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Different types of live bait

Freeling means using live bait. You can do it anywhere your boat can bring you to. This can be done in both fresh and saltwater

Big gizzards or bluebacks are best in fresh water. (Menhaden, herring, and eels are great in saltwater).with no weights out 50+ feet behind the boat and creeping along with your trolling motor. Some people like to use balloons about 10+ feet above the bait. If you are graphing some fish and/or bait pods I would put a planer board out each side with your bait about 12 feet behind the boards and 2 flatlines (nothing but a swivel between rod and hook/bait) out the back. This method is best all winter long, and even spring and fall for that matter. If you aren't seeing anything on your boats fish finder troll around with your main motor at idle speed until you graph something, lots of stripers are caught trolling, even in the dead of winter. Be sure you stay in 20+ feet of water when trolling and put a small swivel that will go through the eyes of your rod and into your reel and put about 30 feet of monofilament line (preferably flourocarbon) between your trolling lure (bucktail) and the swivel. Troll around until you find fish and then bait up. You have just as good a chance as anyone to get a monster on freelining live bait, as well as lots of largemouth bass. If your brand new at this your gonna make mistakes and these fish get huge becuase of their tackle busting ability, so dont get discouraged when your reel is set too tight or you didnt tie the hook properly or you burned your line with a cigarette. Mistakes are what make us experienced anglers. Be prepared and try to minimize the foolish ones.

If you are going with live bait you can get a BaitSaver tank. It's not fancy but it will keep about 4 + dozen baits of any species alive for days if you can keep the water from 50-70 degrees. If you don't want or have room for a bait tank just use jumbo shiners in a cooler or livewell.

Striper fishing reports

If you have read this far. Here is a tip, When your out looking for a 'fishy spot', don't overlook an oil slick. It could mean an attack has just taken place on shad, menhaden, mackeral, herring, anchovie, and the like and the oil is the residue of the feeding attack. Quitly drop your offering down to the bottom. The big guys are quite lazy and may still be there waiting for the morsels to drop.

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