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Hi Gang, how many of you use "bird bars"?

90% of the time i simply run my 2 mini green machine bars fairly close to the boat off the corners of my roof with skirted ballys in front and behind. i cannot run them off my riggers. i have to keep them close to the boat most times to keep the bar up a bit so it doesnt drag or eat into the water. they do catch the way i run them, but i was wondering if replacing them with bird bars would allow me to fish them further back a bit. i know some days fish want things further from the boat. i fished a boat this fall with them, and we ran them pretty far back with some success (FA's galore).

again, 90% of the time i run my spread pretty much the same, and my catches have been ok, but like everyone, i want to see if i can improve. how many use bird bars? do you use them all the time, or just use them sometimes?

Thanks,
Brett​
 

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When I troll the edge I always use at least 2 of Steve's (sterling tackle) bird bars.

We run ours off the long riggers. If eyeballs are around we run a monster bar down the center shotgun style. So yes, they can be run further back. That's actually the purpose. The bird is supposed to be in the water with the bar.

Regular bars are supposed to be run with the bar out of the water. Therefore they must be run at a steep angle and/or close to the boat.
 

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There are a few things you can do. I have found the best results with bars to be back a ways, on that last wake. Yes, we get fish close, but seems to be better further back when it comes to bars.

You can use a single bird or several birds, depending on the size of your GM's, the length of the bar and amount of drag it is creating. The best way to figure it out is to swim it, and play with your speed. I test many bars right in the bay / river and get some strange looks when we do it. ( testing inside will be a good starting point. Its calmer than outside, but its a general idea of how it will perform) A big factor is also the size of the leader/line your using. I have found that 130# is offering much more action than say 250#, with my personal bars. Yes, it has its downsides, but I go as light as I can, for more action.

I have run a bird up front and as many as 4 more as the 1st lures on each drop, closest to the bar to get heavier lures up on top. I also believe in longer bars, that require some help at times. If your looking to tempt a fish to swim up and take a look, based on what they see, I always feel that making it worth their effort is the key. The larger the school of bait, the more interest they will have.

The very best way is to test and modify. There are some great bars out there, such as Sterling. In addition to these proven products, when your building your own, you can come up with stuff thats not available. Sometimes the craziest looking lures will work better than the old favorites. The most important thing is testing them. Your speed, wake, habits may vary from the next guy. :)
 

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put one 36" splash bar in the middle of your spread , just where the prop wash starts to clean up. ballyhoo everywhere else.


The green or rainbow machines are my preference.


or you can run two just ouside the OB's.. Watch them get crashed just inches away will mke one wet their pant.. However, you can just blame the crash splash from the fish as I have.... :)
 

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FWIW, I've had a ton of White Marlin knockdowns/hook ups over the years on bird bars. I haven't had a single one (that I can remember) on a regular bar. We do also run 2 regular bars off the short rigger at a steep angle. They work well on YFT (particularly them for some reason).

I truly believe in a versatile spread:

2 Bird Bars
2 Squid Bars
2 Islander/hoos
2 Split bill or chugger rigged hoos
1 Monster lure down the center or a monster bar with diff stinger

EDIT: And if you want a little more of an inside tip...I run my split bill/popping hoos just behind the regular squid bars. It's essentially a "chase bait".
 

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or you can run two just ouside the OB's.. Watch them get crashed just inches away will mke one wet their pant.. However, you can just blame the crash splash from the fish as I have.... :)

if it aint broke dont fix it ;).

and splitbill all your ballyhoo even with seawitches or islanders and watch your catches go up up up :thumbsup:
 

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A good question and some good explanations of how a bird bars works. Thanks guys.:thumbsup: The center bird allows for the bar to be trolled at almost any distance from the boat. Many guys even troll them off long riggers or in the way, way back position. We stagger bars through out the spread and mix in chains and ballyhoo.

Unlike other bars the bird and bar should be firmly planted on the water and not lifted for the maximum effect, so if you want to flat line one you will need to clip it down. The bar dragging in the water only seems to help as it also pushes up water in front of the baits. I have noticed some guys have a hesitancy to try them, but after they do, most are hooked.

Here is a couple pics to show the effect. Notice in the second picture the bar in the rear has just been drug under by a yellowfin, if you look close you can still see the rainbow baits below the surface. Not sure how he pulled it off, but Scott Wiel on the Playmaker was able to get that shot. Scott will routinely pull 4 bars in his spread.

Tournament Cable does make some very nice Bird Bars as well.






 

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Bird Bars . . .

I've run numerous bars off the PlayMaker and other vessels as a crew member over the last 10 years. Steve's bird bars have produced the most consistant action. I believe that the bird on Steve's LIGHTER bar keeps them running well in all water conditions. The splash and straight path of the machines/squids just seem to work better. I will run 4 bars (two off of the gunnells behind the flat lines and two off of the short riggers - as seen in the photo above). Steve's 12 inch squid daisy chains off of the long riggers behind the bars are a great combination. Cant wait to do it again "reel soon!!"

Serenity NOW!!!
 

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I'll pull anything from Stering Tackle because Steve makes a great product that can produce from anywhere in the spread. We have our favorites that are always in and try others when the action is slow. Can't wait for his new Big Eye Bars and even larger 42" bars!
 

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Always run 2 splash bars with 5 birds each and 15 squids each as teasers and drop a couple of Sterling's bars behind them. The bird splash bars create lots of commotion but also have lots of drag. Just part of a 7 rod spread.
 

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There are a few things you can do. I have found the best results with bars to be back a ways, on that last wake. Yes, we get fish close, but seems to be better further back when it comes to bars.

You can use a single bird or several birds, depending on the size of your GM's, the length of the bar and amount of drag it is creating. The best way to figure it out is to swim it, and play with your speed. I test many bars right in the bay / river and get some strange looks when we do it. ( testing inside will be a good starting point. Its calmer than outside, but its a general idea of how it will perform) A big factor is also the size of the leader/line your using. I have found that 130# is offering much more action than say 250#, with my personal bars. Yes, it has its downsides, but I go as light as I can, for more action.

I have run a bird up front and as many as 4 more as the 1st lures on each drop, closest to the bar to get heavier lures up on top. I also believe in longer bars, that require some help at times. If your looking to tempt a fish to swim up and take a look, based on what they see, I always feel that making it worth their effort is the key. The larger the school of bait, the more interest they will have.

The very best way is to test and modify. There are some great bars out there, such as Sterling. In addition to these proven products, when your building your own, you can come up with stuff thats not available. Sometimes the craziest looking lures will work better than the old favorites. The most important thing is testing them. Your speed, wake, habits may vary from the next guy. :)
I was wondering who that was trollling in the bay...
 

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We pull all Sterling Bars. Our spread ranges from 1 to 4 bars and ballyhoo depending on the bite.

We pull mostly ballyhoo covered with shutes, illanders, chuggers or just plain ol' naked.

When the bite is stupid hot, we go to all artificials for a faster turn around time if we can get away with it. Some days all the tuna want are hoo', sometimes it doesn't matter, especially if they are piled into an area.

Always go for multiple bites. Don't ever stop the boat after one bite. Your better off hooking 10, losing 6, and boating 4 rather than only hooking a single.

C'mon summer!

Brian
 
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