While most fishing activities simply scratch the surface (literally), bottom fishing is a fishing technique that goes in search of different fish species at the bottom of the water. Here, the bait is sunk deep into the water’s depth to pick out those fishes that inhabit the crevices and structures on the ground. So, if you want a taste of varying species of fish, this is a technique you should consider.
Also, bottom fishing is something you can do anywhere, near the shore, at the shore, offshore, or even in freshwater. When you bottom fish, you’re targeting the wrecks, reefs, and buoys, and you’ll certainly be looking out for predators like Black Sea Bass, Grouper, Red Snapper, and even Halibut, among many others. But bottom fishing can be a technical activity. If you’re not careful, you could get your sinker caught up in the bottom structure, especially if you’re drifting.
First things first, you’ll need to rig your spinning gear (10-to-20-pound category) using a two-arm top and bottom rig. You should add sufficient weight (about 1 to 4 ounces) to keep the rig at the bottom. Hooks can be number four or number six; and as for baits, you can use clam snouts, bloodworm, peeler crab, grass shrimp, and so on. Let’s consider a few tips to have a successful bottom fishing experience.
- Avoid over-baiting your hook. Ensure the bait you use is the same size as the hook because many bottom fish are quite small with very small mouths. When you put large chunks of bait on small hooks, a small fish can easily bite off pieces of the bait without having the hook in their mouth.
- Don’t jiggle too often. When you jig the bait too often, you may be putting your fishing in jeopardy. It is important that you do not lift the bait off the ground during bottom fishing.
- Focus your efforts. This is important, especially for those boats equipped with side-finding fish finders. You should idle slowly along promising spots like reef sites or oyster bars. You should also create these waypoints wherever you spot a good number of fish.
- When fishing from a bridge, a pier, or just at shore and you don’t have a hotspot within casting range, you’ll need to toss out the rig as far as it can go. Next, slowly reel in about five feet of line to creep it along the bottom. Take a pause, then do it again. You’ll be able to cover more grounds using this tactic and, perhaps, discover a patch, bar, or hole.
- Fishing from a boat. You should drift-fish rather than stick to a spot if you’re fishing from a boat, a bar area or over large reefs. You’ll also be able to discover new zones by covering more territories this way.
- Stick to hotspots. When you do find specific hotspots in the course of drift-fishing over a large area, you should stick to it. You may even put markings over the spot, like a GPS virtual anchoring system. Bottom line, ensure you spend as much time as possible in discovered hotspots.
- Use Bloodworms. Apparently, every living thing loves the good life. Bloodworms are expensive, but they are loved by almost any fish, so you should buy them.
- No bites? Move. Regardless of tides, fishes like croaker, perch and spots will bite if they are present, even though others feed based on tides. So, if you’re not getting bites after spending more than 20 minutes, move to another spot.