deadbaiting mackerel advice (dual pike/chub potential?)

BURNING

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I've had a lot of fun fishing for pike on lures earlier this spring, and in the summer I turned my attention to mackerel and have gathered a small stockpile of small joey mackerel in the freezer for pike bait. I've never deadbaited before and would like some tips.

1). What method? My rods are 1 medium spinning rod and 1 light feeder rod that I'm sure could handle a pike, so the choice is a). ledgering quivertip or b). float fishing down to a weight on the bottom. The water is a thin and deep canal and I suspect in winter the fish all stick to the bottom, about 12 ft deep but it does have margins of 6ft or so. I will be underhanding the bait out right in front of me so there is no need at all for casting distance. I'd like if possible for the bait to stay in one place so I can sit back and relax, the canal has a fairly slow flow.

2). Is it a bad idea to stick to a single circle hook? I don't like the idea of several trebles being gulped down because I mess up the rig and the bite isn't detected

3). These waters also hold chub, big chub, which I have been unable to capture this summer despite many attempts with lures and worms, I wonder if they will take a small mackerel? How can I adjust my rig so that the possibility is there? I know that chub have extremely sensitive lips and spook easy if they detect resistance. What do you guys think?
 

juttle

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A single circle hook will be fine, I use catfish pro hooks in size #1 for a few years now. Please, please, use a wire trace to save leaving any hooks in a fish! My personal opinion is that you’ll need a heavier rod than a feeder, a 2.5lb carp rod will be fine. Your present rods will probably land a pike but to the detriment of the fish. A short fight and then in the net, unhooked and back in the water is far better for the pike than an extended battle with a feeder rod and then, after unhooking and photographing, back in the water is likely to end up with a dead fish, especially if the water temperatures are still above 12 - 13 degrees.

Your mackerel will be a fine bait, I’ve had loads of decent pike on a half mackerel, but will chub take it? I’ve no idea! Method wise, a free roving float is good for any water, I normally set up a drifter float on one rod with a small whole roach hooked through the dorsal fin, and let it search out possible locations. My other rod is set up ledger style with a popped up bait hard against any likely reedbeds or features that might be hiding a fish. A simple drop off is enough to alert me to anything happening as I’m sat on top of my rods!

Theres no point in going through the unhooking procedure as, if you’ve had pike on lures, you know it already! The one thing I would advise is to wait for the colder weather before starting deadbaiting, I’m sure you know all the arguments for and against so I’ll leave it at that! These are just my methods, for what they’re worth, and I’m sure you’ll get loads of different advise coming shortly but if you only take one thing from reading all this, please consider that the health and welfare of the fish is of paramount importance and all the rest is just fluff to keep the angler happy!

Right, I’ll shut up now, congratulations if you’ve read this far!
 

Lee Richards

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Agree with Juttle that you need a stronger rod as you will need to set the hooks into the fish, which could be moving towards you.

We use the kebab rig for Pike & Zander and have taken plenty of Chub on it.
If you want to target Chub then go smaller on the set-up but strong enough to land any Pike that come along.
Also found that mincing Mackerel or Sprats into brown groundbait for a coarse "rubby dubby" is a great way to draw fish into a swim.
Small fish are drawn into the swim and their activity along with the smell/fish particles pull in any fish if they are close enough.
 

Silverfisher

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This is a bit presumptuous as I’ve done next to no proper piking but if you are using circle hooks you may be able to get away with your feeder rod if it’s not a too light one with too soft a tip given you obviously don’t set circle hooks in the traditional way. Probably not going to work with a bream rod but might work with a carp/barbel type one.

Does seem a good idea to use the circles though as whilst there’s a bit of a knack to them (which I certainly haven’t mastered!) it does all but completely eliminate deep hooking. That’s for bottom fishing though if you are intending to use a float a semi circle pattern might be easier (at least it is with my ineptitude ?) as you can set them a bit quicker and they are still pretty deep hooking proof.
 

squimp

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I once snapped a proper pike deadbait rod trying to cast a mackerel into a strong wind - so as has been said you probably need a heavier rod !

The guys who have specialised in still water chub dead baiting have used smallish single hooks and instant strike rigs. Sardines (frozen ones) were the bait of choice. Even joey mackerel might be a bit big for a chub.
 
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Yuccaman

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I think you might be trying to cover too many bases here. If you are after the chub, whilst it is obviously possible to catch them on deadbaits, there are other baits on which you are far more likely to catch them. If you did want to go down the mackerel route, then probably a small section is more likely to lead in the right direction. BUT, you then probably reduce your chance of a pike significantly. Given that, you would probably be fine with the feeder rod if you were fishing a little 1 inch piece of mackerel aiming for the chub - possibly have different trips for the different approaches

In terms of the piking, I absolutely understand that if you are getting into it, the last thing that you want to do is invest in another rod that you don't know if you will have much use for. The feeder rod for deadbaiting would be utterly unsuitable in my opinion for reasons people have already mentioned - it won't have the backbone to cast - a lead plus a good few ounces of mackerel is a test of most rods. I know you say you'll just under hand it in front of you, but how long before you see that great looking overhanging bush on the far bank... it's only a few rod lengths. It would be SO easy to snap your rod on the cast.

Given that, you would probably be better using the spinning rod (assuming that is that it is a relatively heavy casting weight, and not an ultralight one, which would have the same issue). With that, If you cut the mackerel in half, a half bait on a circle hook with a simple float/ledger set up would get you going. It's not perfect, but it would work. A cheap carp rod would see you better.
 

Neskin

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Youd need a different rod fella. Youll end up snapping it on the chuck. You can pick up a cheap carp rod that would be much more suitable and wont break the bank.

Failing that pinch one off a mate!

If you're looking to fish for both chub and pike id be fishing a rod for each. But that said if you;re just getting into piking id recommend just having one rod, you might get in a bit of a flap if you;re fishing two. Particularly when it comes to unhooking as it can be a bit of a daunting task when first starting out piking.

Best bet would to be pick up a carp rod and fish a float setup for the pike, keep moving around and fishing likely areas. I wouldnt be fishing any deadbaits until october end, just my personal opinion, so if you were to do that now maybe a circle hook trace and sit on top of your rod as the water is still warm and theyll take a deadbait/liveabait down quicker than you can say 'boll*cks" and deep hooked pike arent fun to deal with on your own.
 

160642fishing

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When I ledgered for Pike I used a cage feeder filled with foam,pipe lagging works,syringe it with something like Predator Plus,worked for me.
 
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