WHOLE PILCHARD – HEAD FIRST
Application Straylining with various weights, running sinker rig, bottom fishing, cast-and-retrieve situations similar to a stickbait.
1 x whole pilchard – recently defrosted 2 x hooks – sized to match the width of the pilchard (6/0 usually a good choice) 4 to 6 foot trace – author’s preference is 60-lb supple trace. Lighter fluorocarbon trace is an option Sinkers sized to match the fishing circumstances Scissors or clippers to trim trace
Before picking up the bait prepare a standard 2-hook trace as pictured. It is essential both hooks be fixed, as the bait cannot be correctly prepared with a swinging keeper hook. The first hook is attached with a uni-knot while the second is snelled to the trace.
Firstly place the point of the first hook on the lateral line of the pilchard, about three centimetres in front of the tail. Push the hook firmly through the spine line of the pilchard until the hook point and barb are clear on the other side. Rotate the hook to sit neatly against the bait with the eye of the hook at the head end of the bait.
The second snelled hook needs to be pushed through the bottom jaw of the pilchard vertically all the way up through the pilchard’s head. The ideal line is to have the hook pass almost touching the front of the pilchard’s eye socket, as pictured.
To fnish load the trace for the appropriate sinker for the application (it may not require a sinker at all), tie to the mainline.
NOTE This rig fishes well in all conventional applications and is particularly well suited as a quick and deadly cast-and-retrieve bait targeting kingfish around structures like channel markers and buoys.