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Thread: fishing bait balls

  1. #1
    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Default fishing bait balls

    What is the optimum method for fishing bait balls. Should they be fished around or through them. I'm assuming that I will be mooching plug cut herring. Thanks from ireland

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think you'll find most hook ups are at the edges of the baitballs. But, due to tide, wind, current and the movement of the bait balls you only have so much control of where your presentation is in relation to the bait ball. Ideally you'd drift through the bait ball and hook up when drifting in and out of the bait ball. Also dropping a presentation through a bait ball and under it then retrieving it can be productive.

    Bottom line is find a bait ball and fish in and around it. You'll catch fish.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    I agree with Paul based on tide and wind just figure a way to drift through the bait ball. I try and troll or drift and jig with something bigger than the fish in the ball (usually needle fish) a good size herring or a big jig works well. An additional thought on finding bait balls, you should rely on your "eyes" and not just your fishfinder, if you see a flock of birds diving in the water that is a good sign.

  4. #4

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    You'll be fishing right in the feed. Most of the spots that are traditionally fished for kings/cohos are areas where the current accumulates the feed. In other words, if there isn't any feed on the screen, go somewhere else or as it was said, look for a few birds or a whale and get there. You'll see the fish on the screen right in and around the feed balls too. It's not hard when you see some big red marks on the screen. If I remember my camera, I'll snap a bunch of pictures before it's all over of my screen.

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    I'm the first to admit we're rookies but we had luck this week my kicking into neutral and letting the herring spin down through the ball. We've been getting hit more often than not when we do that.

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Im getting the feeling that ill have to hunt for the fish and bait balls. Is that correct? It would appear that the fish are constantly on the move around various points at different times and locations. Will I have to be on the move all day long looking for suitable bait or indications of fish or is there already time tested places to fish?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    Im getting the feeling that ill have to hunt for the fish and bait balls. Is that correct? Yes

    It would appear that the fish are constantly on the move around various points at different times and locations. Yes

    Will I have to be on the move all day long looking for suitable bait or indications of fish sometimes yes, sometimes no

    or is there already time tested places to fish? Yes, but somedays will be better than others
    Its going to take time to learn the spots that produce fish, and then more time to learn the effects of time of year, tide and current. The toughest part for me is trying to figure out if a spot that has produced for me in the past is just dead that day and I should move on, or just give it time and the bite will pick up.

    Bait balls aren't the only place you'll find or catch fish, but they have the effect of concentrating predatory fish and they are actively feeding. The other spots to look for are those spots that tend to concentrate fish due to their migratory patterns. Certain points and channels are migratory highways and even if their aren't bait balls at those locations, spending time fishing those spots will also produce fish.

    Just realize that no matter how much you read and how many pointers you get, you'll have to spend time on the water to get those techniques dialed and occasionally finding some techniques you haven't read about that work well for you.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member jaydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Just realize that no matter how much you read and how many pointers you get, you'll have to spend time on the water to get those techniques dialed and occasionally finding some techniques you haven't read about that work well for you.
    So very true - and this is a big part of what makes it fun. If fishing was just following a set of instructions it would get pretty boring.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    It always pays for itself to go on a charter to learn.

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  10. #10

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    Feed can appear or disappear in a matter of minutes. One pass have it loaded up, the next pass have a blue screen. Tide can mean alot when it comes to when the feed balls up. Some days, it's around all day. Other times it's towards the end of a tide, or during a tide change, or at first/last light.

    As it was said, some info just can't be taught. It takes years on the water learning through observation.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    Im getting the feeling that ill have to hunt for the fish and bait balls. Is that correct? It would appear that the fish are constantly on the move around various points at different times and locations. Will I have to be on the move all day long looking for suitable bait or indications of fish or is there already time tested places to fish?
    That sums it up nicely. Over time you'll learn some of the usual concentration points, but they depend on tide, day of the month, and even time of day. Really effective fishermen know a lot of these places, and when cruising between them they're always on the lookout for bait indications between.

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