Bait Review July
Sand mackey Part II
A few months back I wrote an article on exactly the same bait, using a different cut in the fish and a single hook to rig the bait. This is a rig I use when fishing double hooks, mostly for raggies, grey sharks and bronzies, as I prefer to use a single hook for rays. I feel they are more inclined to take bait with a single hook, whereas sharks don’t tend to be as fussy. It is also easier to remove a single hook from a ray than
a double hook causing less damage to the fish.
This same rig can be used when fishing with mullet, mackerel or even yellowtail as bait. The rig will improve your catch rate due to the angle of the hooks being presented in both directions when you strike – the chances of setting the hooks are doubled. Sand mackerel are available from Basil Manning in Durban but are not freely available at most tackle stores. If you can get your hands on a few they make the difference when targeting sharks and rays and work very well in the warmer waters of Natal.
Slice the belly of the mackerel to expose the stomach cavity; this will allow the blood and oil contained in the fish to expel into the water to attract the fish onto the bait quickly. Start by measuring up the size of the bait fish so you can make your trace up to the correct spacing of the bait fish being used
Tie your front hook on first then, once you have established the length of the bait fish, thread the trace through and fasten your second hook on as shown in the photograph.
Starting with the back hook, pierce the hook just behind the eye of the mackerel. Use a second hook to pierce a hole in the gill plate so that you can push a skewer or toothpick in to hold the hook in place, keeping it proud. The skewer will stop the hook from falling flat on the bait when the shark or ray picks it up.
Wrap the nylon-coated wire around the hook to take up the slack in the wire; push the hook through the bottom lip and out through the nose of the bait fish – this will also keep the front hook in position and prevent it from twisting in the bait.