Beaver Lake

Using Balloons for Stripers

Posted by Scott Bice on May 27th, 2013
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Not exactly the way you hear about or get shown by a guide, but saltwater style.

This is simple yet 100x’s more affective then tying on a balloon and watching it get bounced to not have anything there.

First let’s talk about the Ballooning that people read about in freshwater so you can understand the major reason what I’m about to say is more affective. We have all seen the write-ups on the internet and probably seen a few shows where people will tie a balloon to their line and send it out behind the boat. Yes this will work! But the drawback is there is friction when a fish takes it and more times than not the fish will feel it and release the bait. This is not uncommon and I see a lot of boats pulling balloons and I see them go down or run off all to watch the fisherman set up and nothing is there or watch the balloon pop back up and nothing there. Simply put the fish felt it and released it.

The next issue with this is unless you are pulling them directly behind your boat there will be slack in the line or a big bow and when the fish grabs the bait it feels the friction again and releases it long before you can wind tight and set up on it.

The solution is simple and one I learned fishing for Kingfish and Tarpon. First my disclaimer ( BUY THE TOOLS NEEDED DON’T USE YOUR WIVES I DON’T WANT ANYONE BLAMING ME FOR MAKING MOMMA MAD) Ok you need a Balloon obviously and then you need a short length of monofilament 20lbs test I suggest a nap swivel and then a Clothes Pin (not mommas) lol. Drill out the clothes pin and attach the mono line through the hole leaving about 1ft of line loose. Then tie on the snap swivel and synch it down tight to the clothes pin and cut off the rest of the line.

Make about a dozen of them 3/0 snap swivel is best. Now when you get out to the lake blow up the balloon and make it big. Insert the snap swivel through the balloon leaving the pin hanging below it.

Now let out the desired amount of line I make sure its set so if the bait swims down it can’t get to bottom EXAMPLE: 25FT BOTTOM let out 23ft of line. Then make 3 loops in the line and pinch them together and put them in the mouth of the safety pin. When a fish hits it they will pop out with no resistance at all. Fish won’t feel a thing and will start swimming off, and make the line tight himself and using circle hooks when he goes tight he is hooked and you got him on.

This method allows for precise depth control and no need to hassle with a balloon on your line when fighting a fish. Balloons at rod tips can be a break off and let’s be honest they can chaff up a line when reeling it through the balloon or Kink it when you tie it on your line. So when a fish hits this rig the balloon is just left bobbing at the surface of the water and when you land the fish go get it and start over no having to blow up another balloon and re-rig. Just loop the lines pinch and re-attach. Kink it when you tie it on your line. So when a fish hits this rig the balloon is just left bobbing at the surface of the water and when you land the fish go get it and start over no having to blow up another balloon and re-rig. Just loop the lines pinch and re-attach.

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