Why Pure Oxygen for your livebait? Keeping bait alive with pure oxygen has been around for many years but recently it has exploded into the limelight for all types of baitfish. Everyone is looking for that little edge and each year that edge is harder and harder to find. An extra bite can mean the difference between winning and losing and with tournaments becoming more lucrative each year, people are deciding pure oxygen is definitely worth the cost. This is why you are also begining to see these oxygen systems in bass baots as well. While expensive up front, the system pays for itself over time in the simple fact you do not lose as much bait. You do not have to travel as much to catch bait, you do not have to throw the net as often, and your bait lasts longer on the hook. Improvements in regulators and air stones over the years have made pure oxygen easier to use to keep baitfish alive. The first people to common use pure oxygen for keeping baitfish alive were striper fishermen using it to keep skipjack herring alive for monster stripers. A few others have used it to keep crappie minnows for tournaments, and hatcheries to haul trout. Compared to most species, trout use more oxygen. Now fishermen are using to keep shiners, blueback herring, pogies and other baitifsh. The saltwater fishermen have been slower than most to accept pure oxygen but the few who have witnessed it keep bait over night are grinning from ear to ear and not talking about it. Instead of catching bait at the beginning of a trip and hoping to be the first one to head to the hotspot, they are heading out to the hotspot sometimes one to two hours ahead of everyone else. Two extra hours to fish and you know the rest. All regulators are not the same. Most regulators do not have a fine enough setting and consequently much of the oxygen is wasted. The proper stone is equally as important. The stone should produce ultra fine bubbles. The smaller the bubbles, the more oxygen can be dissolved into the water. Be sure to check the diagram below. Lake Lanier Striper Guide – Capt. Clay Cunningham
Kit available at Hammond’s
I have been receiving numerous questions about the Ben Parker Custom Spoons recently. Most people are astounded by its size, but don’t let that fool you. To put it in perspective, how many Striper anglers go out of their way to get big Gizzard Shad or Rainbow Trout, as big as 18 inches, to use as bait? The Ben Parker Spoon is 8 inches, just like a large herring or a relatively average size shad. In relative terms it is not that big.I received the first spoons in early July, so to this point, I have only used it for deep water applications, primarily power reeling. Below, I will explain how I have been successful with it on Lake Lanier and surrounding waters in the southeast.
How To Fish The Ben Parker Spoon
Simply drop the bait down below the fish and reel it back up through them at a fairly brisk pace. The fish may see the spoon on the fall or on the way up. If the fish takes the spoon as you are reeling up, the bite is very noticeable, almost violent, and you should get hooked up. If the fish takes the spoon on the way down, that’s a different ballgame. Hook-ups as the spoon is moving up are easier because the line is tight. This is due to the fact that the spoon is going up and the fish tends to take the spoon and move down, eliminating the slack from the line. If the spoon is free-falling, the bite is difficult to detect and the fish will blow the spoon out if you are not very quick to respond. As the spoon is free-falling, keep your rod tip low and be ready to kick the reel in gear on the bite. Keeping the rod low to the water allows you to lift the rod and start cranking which in turn gets the line tight and sets the hook before the fish figures out that this is a trick! This whole issue is compounded because of the action of the spoon.
As it drops, it will stop and cradle left and right a few times before it starts sliding downward. This cradling action is a huge plus as far as drawing a strike. I think it is what makes the bait so effective, but it will require your attention as these changes in pace are often when the strike occur. Adding an assist hook on the top of the spoon is also a plus.
What if it gets hung? It will, but most times it will shake out like most spoons. If all else fails your umbrella retriever will get your spoon back every time.
The bottom line is that Parker and Nichols have done a great job designing this bait. I have no doubt that keeping a couple magnum spoons on board will catch you some extra fish!
Content by: Captian Mack Farr