Fresh water rig 9 – Sinking berley cage

Northern target species

Tarpon, perch, barramundi, catfish, sooty grunter, and most of the smaller, northern fresh water species.

Southern target species

Trout, perch, small cod, eel, catfish and most of the smaller, southern fresh water species.

Popular baits

Corn kernels, fish pellets, doe mixes, dried dog food pellets, mud eye, maggots, and peas.

Fishing method

The sinking berley cage rig is designed to target a variety of smaller fresh water species and is a great way to target sluggish feeders such as carp or cat fish. After the fish have been attracted into the area by the berley the floating bait will stand out to the fish amongst all the other berley laying on the river bed. Cast the baited rig out into the desired location and place the fishing outfit into a secure, horizontal position. Leaving rods set in upright positions can often spook fussy species as they feel the rod tip movement. Reels need to be set in free spool and this can be easily achieved with overhead reels by engaging their ratchet.  Spin reels do not often have this luxury unless they are a bait runner variety and an easy way around this is to flick the bail arm over and pull around a foot or so of line from the reel. Hold the line down onto the ground at around ninety degrees from the reels spool  and place a large pinch of wet sand onto it. This will hold the line in place until a fish takes off resulting in line freely flowing from the reels spool without the fish being alerted. All the angler has to do is time their strike. Holding the fishing outfit with a large loop of line in one hand ready to drop is also a popular method used with this rig especially during a hot bite. Always remember to wait until the fish has your bait securely before striking!

Terminal tackle used

Swivels – Small sized 8 – 12  rolling, barrel or crane. One slightly smaller than the other!

Hooks – Small sized 12 – 6 bait holder, long shank or suicide.

Leader – Braided line  10 – 20lb breaking strain.

Sinking berley cage – To attract and hold target species in your fishing area.

Small bead – This prevents the smaller swivel sticking to the knot of the larger swivel.

Casting distance

0 – 50 meters, this rig works best with smaller, fresher baits.


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