Rigging your livebaits on a kayak. Any preferred methods?

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kingiFiddler
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Have had the opportunity these holidays to experiment a wee bit and certainly have more learning to do, but I'm wondering how everyone else is rigging their livebaits and are you slow trolling or generally just drifting or?

From my experiments so far, which is by no means conclusive, I wanted to go as small a circle hook as I could get away with, and that seems to be a 6/0 but the 7/0 and 8/0 seem to have better hookups than the 6/0 which seems to get stripped a bit.

I started with uni knots but have found snelled seems to hook up better.

Drifting a smaller livie I found back hooked has been working out well and I am yet to not hook-up when struck.

Slow trolling any size livie is still a big experiment. I have failed to hook up a few times when the livie was nose hooked, but that was when I was using uni-knots and I'm yet to not hook-up with snelled. But that doesn't mean there isn't something else determining the hook-up rate.

Am still trialling bridling the baits and have only used a cable tie thus far (and didn't hook-up when struck). Still have to try dacron and rubber band bridles but it's not easy briddling a livie if there's a bit going on around the yak. Boats, wind, waves, rocks, current, etc, and it feels like I'm handling the livie too much anyway. So this morning I just used a snell knot on a 7/0 nose hooked and converted two strikes into hookups. One shark that was bigger than the yak and busted me off eventually, and one small 1m kingi.

Anyone bridling their livies and is is it worth the effort?

Any other methods your good selves use an can share with us? I'm keen to keep learning. If my wet noodle arms can handle another paddling session tomorrow morning I'll be trailing rubber band bridled livies.
Last edited by kingiFiddler on Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kingiFiddler
Posts: 480
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Thanks Andrew. That looks like a great system. Are you using it?

I took a guy fishing this morning and, apart from nearly killing him when we got cleaned up by a set on the bar on the way home, gave him my fave livebaiting/straylining rig to use, which meant I only had my little harling rod that I use to catch livebait. I put a livebaiting trace on it anyway and landed a kingi. It helped that it didn't fight like one but I still had to take it easy and that lil rod wasn't all that happy lifting it. Used a nose-hooked circle hook. I have found, although this might just be coincidence, that I'm not missing the hook-ups as often now I've switched to snell knots.

If I start losing the hook-ups again will grab one of those sets you linked to. Looks like they'd be much easier to work with on the kayak compared to regular ties or bridle needles etc. It also looks like that plastic is going to stay on the hook and not end up in the sea.
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AndrewRawlingson
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Yes, I use those zip ties and they work, but I don't do an awful lot of livebaiting. Can't say I wouldn't have caught fish without them, but they make life easier if you want to bridle and I like an easy life!

Something on my mind is which way to have to hook facing. Instinctively, I want to place it for the fish to take the fish from the tail end, especially if trolling, but I read so much about predatory fish swallowing bait fish head first.
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kingiFiddler
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Location: Mangawhai

Thank you Andrew. That hook orientation is an interesting thought. Would be keen to learn the results if you experiment.

Is the plastic still on the hook when you get the fish to the jet ski?
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AndrewRawlingson
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Haven't lost any plastic yet :y:
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kingiFiddler
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:42 pm
Kayak Make: Phoenix
Kayak Model: Hornet
Location: Mangawhai

That's good to know, thanks. It begs the question - how many have you landed using those bridles please?

I'm going to trial a new idea for me - using a lefty loop on the livebait rigs. My thinking is the fish might swim more freely and there might be a slight delay to the circle hook being pulled around and setting when the fish strike and this might be a good thing.

I figure worth a shot. If it doesn't work then back to snell knots and if they don't work it's time to buy a set of these cable ties.
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kingiFiddler
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:42 pm
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Location: Mangawhai

One strike one hook-up on the lefty loop, nose hooked kahawai livie yesterday.

Didn't get a photo but the culprit was one of the fattest, cannibalistic kahawai I've ever seen. Never had a kahawhai eat a kahawai livie before.
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AndrewRawlingson
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kingiFiddler wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:47 am That's good to know, thanks. It begs the question - how many have you landed using those bridles please?
No more than half a dozen. I don't really do livebaiting from the ski, so it's just when I go on mates' boats. The strike to hook-up ratio has been good though.
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kingiFiddler
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:42 pm
Kayak Make: Phoenix
Kayak Model: Hornet
Location: Mangawhai

Thanks Andrew. I appreciate learning such info and storing it away for when the time comes.

The kingis have gone off the boil around here :-( But that's OK as work beckons anyway.
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kingiFiddler
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:42 pm
Kayak Make: Phoenix
Kayak Model: Hornet
Location: Mangawhai

A quick update after two weekend morning sessions testing different circle hooks. I'll likely never use again the slanted/twisted/offset type of circle hooks after missing a few too many hook-ups yesterday.

Went back to a flat (no twist in the shank) circle hook this morning and one strike, one hook-up. The way we always wish it would be. I know it's a small sample size and only personal experience, but I think I'll stick to this style of circle hook from now on. No more experimenting on the hook shapes for me.
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