Before the November ice makes fishing from your boat’s deck a problem you may want to consider heading out for a day of bass fishing with a three way rig. These rigs can help you catch huge bass (over sixty pounds) in broad daylight or at night. Standard bait found all over New England such as porgy, hickory shad, cup and eels can help you land a striped bass that could wind up being more than forty inches. Just think of the great tales you’ll have to tell your friends and family. The East coast is rich in big stripers and the methods and tackle to land them are numerous.
Just think – the biggest challenge facing you fishing in this area is where the fish are housed. Bass fishing is so simple that with a few pointers, your grandmother if she’s got enough strength could land a huge fish! A seventy-six pound bass was recorded in Montauk Point, caught by Captain Rob Rochetta. This was one of the heaviest bass ever landed and was as a result of the use of a three-way rig. In New Jersey, a record breaking striper was landed by Al McReynolds at a jetty. This striper weighed in at a staggering seventy eight lbs and also was landed with a 3-way rig. Valiant Rock, Sugar Reef, Plum Gut and the Sluiceway all boast catches between 55 and 70 lbs and each time a three way rig has been the choice of the fishermen who claim these prizes.
Even if it sounds a bit complex, a three way rig isn’t difficult to assemble. It’s merely a three-way swivel to get started, a leader, your main line and a dropper loop. The dropper loop is just what it sounds like – attach a sinker to this loop and it allows the running tide to create a bouncing motion. Your sinker will depend on the area you’re fishing — you may need a sinker as heavy as twenty ounces or as little as four ounces. Your second line should always be a fluorocarbon line leader that is between four and five feet in length. Balancing out your line is critical, combining strength and stealth can be a bit tricky but if you use a fifty pound fluorocarbon you will find that it works great especially if the water is very clear and the day is bright. Maintain the proper balance between strong and stealthy by using the right weight line for the weather conditions.
This type of rig can get very expensive and this is one downside of it. However, you can control costs fairly simple to avoid turning this fun hobby into one that requires massive spending. When you factor in the cost of Gemakatsu hooks, Seaguar Fluorocarbon line, and a three way Spro Swivel, you can soon find your costs mounting up. But, if you set your rig up so that your main line is your heaviest (55 lbs is ideal), your leader line is heavy (around 50 lbs) and your dropper loop is your lightest (30 lbs is preferred) you can cut down the cost of losses by merely snapping the dropper loop losing only your sinker. The bottom line is that the sinker is the least expensive item on your rig and is the easiest to replace cost-wise.
Braided line is the best choice for your main line. The benefits of this type of line is that the smaller diameter provides you the ability to use less weight to keep your bait in the strike zone during a moving tide. Since it has minimal stretch (especially compared to monofilament) you get the added benefit of feeling exactly what is going on allowing you to get your hooks set much easier. The ability to identify a mussel bed, a rocky bottom or a sandy bottom is greatly enhanced with braided line. Fireline, Power Pro, and Stren all make effective braided line. Daiwa also makes a braid that is woven from twice as many strands (8 versus 4) over their competitors. Unlike most braided lines that feel like they need care before they’re used the Daiwa braided line offers a very smooth line and is very limp making it a premier line for this application.
Striper fishing with live bait can be an extremely fun adventure. To make it more enjoyable, you should make sure you have the right type of reels. Some of Daiwa’s most popular reels include: Daiwa Saltiga 30T, Seaborg 300FB, and Daiwa Viento.