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September 21, 2007

Bottom Rigs That Pick Up the Pace

Bottom fishermen can spruce up their cut bait by adding simple teasers to the hook before baiting up. I leave a long tag end of monofilament on a snelled hook, then slip four or five colored beads onto the tag end. I form a small loop with one overhand knot and work the loose knot down snug to the beads. Then I pass a second turn through the loop and yank it tight with pliers, trimming the tag end close. Some New Jersey fluke fishermen I know fish strip baits or live killifish with a two-inch vinyl "squid" skirt, sometimes even adding a spinner blade on the line above. For best results, they trim the skirt so it falls just short of reaching the hook bend. Another fluke expert, Cape May’s Bob Lubberman, rigs the same kind of skirt backwards, so it puffs open as he draws his bait through the water on the retrieve.

- Capt. Brion Babbitt, Makoman Charters, Dennisville, New Jersey