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I am interested in livelining herring for the first time ever this year. I am interested in doing it both from the banks of the Delaware River as well as out front in the surf. I have two setups to choose from. I have a 8'ft medium action rod i use specifically for plugging, and at 10'ft surf rod i use for bait in the surf. The 8'ft pluggin rod does not have a baitfeeder reel whereas my 10'ft rod does have the secondary baitfeeding drag system. A couple of questions, with the size of the large females that will be traveling up the river this spring to spawn, would I be better off using the 8 or 10 ft rod when livelining herring in the river? If I use the non-baitfeeding reel and plugging rod, what method of fishing would you recommend? I was thinking just set the drag on the reel normally, then after the cast, open the bail (free-spool) and hold slight tension on the line (to prevent birdnesting), after the pickup and ensuing run, flip the bail back and set the hook.. The other way would be to cast and set the drag really loosely, after the pickup and ensuing run, cup the reel to hook the fish, and then keep cupping the reel and cranking down on the drag until its usable.. Not sure which way would increase my chances of landing her.. With the surf rod and baitfeeding reel there would be no issue unless its too big of a stick to fish the river with. All responses are welcome.. I dont really want to go out and get a baitfeeding reel for my 8' rod if not entirely necessary. By the way, both reels are spinning not conventional.. Thanks in advance..
 

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Basscuz,
Either one of your setups will work fine in the river.Most of the guys I see using ten foot rods are doing good.I saw a guy catch a 40 incher on Sunday with a ten foot rod and a circle hook.He also released the fish unharmed.I would remind you and I don't mean to preach but in two more days(April thru May)you need to use a circle hook in the river from the Jersey side. You probably allready know that. When fishing circles I keep my rod locked down with the drag set loose enough to let the fish run when it picks up the bait.The drag will cause the circle to come out and rotate to the corner of the mouth. Once the fish is on then I tighten my drag a little more for the fight. If you let the fish run with the bait in the freespool mode and then lock the baitrunner it may rip the hook out too fast and it will never rotate and set.I sware by circles and I would never use anything else. Just remember the hardest part is not setting the hook.But most of the time the fish is allready hooked when you pick up the rod and you just start reeling.I hope this helps you out next time you go out.
 

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Bass cuz,
This is what has worked best for me (River). The surf is a little rough for the herring. I use #7 hook + 40" of floro + swival with 3" flaot attached. Drop bait next to bank and let it swim where and how it wants. Do not cast!!! The herring will not take much abuse at all. Re direct it only if absolutly nessasary. Try to pick a point or a known slough. If it is your first time, try fishing one bait until you get the hang of it. My choice of rod and reel is a 7' GL3 Heavy rod and a 4500 bait runner (shimano). Keep your eyes peeled for birds looking to snatch your bait. When the herring is in distress it will swim to the top and cause a ripple (This is good). Again, I can not stress enough the importance of handling the herring lightly. they die easily. Good luck
 

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tight line,

You hit the nail on the head , DO NOT CAST LIVE HERRING they are like shiners , one cast and they are done ... I would find a wide area with no under growth (tree roots, or any other obstructions ) hook the herring let it swim off and let nature take its course , otherwise the herring will try to hide and wrap you up....

Primarily herring is great if used on a boat , that way you can control the depth of the bait and the herring will not sit on the bottom..
 

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Good advice. We use a small balloon as a float. The herring and move it around easier and when the balloon starts moving fast, get ready!!!! And yes, it's tough to liveline in the surf! Good luck!! Pig

[ 03-31-2004, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: Pigman ]
 
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