cut it in half...chop the tail section into tiny bits and throw them into the water a little at a time to start a chum slick....wait a few minutes then lob the head in the same spot you threw the chum, hooking through the lips..from the bottom comming out through the top ot the head, use a 7/0 or 8/0 circle hook...let it drift and be ready for the strike. at least thats if there ar big bass around.
remember...stripers eat those fish while they are still alive....WHOLE. dont be afraid to use a big hunk if you suspect big fish to be where you are fishing...even drifting the whole thing can be rewarding...cutting off the tail will stop them from twirling in the current..sometimes tangling your leader.
another way is to cut the chunks so that you only use the top section as the whole chunk is sometimes too big for a smaller prospect. we do this as the bluefish will take the whole thing in one shot no matter what size he is.
Thanks to Dave and Barry(?) from Bradford MA for donating a big bunch of Striper bait to The Cause tonight, including a big ol' fresh herring. My nit-whit friend was wielding the knife (which he subsequently lost to the tide) and he hacked it into thirds. He used the middle half and I used the front half and the back half is in the freezer. Niether of the halves that made it to the water caught a fish.
Two more options.... strip baits.. cut the bait length wise and hook through the narrowest part... this works best with fresh, not frozen bait... it is a better attractant because it flutters in the current thus creating a visual effect as well as a scensory effect...
the other option, which is the ONLY way i will fish a dead bait, it is strictly a big fish tactic.... fillet one side of the bait down to the tail but dont cut through the tail section, wrap the filet around the tail and pin it to the nose with the hook, I prefer to attach the bait with a rigging needle, but it is not a neccesity.... this allows the meat side to be exposed while still presenting a bait that wont wash out quicky, being a large bait, it is not all that attractive to small fish, but big ones will be all over that big tempting meal...
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