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Old 11-15-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default Please explain to me about trolling "Birds"

Hey guys...still new to the offshore trolling...our experience is just with stretch 30's and islander/ballyhoo's on the top. Killing some time in Academy today and saw the green "birds" and it sad they "raise fish"...I spent a while looking it over and trying to figure its intended use, but obviously the employees there are not going to know jack..I have read and heard some on here talking about using them. Just wanted to hear their purpose and pros and cons and if its something that will help us out there. Thanks from the newbie...
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:28 PM
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Hey guys...still new to the offshore trolling...our experience is just with stretch 30's and islander/ballyhoo's on the top. Killing some time in Academy today and saw the green "birds" and it sad they "raise fish"...I spent a while looking it over and trying to figure its intended use, but obviously the employees there are not going to know jack..I have read and heard some on here talking about using them. Just wanted to hear their purpose and pros and cons and if its something that will help us out there. Thanks from the newbie...
They go in front of marlin type lures usually, they kinda skip/jump in and out of the water.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:29 PM
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Yeah simply to raise more fish, a better presentation.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:31 PM
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Birds provide noise and vibration in the water that attracts fish!!!!
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:44 PM
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gotcha...makes perfect sense...is it one of those things you commonly use in front of an islander, or just when the bite is slow?
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:50 PM
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We always run one way back rigged with a trailing green machine. We have caught fish off the bird on days when nothing else worked. I always put one out - I'm a believer.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:52 PM
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My experiance has been that birds really work best in front of a lure that is intended to stay on the surface, like a green machine. In the case of an Islander, which usually run just under the surface, I suspect it might not work that well. But I have to admit, it can't hurt to give it a try. Sometimes a lure that has never caught a fish before, presented differantly, just works.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:26 PM
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Thanks guys for the help...to play off on y'all comments, I have never fished a Green Machine before. I did a search on them and saw what they are. Do you rig them just like an Islander with the same tachle on it and ballyhoo. I apologize if this seems obvious to many of you, but just new and trying to learn.

Thanks
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:10 AM
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Ahoy Newby,

adminFL, we all were at some stage, so keep on inquiring.

I asume you are trolling 6-9mi for the various species in
your area. Doing that, you will cover large areas of wide
open sea... but where is the fish? Unless you have the
bird action and surface breaching tuna in frenzy, you will
have to try to bring fish up in a hemisphere of visability
that may range from 30 to 100 feet depending on the water
colour. Billfish and tuna will go for your "presentation", if
the picture you present resembles a swarm and triggers
their instincts.

Birds, single or daisy chains, immitate such swarm of
baitfish in distress. Tuna and billfish tend to be attracted.

With the help of a couple of teasers you can double
the surface action and hence the "signature" of your
"swarm".

We tend to use smaller birds or daisy chains on
the top riggers, medium ones in the middle riggers
and the shotgun, but no birds out of the direct
corners.

When shopping for birds, take a look not only at the
hardwood ones, but try the eg moldcraft medium softies.

Whatever you buy, replace any factory rigging. The
weakest link will always be the wire that runs through
the bird. Rerig. We use a piece of 3 feet of 200 to 400
lbs fc , then crimp a stretch of that same material,
running through the fore/aft wire of the bird, onto that
main line. With such doubled line it will never fail with
your stripey on the line.

Tight lines and fish hard, man,
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:20 AM
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We tend to fish our birds two ways - the smaller birds (7" or 9") in front of a single green machine lure or a 4 6" squid chain, or the bigger (10-13") in front of a chain lure - either 4 green machine (bullet head) types (not always green) or 5 9" squid chain.
We also like the bird to sort of match what it is pulling - green bird for green machines or greenish squids, black bird for purple/black lures, and yellow bird for rainbow lures.
Birded lures are usually on the mid rigger position for us - we run spreader bars on the outside riggers and center rigger, chains (with or w/o) birds mid-rigger, a single surface lure on the inside rigger and then our ballyhoo (skirted, with heads or naked), cedars or jets in the four central close in positions.
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:30 AM
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Some years ago as a commercial hook and liner I used two sizes of birds for two out of the three lines I was dragging (mainly dolphin as the target). Both were the soft birds from Moldcraft, one a 9", the other their smallest at about 5"... Since I didn't have outriggers the trolled lines were mainly to get a bite or two hooked - then draw the school into casting range and it worked like a charm. The larger bird was in line about 7' in front of a rigged bally, the little bird was set up in front of small jet or hexhead - roughly the same size as the little bird - but no longer than 6".

