An entire book can be exclusively devoted to the Sonic BaitFish™
(SBF) because of its unsurpassed versatility and multi-species effectiveness.
The purpose of this tech guide is to provide you with basic information to use
as a springboard to increase your knowledge, success and enjoyment on the
TIPS & TRICKS
Don’t fish blindly. Whether on land or in a boat, use your vision and/or electronic
fish locator to locate baitfish schools or game fish before fishing. Look for
working birds or “disturbed” water caused by swirling, boiling or leaping fish.
Locate fish attracting structure. For freshwater, look for weedbeds, standing
timber, rock piles, rocky reefs, submerged structures, bridges, docks, deep
holes, river mouths, etc. For saltwater, find kelpbeds, tidal rips, color
lines, floating debris, oil rigs and shrimp boats.
Adverse conditions that will affect fishing. These include strong
tides, muddy water, excessive wind, full moon phases, fast-falling barometric
Line control. This is important. Fishing a tight line maximizes your
sensitivity, lure presenation and hook sets. To remedy a bow in your line, cast
directly up or downwind. Fish with the lightest braided main line as possible
so you can feel your lure over bottom structure. In most situations, fish the
smallest lure to effectively reach your target fish.
Hooks. The smallest SBF come factory-equipped, in the blade bait version,
with attached self-sleeving double hooks and a duo lock snap. This is the
vertical jigging version. If your state requires single hooks, replace the
double hook with a single siwash-type hook. Attach hook with smallest possible
split ring or attach it directly to the tail.
Hook files. Sharp hooks increase hookups. Simple enough.
Snaps and swivels. When attaching leader to braided mainline, swivels are not
necessary because line twist is usually not a problem. However, a swivel
attaching mainline-to-leader creates a stronger connection than a direct
leader-to-line knot. Conversely, a swivel is recommended for all monofilament
mainline applications to minimize its chronic line twist issues. Attach the
swivel 3- to 5-feet between the mainline and leader.
Leader. Fluorocarbon leader is necessary to increase strikes when cutoffs
by sharp teeth are not a problem. Use longer, thinner diameter leader in
clearer waters. Attach leader to mainline with a double uni-knot to minimize
hardware for line-shy fish. Only use wire leader if absolutely necessary.
Main line. No-stretch braided line is superior to mono for longer casts,
better hook sets, reducing line drag and better sensitivity for feeling strikes
Rods. The most important feature is a fast-action tip for a fast-action
response to a strike. Basically, a medium or medium-heavy 5 1/2- to 6 1/2-foot
long spinning rod will cover most applications.
Lure finishes. Metallic finishes work best in clear, sunny water. UV and high
fluorescent finishes work best in daylight clear, tea-stained and murky water.
Glow-in-the-dark works in the same water conditions, both day and night.
Scent. If scent is necessary, add night crawler pieces for yellow perch
and walleye in open freshwater and minnow or Gulp pieces through the ice. Also
works for crappie and trout. In saltwater, scent is usually not needed. At times,
adding shrimp or squid pieces will increase strikes from snapper and grouper.
Lure size. Think big but use the smallest SBF as possible to reach your
target. This is especially effective when the bite is dead. Going as small as
possible will often beat “matching the hatch.”
For an in-depth look at the SBF Tech Guide, click here. Written by Capt. Pete Rosko.