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Can anyone give me some advice on how to setup a bird rig for spanish. I already bought a pink daisy chain but aren't sure of how to rig it. Do I tie on a trolling weight in front of or behind the chain? Do i follow the chain with a leader and clarkspoon? Thanks
 

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No weight needed - you want the rig to bounce along the top, you can use a trolling weight to get the rig down deeper if you aren't using a bird or on another line (my preference, that way you have more of the water column covered)

I use a snap swivel on my main line and attach it to the bird. Then another snap swivel on the back of the bird. Tie 3 to 5 feet of leader (I use 20lb fluorocarbon) onto the swivel and attach to the front squid/duster in your daisy chain. Behind the chain should be something different - I like to use a Clarkspoon but sometimes use a different colored squid with hook instead - as long as it's different in shape or color. I also usually space it a little further back from the last squid in the chain than the others are spaced to make it standout.

If you are using a trolling weight instead of the bird, make it the same way only tie a longer leader between the weight and the first squid in the chain - at least 10 feet.
 

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Tarpon, here's what you might want to consider having on the boat... deadly on spanish mac's

Clarkspoon Bird Rigs

Clark Spoon and Boone also make spanish bird rigs with 3 daisy chained planktons/small squids.. those work excellent. I keep at least 8 rig'd up bird rigs on the boat or in the tackle bag. They work good on other fish as well.

No trolling weight needed with a bird rig.... it's designed to skip and flutter on the surface. If your trolling it and it's not making a racket on the surface, your either going too slow and it's submarining.. just pick up enough speed until it's skippin along the top. The noise and splash is the "draw" ;)
 

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Though I cant speak for Mike, I've found they work in any light days and in some rough conditions as well. Sometimes you might want to switch out the silver spoons for gold spoons, but to be honest, I'll have one of each out anyway as ya never really know what they'll key in on any certain day.

Normally bright days, the silver spoon gets nailed

My favorite rig is the pink bird with clear squid/plankton bodies and a silver spoon. ;)
 

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Not a problem...

I like fishin bird rigs v.s. planers... to me it's just easier. Since your planer savy, you could cover both deep and top water then just roll with what they're wanting when the bite is on.

One tip though,, have someone watching the bird rigs... cause the spanish and small kings will "sky" the baits,, that's the sign to maybe linger in a troll pattern for that area. I'll usually work an area for about 20-30 minutes, if we dont pick one up, we'll press on.

Run at least one bird rig "way back"... as long as your planers and other rigs aren't out as far/shorter, you'll be able to manage easy turns. I'll put the furtherest outside one way back, or put one in the middle position and let'r back 200 yards, at least one bird rig in clean water away from the boat can get them to bite

Catch'm up! ;)
 

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That I just dont know... I thought the same thing a while back that if there is a surface feeding type predator fish, I wouldnt see where maybe a small version (say a 3 or 4 inch type bird) could work. Should do the same thing, draw attention to the bait and simulate a small school or fish trying to flee. My guess for freshwater would be to slow down the speed v.s. the speed used for saltwater fish, maybe run 3-5 mph v.s. running 5-8 mph.

I wouldnt know what to use for the trailer, unless a clark spoon works on freshwater rock fish.. might be an idea to kick around with Junkie and Hotspot as they have the most experience with inland tactics. Maybe a shad type bait??

Anything is possible.... wouldnt hurt to try a small bird with a trailer bait about 2-3 ft back from the bird... a school of bait fish is bait fish right??! ;)

I do know that some freshwater fishers, trollers, use smaller versions of dredge teasers/rigs such as this:


so I dont see where a bird type rig couldnt work for trolling freshwater. Just have to have the right color combo's and target surface feeding predators.
 

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Dave's right about the color (silver versus gold). I have found that on a cloudy day sometimes gold works better. Like Dave, I try both to see which works that day.

Trolling weights are a lot easier to use than planers and work well to get bait down in the water column, but as said earlier - don't use them on bird rigs - it defeats the purpose. I usually troll both (birds on surface and something deeper like a trolling weighted clark spoon) until I see what they are hitting that day. As mentioned before - Yozuri deep divers are another good alternative for Spanish.
 

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One more thought is to use a trolling gotcha behind the bird in place of the clark spoon. A buddy of mine told me it is deadly so I bought a couple the other day and will try them out in a couple days. They are just like a regular gotcha bodywise except they have only a single hook in the tail end. I'll let you know how they work.
Gery
 

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When you rig up your bird rig, evenly space your squids but have your spoon about double the distance back to look like a straggler. If everything is evenly spaced, the fish will hit at the (unrigged) squid teasers in the line.
 

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Slowriser,
Don't know about clark spoons for freshwater rock, but we trolled them behind planers for rock along the bridges (32 and 17?) around Edenton and always did pretty good. Fish there were feeding on a lot of silversides and anchovies, not shad like they probably do in High Rock. Maybe a pet spoon or something with a wider profile might work better?
 
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