DIG­GING FOR BILLS

Sport Fishing - - GAME PLAN -

Far too many an­glers de­ploy their dredges and lines, then troll, troll, troll un­til the day is done. You’ll catch more bill­fish if you ac­tively “prospect” next to your dredges.

Prospect with a pitch bait, usu­ally a naked chin-weighted bal­ly­hoo that is held just be­hind the tran­som and then freespooled so it sinks right past the dredge. With the bait about 10 feet be­hind the dredge, thumb the spool so wa­ter pres­sure forces the bal­ly­hoo to swim back up to the sur­face. Let it swim there for a mo­ment, then reel it in and be­gin the process again.

Al­though spot­ting fish that come in on the dredge presents the ideal op­por­tu­nity, plenty of fish swim up to a dredge and are never spot­ted from the boat, as any­one who has watched dredge-cam footage can at­test. Con­stantly prospect­ing gives you a bet­ter shot at these fish.

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