At Rod Fishing Club, when we deal with baiting, we are talking about dead or live baits, but they are always considerably large: whole bonito, small yellowfin tuna, trunk of barracuda, rainbow runners… target being big predators, from dogtooth tuna to marlin, exploring every water's layer with adapted equipment.
Bottom fishing differs from baiting in the use of “small bites”, the ideal bait being small bonito chunks. This fishing technique is practiced at the bottom.
Bottom fishing is certainly the most wide spread technique over the world.
It is simple to execute, fun and exciting, especially when we practice within a group. There is quickly a healthy emulation.
You will be able to practice it around Rodrigues, on the continental plateau and of course on banks offshore, where it reveals to be particularly efficient on these barely visited spots.
Target is obviously all kinds of bottom fish, such as groupers, red snappers, blue emperors, jobfish, moontail sea bass, ruby snappers, as well as other trevally species, which compose a beautiful palette. You can catch up to 25 different species.
In Mediterranean Sea, traditional bottom fishing is also called “soup fishing”. In Rodrigues, bottom fishing reaches another dimension with XXL red coral trouts or GT up to 30kg, which are certainly attracted with small fish trying to grab bait. It is not rare to see a small fish being caught and attacked by a bigger one!
This fishing technique is practiced on reef depths, ideally on sub marine structures.
Our anglers do not come especially for this fishing technique. They will rather practice it on opportunity, for the fishing day to last longer or to have a rest in between 2 jigging sessions.
They use the most simple possible assembling, that is to say, replacing the assist hook of their jigging assembling by a 100lb leader about 1m long, set on the jig’s lower loop with a swivel. The leader will hold a small classical or circle hook.
While bait is going down, we let current hold the leader; then, we break off jig to avoid it to twist. As soon as jig reaches the bottom, we reel in 2 or 3 spins so that bait is just above the bottom.
According to the current and the boat drifting, you will have to release your line so that your jig reaches the bottom before reeling in 2 or 3 spins.
We need to remain in the “strike zone” close to the bottom.
Holding your rod as high as possible, enables you to help fish in lowering the rod down. Fish will thus better hook up without too much resistance, letting you breadth enough to strike up (that needs to be powerful).
In the same time, you must reel in quickly and powerfully to insure hook up and to turn the fish head up, for it not to hide in a hole. Here is bottom fishing difficulty.
Bottom fishing is scarcely offered by charters or specialized tour operators. What a shame! Because, here is another good way to feel lots of emotions.
Below 200m, beautiful oilfish and butterfish were caught on bonito chunks. Nothing prevents us from letting a bonito down to theses depths… These high depths definitely still have nice surprises in stock!