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How to sea witch

Old 09-15-2020, 10:49 AM
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Default How to sea witch

I picked up some sea witches and watched videos on how to rig them. Pulled one on top with a ballyhoo. Really didn’t like the way it ran. Do you pull them on top or off a planer?
Old 09-15-2020, 10:51 AM
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What was it doing? I run on top with chin weight, usually. Have pulled using planer or trolling weight, too, though.
Old 09-15-2020, 11:48 AM
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Both. What did you not like?
Old 09-15-2020, 09:19 PM
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It was slowly spinning
Old 09-15-2020, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Spicoli View Post
It was slowly spinning
The sea witch was spinning or your entire bait was spinning? Were you running a chin weight?
Old 09-15-2020, 10:45 PM
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Yep
Old 09-16-2020, 01:55 AM
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Make sure it's pulling by the head. Sounds like your hook has it in a bind, so it's pulling the ballyhoo along by the bend of the hook and not by the head.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:21 AM
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Sounds like your ballyhoo wasn’t rigged properly.
Old 09-16-2020, 10:12 AM
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1) how was the sea witch rigged? You can rig them up to 300 mono, but you will get exponentially more bites on 80floro. Single crimp
with a 1/2oz egg and the hook (point down) in the same loop.


2) how was the bait rigged. It has to be straight- there’s a line down the center of the ballyhoo... use it. The spike goes in the jaw hinge, stainless wire holds the mouth shut, skull to the hook and tight inline with the leader. If the hook is slightly bound up, you can slit the belly 1/4” and that usually fixes the spinning problem. With time rigging them, this problem goes away after a rigging a dozen or so.

3) how was it being fished? Short- it make skip a little more than desired. Too far back and they will blow out if the mouth isn’t closed tight with wire.

4) how fast was it being fished? Under 6kts... a half assed rigged bait will last all day, probably won’t get bit, but it will last. 6.5 to 8.0, you should get a hour or so out of a quality bait, like bait master brand.

most of the time, tuna fishing, I fish them fairly short on 25’ 80 windons with the swivel out of the water. And by short I was my flatlines 20/30 feet behind the boat. If I have to fish them
long, I’ll make the leaders 50’ of 80. The long lines may be 200/300 yds (1/3 to 1/2 of a 50Tld) Tuna can see REAL good.

mahi fishing - standard 20’ leaders, stagger them so you can turn fast and not tangle.
Old 09-16-2020, 06:24 PM
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Good bad or ugly
Old 09-16-2020, 06:26 PM
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Ugly. Loop is way too loose, knotted instead of crimped, short end of the witch needs to be trimmed shorter. Lot of people use springs but I'm not a huge fan.
Old 09-16-2020, 06:57 PM
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It’s crimped what will shorting the witch do?
Old 09-16-2020, 07:07 PM
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less interference with the bait = less chance of fouling up and spinning
Old 09-16-2020, 07:11 PM
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10/4 I’ll shorten the loop and trim the witch and try it again
Old 09-16-2020, 07:12 PM
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just for shits and giggles do you guys down there ever run those seawitches with a Ronz or Hogy? Works well up here and user friendly (no skinny for novice).
Old 09-16-2020, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
just for shits and giggles do you guys down there ever run those seawitches with a Ronz or Hogy? Works well up here and user friendly (no skinny for novice).
I’m not sure but no reason it wouldn’t work, especially for mahi
Old 09-17-2020, 05:11 AM
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The pin for the spring/copper wire/rubber band is way to long to- that will cause it to swim like shit.

it should be a max of maybe 5/8”- 3/4” long. Just enough to get the wraps on/spring on.

The loop for the hook and egg should have about 1/4” extra room. Just enough for the hook and lead not to bind up on each other.

it’s good you posted this- the sea witch rig is a staple in NC... 300 charter boats can’t be wrong. They work..very good if rigged and fished properly.
Old 09-17-2020, 07:02 AM
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Thanks to all
Old 09-17-2020, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
just for shits and giggles do you guys down there ever run those seawitches with a Ronz or Hogy? Works well up here and user friendly (no skinny for novice).
Fish them on Joe Shutes with success. You can jig them up on Ronz and Hogy's too.
Old 09-17-2020, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FatCat1 View Post
Make sure it's pulling by the head. Sounds like your hook has it in a bind, so it's pulling the ballyhoo along by the bend of the hook and not by the head.

If its spinning, its usually this. Put the hook a hair less deep when you exit the belly so it isn’t binding the ballyhoo. You can fix it quick just cutting a tiny slice in front of the hook, but it will wash out faster.

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