Land Based Slide Bait Fishing
Introduction To Slide Bait Fishing
Slide baiting or sliding is relatively new to Australia, the team at Tackle International have been mastering it for 10 years now, the style originated in South Africa and is also used in Hawaii to catch GT. The simplest way to explain what slidebaiting is, is to take the name literally. It involves sliding a live or dead bait down your line. A 1-way slider or non-return slide is just one of the many types of sliders available. We belive these are the best to use.
Why Slide Bait?
Slide baiting allows anglers to deploy baits over drop offs, through rips on the beach, etc with pinpoint accuracy. The technique will also allow anglers to slide fragile livebaits such as squid into the strikezone without damaging or killing them by casting them out. Anyone who's spent hours to collect live baits will understand the beauty of this concept. When casting there is no bait attached, just an aerodynamic grapnel sinker; therefore there is less resistance meaning anglers can cast further distances.
How to Slide Bait Fish
1) Cast out the grapnel sinker as far as possible, ensure that the sinker drops to the seafloor and allow it to find an anchor point.
2) Point the rod tip low and wind in the slack, let the legs of the sinker dig into the seafloor. If you are unable anchor the sinker you will need to recast and try again. Depending on the current you may need to increase the size of the sinker, if the lighter ones are not anchoring.
3) Once your grapnel sinker is anchored you can prepare the slider rig. Attach your live bait on the hook and proceed to clip the slider onto the mainline, during this process the mainline can be slightly slack as this will assist with the slider clipping.
The slider should be facing with the hook end pointing in the drection you want it to slide. To clip the 1 way slider onto the mainline pull the mainline under the 4 loops of the slider, and over the "U" of the slider all in one motion. The mainline will now be inside the coils of the slider.
4) Once the slider is clipped on ensure that the mainline is tight, if it is not the 1 way slider will not work correctly. Point the rod tip down and whip it left and right until the slider is fully submerged. Once the slider is out of sight, start whipping your rod tip up and down for a few minutes, this will send the slider further down the line. When whipping the rod your drag should be tightend, so that there is no slack in the line.
5) Secure your rod in the rod holder and set your drag to run.
6) To disconnect get one of the legs of your grapnel sinker, pull the mainline under the "U" and over the back of the slider. Practice connecting and removing the slider at home prior to using it with livebait, if you are fumbling around trying to connect the slider you could actually kill your live bait in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Braid, monofilament or a combination of both?
Yes, Yes and yes. Using braid alone will give you a great cast the downside to braid is that if your bait gets hit by a good fish before the slider runs down to the shock leader, wind on or slide stopper you risk getting burnt off. Using a strong monofilament line with a thin diameter is optimum for slide bait fishing, monofilament has better abrasion resistance and also the sliders run down them more efficiently. A combination of braid with a top shot of monofilament is optimum and if you are serious about catching big fish this is the way to go. Give yourself about 120-150m of monofilament on top and the rest of your spool filled with braid. If your bait gets hit by good fish, you have your monofilament on top and a few hundred meters of braid underneath to fight the fish.
2. Can slide bait fishing be used off the beach?
Yes you can slide bait from anywhere beach, wharf, rocks, cliff, lake, river and even from boats.
3. Can I use a star sinker or a snapper lead to hold bottom?
Yes in very calm conditions or in an area that has no current, no in most conditions. For the best results use grapnel sinkers which come in many different weights. Before choosing your sinker size check your rods maximum casting weight and stay under or equal to that. Using the grapnel will hold bottom better, allowing you to keep the line tight, this is an absolute must when using 1 way (non return) sliders.
4. Can "J" hooks be used?
Yes "J" hooks can be used, but the best hooks to use when slide bait fishing are circle hooks either inline or offset. Reason for this is most slide bait fisho's deploy their baits, then leave their rod in the rod holder, when a fish hits the bait and the sinker is dislodged this action sets the hook. For those fisho's who hold the rod in their hands, "J" hooks or circles will work. Ultimately this is up to you but I think I've seen 2 fish lost by slide baiters due to hooks in the last 6 or so years.
5. How long does my hook leader need to be?
30cm no more when it comes to hook leader, in rough conditions this can be even shorter. In saying this I have seen hook leaders up to 2m being used successfully, I'll leave this for you to test.
6. Weighted or unweighted sliders?
Seriously there is no right or wrong answer here, I used unweighted for many years and just recently started using weighted. The way I see it is if I'm using a live bait either will work, if I'm using a dead bait in an area without much current weighted may work better.
7. What rod should I use?
The rod that will allow you to cast the heaviest grapnel sinker the furthest possible distance and finally you need the strongest rod to fight the biggest fish you are going to catch in the area you fish. Some of the best rod manufacturers on the market at the moment are Excalibur Tackle Australia and Assassin Tackle.
8. What strength hook leader?
This depends on what you are targeting but generally 30lb to 150lb fluro carbon.