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October 26, 2001

The Living and the Dead

My skip-bait system can out-produce a spread of two live baits.

Hawaii's picky marlin like live baits, but I've found I can draw more strikes by pulling a dead skip-bait along with a livey in my spread. My system seems to out-produce a spread of two live baits.
A 3- to 6-pound skipjack tuna makes a perfect live bait while the ideal skip bait can range up to 20 pounds. Instead of bridling the dead bait through the eyes
(as you would a live bait), run the floss through the upper and lower jaws, allowing the hook to swing more freely in front of the fish.
Run the dead bait from an outrigger so it surfs and skips about 60 feet behind the boat; the live bait should be deployed at least twice as far back. Troll fast enough to give the dead bait fish-attracting action but not so fast as to wear out the live bait.
You'll be surprised at the number of marlin that swim up and swirl on the skip bait to mumble, "Don't try to fool me," then promptly wolf down the livey.
Capt. Chuck Haupert
Catchem 1
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii