last eye in your rod when moving to a different location too.
No matter how you join them, it's my opinion that you must use something other than the braided line to attach to the jig. This is the business end of the rig, and braid while SUPER strong and zero stretch, doesn't not hold up well to nicks & abrasions that these toothy critters can dish out. The short piece of floro will not stretch when only using a 16" piece.
Next I prefer a little clip tied to the end of the floro. These clips are made called "Breakaway fast links".
Some tie direct but with constant changing of weighted jigs, & changing conditions, I find this fast and easy.
Simply clip on the desired jig head.
I love the "owner" type jigs, as the hooks are super sharp and have a wide gap for the body of the bait. Plus they have a nice lead barb to hold the bait on the jig.
I bought a mold to make my own, but the barb stunk on them and the hooks were hard to find with the right combination.
Hold the bait (these happen to be 3" shrimp) next to the jig with the snout of the shrimp next to the base of the lead head. See where the hook should exit the back and try to make your hook exit this spot.
Slide the bait onto the point of the hook and you must help it around the bend.
If all went well it should look like this
If you went to far down towards the tail it will sit too high and not look natural. Believe me when I say the properly rigged bait will out fish a poor rigging job every time.
If you went too far it will look like this.
If this happens simply back the bait off and push the hook through the back a little closer to the head of the bait.
I've tried the 2" and 4" and while both work, it's the 3" that I like best. The 2" is not only shorter but has a skinny body & the jigs I use have the hook exiting near the tail.
The 4" the hook is too far FWD and you miss a lot of fish. I've looked and cannot find longer shank hooks.
The rigging method also works for gulp swimming mullet, jerk shad, and a variety of other soft body baits.
So your all rigged up and ready to fish.
Once you locate your fishing grounds ( if drift fishing) simply fish it as you normally would a bucktail. If you are drifting with the current this is good and will present a natural presentation of the bait being washed out by the tide.
Drop down until you reach bottom and with short twitches of the wrist keep this going. Try to avoid LONG sweeping motions and stay in contact with the bottom at all times, hopping the bait across the bottom and bouncing it 4-5 " off the bottom. Flounder tend to inhale bait and expel excess water trough the gills. They will also "stalk" prey while "walking" on there side fins. I've seen this !!!
Sometimes the are very finicky feeders. I call these fish "tail suckers" they take the bait from the tail and try to dis-able the prey. When they are in this mode it is important to feed line back to them as soon as a strike or nibble is detected.
If I feel a strike and miss, I immediately open my bail and drop back to the fish. I'll close the bail and raise the rod tip slowly if I feel weight it's usually a safe bet he has bitten up on the bait and I set the hook.
If you are drifting and the wind has got you and pushing you against the tide, or your anchored or bank fishing, always remember the fish are usually "facing" the tide waiting for prey to come his way.
In this case I've caught fish by casting " upstream" no matter which direction the boat it being blown, and simply retrieve my jig at the same speed as the tide while twitching along. You may have to reel quite fast to keep pace, depending on the wind and tide speed.
If you choose to just bounce your bait at the mercy of the wind and are going against the tide, you are basically pulling your bait from the fish facing away from the bait, across his tail towards his head. you CAN catch this way, but not consistent.
Tight Lines __________________
2008 238 DLV, w/ 140