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as well. Look for clams along the surf line of a beach, or feel for them with your feet in shallow bays. (Note: You may need a special clamming license to collect clams. Inquire at bait shops or contact your state fish and game department.) Look for mussels at low tide attached to jetty rocks, dock pilings, and other structures.

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\ Clam and niussel shells make 1 i?****, e (feet ive chu m. J/ Break up the shells with a hammer and occasionally toss a handful overboard. The stent of the sb el Ifi sh r as well as the spa rklc ' and flash of the shell frits falling to botlQDij will attract fish. This technique works belt When tiSCd in combination with other

And you can always stock up on these baits at a grocery store. Sometimes it's possible to get a good deal on older or broken clams and mussels from the seafood department at a supermarket.

In both cases, remember that the bigger the shellfish, the bigger the foot, and the better it will stay on the hook. When fishing for large species such as striped bass, impale the clam meat on the hook as many times as possible until you have a glob of it. If small fish are your quarry, you need only a piece of mussel or clam large enough to cover the hook.

Basic Bait Rigs and Components

Although there are as many ways to rig baits as there are baits themselves, they all share the basic components of hook, leader, and sinker. The type and size of the hook, the strength and length of the leader, and the weight and shape of the sinker determine the type of rig it is and what it is designed for. Some rigs have other features that further distinguish their applications.

The most common setup is the basic bottom rig. At the heart of this and many other rigs is a three-way swivel. The running line (the line from the end of your fishing rod) is tied to one eye. On the second eye is a sinker snap, which is a snap with arms that open on both ends. The small end is attached to the swivel, and the large end opens up to accept a sinker. On the third eye is a leader, which, as a rule of thumb, should be monofilament that's double the pound test of the running line. When fishing for bluefish, sharks, or some other sharp-toothed species, a wire leader is necessary.

The sinker you choose should be heavy enough to hold on bottom and resist movement by the current. If you're casting to a sand bottom when surf fishing, you should use a pyramid sinker (see Chapter 11). This three-sided sinker plunges point-first into the sand and tends to hold well there. If you're fishing on a rocky bottom, you should use a bank sinker, which is teardrop-shaped. It will slide over the obstructions, while the angular pyramid will get stuck on them.

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

This is a great collection of delicious fish and shell fish recipes that you will love.

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