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Bottom Fishing

Bottom FishingBottom Fishing is a fairly self-explanatory term, and refers to fishing on the sea floor, or on a lake or river bed. It can be done from a bank or from a boat that is anchored. Bottom fishing at sea can also be conducted on common target areas such as wrecks and reefs, both real and artificial. Areas where there is a concentration of kelp are also good places to bottom fish, as there are often large grounders to be found sheltering in kelp fields. Depending on the part of the world in which you are fishing, and the time of year, it is possible to catch crappies, catfish, bream, groupers, red snapper, triggerfish and many more.

The most important thing about bottom fishing is of course the rig. As you want to fish the sea floor, you will need to choose the right weight that drags your hook and your bait all the way down to the bottom and holds it there steadily. Pyramid weights are often used here as the pointed tip of the weight helps it to dig into the sea floor and hold the line in place. The leader and the hook are then located above the sinker, allowing your lure or bait to be suspended just above the sea floor. You should avoid bottom fishing when the tide is going in or out, as the motion of the water will drag your hook to the side. It is always best to try to drop your line directly down, without having it veer too much in any one direction. If you are bottom fishing with the intention to catch large fish you should be aware that the further down you go, the larger the fish tend to be. Bait or lures can be used when bottom fishing. Frozen bait is also effective.

Casting using this method of fishing is unlike a typical cast. As you are dropping your bait directly below you, you should first drop your anchor or tie off you boat. Then put your bait, hook, leader and sinker into the water and open your reel to allow them to begin sinking. It is important that you maintain control here as you do not want the hook assembly to drop too quickly and crash into the seabed. Another possibility that can occur if you let the hook drop too quickly is that the line can become tangled on the spool.

You should try to know the water depth at all times when bottom fishing. As the line unrolls you should pay close attention for the moment when the sinker touches bottom. When this happens the tip of your rod will rise due to the sudden release in tension, which will also be visible in the line. You should reel the line back in without delay until it becomes taut once more. Once you have reached the required depth with your bait or lure, you can then begin jigging to try to attract the attention of nearby fish. Always be aware of how close you are to the bottom and try not to let the line become too slack. The seabed is littered with rocks, reefs and plants, and it is very easy for your line to snag on some obstacle below the surface.

Bottom fishing is also known as ‘legering’ in Britain, where it is a very common fishing technique.