I came to regard that little bird, lure combination as an "automatic" that needed little tending as long as it was free of weeds. I deliberately kept it as much as 100 yds behind my skiff and would have it dancing while I re-rigged, cleaned up, etc, usually on a 7'6" medium heavy spinning rod with 15 or 20lb line, leader in the 80lb range.

Both of those soft birds were set up with mono leader (125lb was my standard), a loop in one end and a snap swivel up inside the bird for attaching lure or bally onto. With this "duplex" leader setup I could bail dolphin and be re-rigged very quicly (just dropped fish with leader attached into the box, snapped on another rig and was back in the water).

Birds offer real advantages for small boat operators since they pinpoint the food for any predator in the area. The fish come to the bird then take the bait or lure behind it. I never fooled with the larger birds since birds weren't even on the horizon when I was working charter boats in the early seventies. In that era we worked a teaser on each side of the spread daily but had never heard of birds at all...
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:19 AM
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Birds also help keep your lures down when there is wind or choppy conditions.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:23 PM
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green machine - rig as a lure, but not with ballyhoo

i use birds in front of green machines and in front of jets.

my boat's secret weapon (well not so secret, it just works well for us) is a small purple bird, followed by 3 purple/black 4 inch squid shells, followed by a 4 inch black/purple jet. We have caught so many yellowfin/albacore/and dolphin on that lure that I've had to re-rig it 5 or 6 times. we fish it on the long rigger (i have spreaders on the short riggers).
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for all the replies guys! Doesnt sound too hard...if yall have one and dont mind, could you post a pic of what this setup looks like...with how the squids look (the chains) I am trying to see how they are rigged behind the bird. Thanks
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:18 PM
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try running your birds& squid chains off your outriggers,via a roller half way along the rigger,using a separate loop under your main halyard,anchored to the gunnel or bridge.get them in clear water & set your spread around them and hang on!
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaminFL View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys! Doesnt sound too hard...if yall have one and dont mind, could you post a pic of what this setup looks like...with how the squids look (the chains) I am trying to see how they are rigged behind the bird. Thanks
this pic isn't in a straight line, but here is a green bird, followed by shell squid, followed by a green machine http://www.fishermansoutfitter.com/p...isy-Chain.aspx

here are several more pics. http://www.thefind.com/sports/browse-boone-bird-rig

http://cgi.ebay.com/Bird-Daisy-Chain...-/270663611780

basically, a bird daisy chain is like any other daisy chain, but the first "squid" is a bird.

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Old 11-17-2010, 09:17 AM
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Thanks UNCFISH and the others...just needed a little "visual" understand. May give it a try this weekend. We dont have outriggers on the boat so are limited on our spread right now to isalnders/hoo and stretches, but maytry to add a chain in there too!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:22 AM
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i suggest a chain for sure. just to add a little more attractant to your spread. You can also create a chain for a ballyhoo rig:

4 inch squid - 4 inch squid - 4 inch squid - lil chugger/sea witch with ballyhoo (with the squids and the chugger or sea witch color coordinated). This rig on a flatline would be killer. I don't typically run ballyhoo behind birds, but i suppose you could.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:36 AM
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leymaymiami, did you use ballyhoo with that small birdjet head combo?
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:31 AM
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Default birds...

I used bally only behind a 9" soft bird.... Behind the little bird it was a small lure only (usually a 6" something... a Hexhead, a feather, or a little Clone). The whole point of the little bird/lure combo was to have something automatic that only needed tending to keep it weedfree. The birds in my setup are on 6 to 7' leaders that ended with a snap swivel up inside the bird. The lure or bait end had a similar leader (think of it as a duplex rig totalling a minimum of 10 to 12 feet all told) with a loop in the top end to attach to the bird. When you're at the right speed the birds are just fluttering along making a good bit of commotion with something with a hook in it following. In my case, using a relatively small skiff without outriggers, everything is literally following the skiff near the wake - that's why I used the birds and they worked really well for me. I kept another half dozen rods rigged with topwater lures, jigs and spoons ready to take advantage of followers that came up behind anything I'd hooked.

Many days the trolling was at a bare minimum since running and gunning to birds, or floating objects was just far more efficient if you wanted to load the fishbox and were fishing solo....
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