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« on: May 05, 2006, 22:05:03 CET »

Useful info from Industry Pro - Capt. Mike Fisher - Fish Magician Tackle

What's a Spreader Bar?
by Captain Mike Fisher

Teasing the fish to the surface is what spreader bars do, and they do it well. Spreader bars have been around for some time. They have proven themselves to be great fish attractors, when used as teaser without a hook, or when rigged with a sharp hook under the stinger/chase-bait's skirt to put it into the fish catching mode. In the fish catching mode the removable chase bait or stinger is attached to the last skirt on the centerline of the spreader bar by a ball bearing swivel and snap that's concealed under the last skirt.

Leader material between 18 and 24 inches in length is used for rigging the hook under the chase/stinger bait. This longer leader length sets the stinger/chase bait distinctively apart from the skirts on the bar. It's the straggler, the odd-man-out, or the inferior baitfish that can't keep up. This is the only bait on the spreader bar that is rigged or loaded with a hook.

Today, the majority of spreader bars pull varying numbers of plastic baits, hollow squids, squirting squids, and squid skirts in a multitude of colors. In the teaser mode they'll raise fish for bait-and-switch and fly presentation.

Several skirts skipping across the water imitate schools of baitfish or squid splashing along the surface. This illusion is what stimulates the predators to rise to this school of imposters. Following mere instinct, the rising predators target the straggler following behind the escaping school. Anything outside of the safe confines of the school or bait ball is targeted as an easy meal.

Single lures pulled behind the boat are not that conspicuous. They represent one baitfish each, and one baitfish doesn't make a meal for a school of predators. To raise a school of predator fish, whether they be albacore, yellowfin, blue fin, big eye, yellowtail, Dorado, marlin or other fish eating predators there has to be enough of a meal to offset the effort expended to catch it. Your boat's wake passing over the predators draws their attention first; they have to see enough available food in your wake to change their course.

Fish Magician Tackle's Bait Ball Spreader Bars? and Bait Ball Daisy Chains? are placed in the spread to develop the illusion of a school of 20 to 70 or more fleeing baitfish moving across the surface behind your boat. The daisy chains represent other baitfish that have been separated from the school; stragglers silhouetted against the sky and the prop wash, their stinger/chase-baits become easy targets for the feeding school of predators.


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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2006, 17:32:43 CET »

Skip, I hope your fishing friends have enjoyed the article. I just wanted to add a few points.

We've found that blue fin tuna love the spreader bars fished slowly,down to 4.5 knots, while the albacore and yellowfin, will chase these down at higher speeds...Once we hook up on a bar, we just keep going while the other lines load up with fish. One thing we do, is we drop back a small amount of live bait, or cut bait to keep the school behind the boat. Most schools of albacore, other than the schools of young, fish of the year, are not much over 10 - 15 fish..keeping them behind the boat can make the day on one stop.

Best regards,
Capt. Mike Fisher
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2006, 17:38:32 CET »

Mike, Sounds like the excess tuna and albacore I have in the freezer is going to come in handy !! Just as well I didn't throw it!!

Can cat food (fish based) be used for chumming to keep em behind the boat, we can get hold of the stuff quite cheaply and its user friendly to keep and use on  board?
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2006, 21:19:44 CET »

Mike would you suggest that 4.5 knots is the ideal speed for trolling for blue fin. To be honest we never trolled to long at those speed more in the range of 6 knots....

We should give it a try though!

FIN
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2006, 08:01:26 CET »

Fin, The speed of 4.5 knots was hammering the school sized blue fin. Those bars were the Bait Ball series, with 4.5 inch baits on them...I'll always fluctuate my trolling speeds. I try everything between 4.5 and 7 knots. If I found them skipping across the surface, I'll pull out infront of them and then slow the boat down allowing them to catch up. Sometimes I'll get far enough ahead, that I let the bars sink, then when I think they should be on me, I'll start up and pull the bars to the surface...LOOK OUT, it works, try it, you may like it, what's better is if the bluefin like it.

Best regards,
Capt. Mike Fisher
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2007, 07:55:50 CET »

Not sure if Mike will be around to read this, but any chance that a spreader bar, even a small one like 10 4.5 inch ones, may actually scare away smaller Albacore in the 5-7kgs region, or scare away some fish in general. I know most ppl abroad run some kind of attractor and I usually try to have at least one spreader bar out.
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 19:04:32 CET »

skip any commotion on the surface attracts deep staying fish. The first and bigger attraction is the boats wake and wash. This for the predator is fish on the surface. Adding a spreader bar is an add on where the wake starts to disperse and as its the nature of the predator to first eat the fish that are outside the ball. Thats why the hooked lure is always the last fish. Also those who use outrigers notice that most of the attack come on the lines on the outside of the boat (95%of hits).
so to answer yout question (about time LOL) No they dont scare small albacore but actually make them come up from deep to hit ur lure.
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 19:11:41 CET »

