Deep water offshore rig 5 – Drift baiting

Northern target species

Trevally, cobia, mangrove jack, queen fish, emperor, salmon, barramundi, mulloway, catfish and most of the medium to large, northern offshore species.

Southern target species

Trevally, tuna, mulloway, yellowtail king fish, pink snapper, trevally, john dory, samson fish, amberjack, bald chin groper, W.A. dhu fish and most other medium to large, southern offshore species.

Popular baits

Freshly cut fish strips, whole squid, pilchards and small bait fish like mullet, mackerel, and gar fish.

Fishing method

The drift baiting rig is designed to present baits in a natural, free falling fashion that most fish find irresistible. This rig is capable of locating fish throughout the entire water column from surface to sea floor and will account for a very large variety of species in most fishing environments. Slowly winding this baited rig will ensure it remains near the surface and if fish are deeper in the water column simply cast out or slowly drop back and allow the rig to slowly sink down to where they are. This is an extremely productive technique when used in conjunction with a berley trail of chicken laying pellets, fish oil or minced fish! For larger, toothy species such as Spanish mackerel, try snelling 3 – 4 hooks to some nylon coated wire of around 40 – 80lb in breaking strain. These snells can later be heated with a flame to melt the nylon coating and is referred to as lock welding. Halco produce an excellent nylon coated wire named lock weld! Make sure the first and last hook of the rig are smaller than the middle one or two and that the swivel is just in front of the bait, this way the fish will not see the wire. A small ball or bean sinker can be placed between the first hook and the swivel to help keep baits deeper during rough conditions. Using bait cotton to wrap baits securely will ensure they last much longer! Always remember to wait until the fish has your bait securely before striking!

Terminal tackle used

Swivel – Medium sized 2 rolling, barrel or crane.

Hooks – Medium sized 4/0 – 9/0 ganged hooks 4 per set or snelled suicide pattern.

Leader – Nylon or fluoro carbon 60 – 100lb breaking strain.

Sinker – As light as conditions allow size 1 – 6 ball, split shot, barrel or bean. A simple nail knot may be tied in place to prevent the sinker from traveling back up the leader and tangling. Metal crimps are not recommended for this as they weaken leader lines considerably!

Depth range

30 – 100 meters.


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[Deep Water Offshore Rigs]

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