Shortcasts

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Bottled Up
Umbrella rigs catch plenty of fish, but they don't do much for saving space on my 22-foot center console. To keep them out of the way and from getting tangled, I store my rigs in two-liter soda bottles. Carefully cut the bottom of the bottle off with a razor blade and remove the cap. An umbrella rig folds neatly inside, and several bottles will stand in a cooler or onboard fishbox. When the day is done, just hose the rigs down while they're still in the bottles, and the water will drain out of the bottom.
- Robert Fritschy,
Middletown, New Jersey

Shell Games

Whenever I use eggs at home, I save the shells and add them to my chum during my next fishing trip. The crumbled shells flutter and sparkle as they descend through the water and do a great job of attracting more fish to the boat. This method works especially well for flounder and striped bass when used with ground-clam or bunker chum. Two-dozen eggshells is the perfect amount for five gallons of chum, but just make sure all the residual egg white and yolk are rinsed from the shells, or the pieces will float.
- Mike Wiechnik,
Medford, New Jersey

On the Ball

When I'm not on the water, I keep my boat and trailer parked in my yard. Theft was always a concern of mine, so I came up with a simple idea to deter potential boat burglars. Before locking the coupler on my trailer, I insert a golf ball into the hitch receiver. Once the coupler is locked, the golf ball sits loosely at the bottom and makes it very difficult for someone to drop my trailer onto a smaller ball-hitch or bolt and pull away with my boat.
- Daniel M. Hellams,
Lewes, Delaware