Gavin prefers a double rig, paternoster-style, mainly for keeping the baits up and out of the weedy bottom. The weight at the bottom will drag through the weed beds and the baits will hang above it.
Showing some of his flyfishing background, Gavin ties a rig with a couple of short, twisted bases leading to a 50mm tippet that the hook is tied to. Also, Gavin replaces the standard red tubing with a combination of beads. On the day we fished, it was a pair of tiny red beads bookending a larger crystal bead in the middle (see illustration).
“I still haven’t got it fully worked out yet, but some days, the shiny, crystal bead will outfish anything else and other days it’s the opposite,” Gavin said.
Usually Gav won’t cast too far from the boat and he keeps the line tight to transfer the movement of the drifting boat into a moving bait.
“The whiting usually hang on the sand patches in between the weeds and the paternoster rig ensures that the worms are presented weed-free when it hits these key areas,” Gavin said.
“I usually break the big Isome worm into three pieces and use each of these as a bait. I’ve caught up to a dozen fish per segment of bait in the past – or as little as one fish – but generally the bait is pretty tough”.
After that, it’s up to you to hook the fish once it starts biting. Gavin prefers a very soft rod and small spinning reel, but we all know that most tackle is up to the task when it comes to landing whiting.
I’m sold on the concept and sold on the results. Taking the experiment one step further we’ve subsequently tried fishing Isome in one boat and live sandworms in the other. The results weren’t significantly different. Both boats took home a great feed.
It’ll be interesting to see what bait Marukyu replicates next. Until then, enjoy your prize packs of Isome if you won them or look out for them in your local tackle store.