The only problem that I find with spreader bars is when you catch a tuna (this does not apply to Albacore they are easy to bring onboard). With a good sized tuna sometimes you have to go with the fish and thats not always forward as a matter of fact its always backwards, so that you can take back some line, this is a problem with spreader bars as they will get tangled with the prop. its true you can reel nthem in but I fish a lot of times on my own and thats when it gets to be a headache. Any suggestions!!!!!!!
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 08:25:22 CET »

Interesting insight, indeed as you say I think if you fish on your own a bar may not be ideal. In fact you probably need to make sure that your lure can come all the way up to the rod tip when you're fishing single handed. I've never fished on my own, the boat would be too much to handle let alone adding in the catching part!

We'll have to meet up this summer and go fishing as a couple of boats shanook, I'd really like to try and sort that out this year. I'm convinced results are likely to be better especially if there are fish in the area, a co-ordinated fish will help keep them in the area.

Skip
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 22:15:51 CET »

count me in if you are going out somewherenear gozo or between malta and gozo
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 23:56:43 CET »

Anytime Skip and Visa. The only problem with me is that i hardly ever go over 8 knots. I troll all the way never bring lures out of water. Visa on the other hand literally shoots to fishing spot, trolls and then ZOOOOOOOMs back to port at 24knots cruising.
But we can definetly organise fishing sessions.
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2007, 12:32:08 CET »

!! I would love to zoom to and from but at 50 litres an hour it's somewhat expensive to say the least! Trolling to and from on one engine reduces that fuel burn down to around 6.5 litres an hour but you don't go anywhere very quickly as we'd be doing between 5.5 and 6 knots. It's fun when there are fish around, but it can be rather boring when there are no hits, and that's when sometimes I prefer to zoom ahead a bit either to get into a new spot or have a look around but it all boils down to costs with us.

Would certainly be happy to troll out from the Ta'Cenc area out West etc. One advantage of having a fast boat in the pack like Visa's, is the possibility of exploring area's ahead and then reporting back. If there are a shoal of fish would happily up rods, fast cruise to the spot and continue.

I'd also like to overnight drift fish in a pack with a Swordlight out, maybe one boat bottom fishing, another chumming and chunking and the third with staggered depth lines for swords etc. Find a good underwater ridge and hit it. Then continue trolling in the morning. A drift bag is pretty essentially for that kind of fishing as carrying lots of rope to anchor on the bottom in such depths isn't that practical.

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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2007, 15:32:13 CET »

Its a matter of patience at least in my opinion. If we troll at 6 knots and stay 12 hrs on sea thats 72miles of water. Thats going out about 20/25 miles, twisting and turning 20 and 20/25 miles back. If we get lucky we hit something. Its a matter of luck you can never tell when you catch fish. Its not the first time i go out 20 miles with nothing to show and on the way back 5 miles from shore i get hit or else i stay with nothing GRRRRRRR. You can never tell when the reel goes. Ask Visa about that Pasterdella he posted, we had practically given up and were trolling looking for fads when the reel started screaming.
Its true when ur not catching it gets boring but what can you do its something u have to accept. We can always try in End of June beginning of July as Alungi will be abundant ( at least thats the norm) and we can meet with tuna or swordfish as well. I am familiar with the south, so not used to fishing the north and northwest. But hey as long as we follow the bottom contours we cant go very wrong.
I have not invested in an electric reel yet but i am hoping to get one for the coming season. That way I can try deep bottom fishing as well.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2007, 21:48:15 CET »

Today was last day of fishing on my boat for this year as now have put her up on the hard and is clean and ready for new outfit and new gadgets which i have been thinking of doing for the past summer things like a sea water pressure pump to clean the blood of fish some rod holders looking out side the boat instead of looking back, change the position of my aeral etc etc...
but one thing i have learned this summer is that fish are caught from everywhere, today caught a 3.5kg lampuka from between malta and gozo and never fished there and pass all the time from there on the way to the cimi on the west side caught my biggest fish the pastardella with not a cima in sight, so that lesson number one for this season, the fish are everywhere the only thing is are we Huh we should experement with new lures and new methods, take on new fishing friends and fish in unlikly places. so from now on will be fishing with my brothers boat with his new down rigger, will keep u informed

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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2007, 09:33:53 CET »

Can def recommend the sea water pump, we fitted it a couple of seasons ago and was a godsend. Makes cleaning the fish and cleaning up much much easier. Not sure if you boat has a T-top which the Americans love and I think make a lot of sense, but you can have rocket launchers (rod holders) on top.

Otherwise side rod holders are definately useful for getting a better spread, though small telescopic outriggers would be better I reckon if you can get them.

Skip


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