There is no exact record of when the first caveman discovered he could use a bird feather as a lure to catch fish. A technique pretty much as old as fishing itself is still one of the most reliable fishing technique in many fisheries around the world. The tuna feather has been around since the earliest days of the fishery. Turn of the century anglers in San Diego used feathers to discover one of the richest tuna fisheries in the world. Tuna feathers continue to be a staple in any modern day anglers offshore go-to bag when it’s a MUST to put fish in the boat. All offshore species find it hard to resist a trolled feather.
BigLiveBait.com Tuna Feather Bait Rigs utilize small 4″ tuna feathers with 3 droppers and 1 tailing lure for a total of 4 lures with hooks. You can think of this rig as a supersized sabiki that you troll rather than jig. From a trolling perspective it’s 4 lures instead of one.
BigLiveBait.com’s Bait Rigs are all built with 100% high quality 40# Fluorocarbon, hand tied in the USA using quality components all kept neatly on a reusable foam leader keeper board!!
Each drop is terminated with a 5/0 or 4/0 Mustad circle hook. We truly feel circle hooks do less damage to the baitfish and result in a healthier, longer lasting bait. The use of circle hooks while trolling will slightly reduce your hookup ratio, but your ratio of lively healthy bait will increase. You can always re-tie the rig with the hook of your choice.
This bait catching lure rig can successfully be trolled behind a bird (on top of the water) or behind a #3 or #4 Planer or via a downrigger. All three methods can successfully catch bait.
A typical bait catching spread would have two rigs on birds running off the long riggers with one rod on each corner, down, attached to a planar or downrigger with each corner being a different depth.
- Vary depths until you find the happy place. When dropping the first lines in to catch bait no two lines should be the same depth. Put one up top, one at 10′, one at 25′, one at 70’…etc. until you find where the bait is eating.
- Vary the speed. While 6knts is usually the sweet spot, if you are not getting bit do not be scared to go up, or down in speed until you find the sweet spot
These bait rigs will catch Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Bonito, Skipjacks, False Albaore, Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and many other species.