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October 26, 2001

Green Machine Goes Short

Shorten the length of your main lure's leader to avoid losing strikes to a bird teaser.

Fishing out of Pirates Cove in North Carolina, one of our most successful lure combinations is a Green Machine lure trailing a bird. We always troll this combo way back down the middle from a center rigger.
In the past, however, I noticed that the bird, not the lure, would get a lot of hits. To avoid missing fish on bird strikes, I made a simple change to the rig that dramatically increased my hookup ratio and eliminated bird strikes. I haven't had a fish eat the bird in over two years with this setup.
I simply shortened the distance between the bird and lure from the normal 20 feet of leader down to 5 feet. This simple procedure ensures that any time a fish is attracted to the bird, it will always see the lure and turn on it at the last second.
Rigging the lure with fluorocarbon leader also results in higher catch rates for two reasons: First, fluorocarbon is much less visible to keen-eyed yellowfin, and second, fluorocarbon has much better abrasion resistance on a lure that gets used nearly every trip.
William Tyler
Richmond, Virginia