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Sudsy

Leader length for bait fishing - explain this ???

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I'm going to start tying up this years "spring in Raritan bay" bait leaders. As usual they will be in a two line weights and two lengths.

30# for pre bluefish clamming, 30" with a handful at 12"

50# for when the blues show for clam and chunking, 30" with a handful at 12"

 

OK, here's what I've never been able to figure out, has to do with the short leaders......................

 

Back in the day, Gary2, Jeff Morris, Digger and I used to fish together every weekend at a certain back bay spot all spring long. Minimal current, minimal wave action, typical Raritan bay.

On more then one occasion we had to switch from the longer leaders we all used to short ones, sometimes having to cut them down all the way to 6" stubbies in order to get bit. Standard fish finder rigs, 2 or 3 oz sinkers, Gami 9/0 J's.

Somehow Gary always knew when to change leader size up or down, (guy was the damned fish whisperer). Jeff or I would ask how he knew to do this and, typical Gary, in his grouchy voice..... "I dunno, just do it!"

 

I still have never figured out what would signal him to change length. Why is it that in a non current, non wave spot, leader length made any difference at all, and especially as large a difference as it sometimes made - I've never understood it :kook:

 

Now, anytime I leave anywhere without getting a bite, I often wonder if I should have changed leader length a few more times.

 

 

?????????????????

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  Clams are on the bottom. If that is where the fish are feeding that is where they are looking for the next mouthful, not floating up on a longer leader. Just a guess. I like my fish finders down tight anyway, cast better.



M


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I always use a short leader, about 12" when I'm chunking on a fish finder rig. Just for better casting and also the fact it won't roll too much, but mainly so my casts won't "helicopter".

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And that leader question goes both ways, sometimes we'd start small, had been working the night before, but would have to go longer to get bit. And I'm talking bit, not hooked - holding the rods, braided line.

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What was your logic in starting longer and going shorter?

I always use short leaders when using a fish finder rig. Hi-lo clam rig is obviously longer.

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More natural motion, more lift in a wave situation, farther from the sinker so less chance of being spooked by the moving swivel, less chance of instantly feeling the sinker weight, easier to suck the bait up without noticing resistance. Yada yada yada

 

Reality is - I've always done it it this way and it was how I was taught.

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no idea why the shorter leade rmight work. Down at hatteras eveyrhting we throw on aheaver is short leader. I mean real short, like 1-3 inches. We also use the same legnth at Assateague. Its short for becasue you need a long cast. but they catch just fine.

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Interesting. I always use a minimum of 12". For bottom fishing, it may be the stiffness of the thick leader standing right above the bait spooks the fish. What toenali said makes some sense.

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