Capefox

Fly-lining live bait vs lures

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I recently went on an all-day charter on the West Coast. The boat provided large numbers of live sardines in wells, which many people fly-lined with various levels of success. However, I wondered if fly-lining live bait is actually more trouble than it's worth. Live-bait doesn't live more than a few minutes, it can't be cast out far, anglers wasted a lot of time at the tank, seals and birds keyed in on them immediately while ignoring lures, and the sardines had a knack for tangling lines.  I mostly threw 2-3 oz irons and swimbaits and I came away with more than an average catch of bonito and calico bass. I felt like lures gave me more control over presentation and much greater casting range (up to 70 yards casting a 7'6" rod and Squall 15 spooled with 50 lb braid). Am I missing something as fly-lining is supposedly very effective? Why were some people using small sliding sinkers with the bait? 

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For me the eat on a freelined bait is the best part. 

 

Watching/feeling a fish eat a bait and start swimming away commpletley unaware about the world wreckage I'm about to impart on his face is exhilerating.

 

Also it's way way cheaper than lures.

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1 hour ago, XBMX said:

I've done it for Albies in a chum slick using a 8wt. Lot of fun.

So you are trolling a streamer on #8 fly gear for Albacore? That sounds like lots of fun.

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1 hour ago, Badtothebugs said:

Also it's way way cheaper than lures.

True. My HT Lure Co. soft plastics and jighead combos came out to about $4 each, and the irons, diamonds, and flat falls about $8 to $10 each. Guys with the fancy big name lures were paying 50 to 100 percent more. I still can't bring myself to buy those $30 stickbaits. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

13 hours ago, Capefox said:

So you are trolling a streamer on #8 fly gear for Albacore? That sounds like lots of fun.

We would anchor up and chum. Once the Albies showed SurfCandies or Clousers as well as whole Speering and baby Bunker on size 4 or 6 hooks. 

Edited by XBMX

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15 hours ago, Capefox said:

True. My HT Lure Co. soft plastics and jighead combos came out to about $4 each, and the irons, diamonds, and flat falls about $8 to $10 each. Guys with the fancy big name lures were paying 50 to 100 percent more. I still can't bring myself to buy those $30 stickbaits. 

I still buy the expensive stuff like rapala xr-12 and xr-14 but my go to is throwing bait. Pack of hooks roll of leader, swivels optional. And whatever bait catching device whether its a gold hook rig or cast net.

 

But the saying time is money applies heavily here. Span extra money on lures to skip the time spent catching bait. But I thoroughly enjoy making bait. I use the lures if the bite is on and dont want to miss it trying to make bait.

 

 

In your crowded charter boat scenario I may have switched to lures if I couldnt work around the idiots that dont know how to drift a bait.

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