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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious how everyone else fishes for bass with clam bellies. I have a spot near the AB Bridge where I do very well chumming bellies. I will put a chum pot with clam chum or bellies down about 5 feet below the surface so there is some kind of slick at all times, otherwise about every 30 seconds I will squeeze a belly over the side. Then I use a 3/0-4/0 hook with a belly on it sometimes with no weight at all and just let it out in the tide and as the tide picks up I will add a split shot or 2. Just wondering how evryone else does it
 

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I use a similar technique, but I send the chum pot straight to the bottom. Big bass stay very close to the bottom, so the deeper the chum the better. In the case of floating out a clam belly, you should stick to the bottom as well. Mostly smaller bass will be caught closer to the surface.(use circle hooks to prevent hooking bass deep in the stomach). Like Big AL says....he fishes for quality BIG bass, so he will use large bait, fish productive structure, & stay close to the bottom... Hey Al- how is the fishing? you seem quiet lately- that only means one thing....lots of scouting & lots of fish...
 

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More bass

I started out fishing for bass like that with no weight and then adding splt shots accordingly.Then I switched over to a fish finder rig and the number of fish soared.Give it a try.
paulie
 

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bellies

I also used to fish "on top" with no weight.I now use the fish finder wityh just enough weight to get to the bottom then kind of keep lifting & dropping back the bait.Bigger fish on the bottom.2 30# fish last time out
 

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Back in the 80's and early 90's...

When I first started fishing bellies the ONLY acceptable way was to use a fishfinder rig with enough lead to hold bottom. Over the years I started hearing about more and more anglers using no lead or just split shots. I continued to drill large fish each year while others around me have been catching mostly rats.

-Near the surface you are going to find the young energetic juvenile fish who are full of spunk and very outgoing.

-On the bottom you are going to find the old big fat lazy slobs hiding behind some structure to stay out of the direct current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your reply's. Have a question about the fish finder rig. Do you keep the rig right on the bottom?? Do you use a heavy sinker to keep the rig down and then let the line run out through the fish finder into the tide? or do you use a 3 way swivel? Thanks again.
 

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Fish the fishfinder the way it was meant to be fished

Use the heavy sinker and let the line travel loosely through the rig. A large barrel swivel between your line and leader will act as the stopper to keep the rig from sliding right down to the hook. Even with a heavy sinker you still will be able to bounce it down the tide. When a fish hits, the rig will allow zero resistance from the weight of the sinker.
 

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Where do I get em?

I read an article about chuming with bellies in one of the fishing mags.last year,and really wanted to try it,but could'nt find any up here in New Hampshire.Any suggestions as to how I can get some? Thanks in advance.

Mud Flat
 

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belly-ing

drifting a lightly weighted belly back is more fun and works better in some spots, HOWEVER, the fisfinder rigs fished on the bottom and 50-100 feet behind the boat catch most of the fish. nothing could be easier. fish both ways, you'll stay real busy....
 

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Mud Flat-

Do they sell skimmer clams up there? If so, the clam bellies are nothing more than the soft bellies of the skimmers.

Here on Long Island, 90% of the tackle shops receive their bait from a company called Regal baits. Regal packages the tough "Tongue" of the skimmer clams as clam strips and freezes them for resale. The bellies are then frozen by the bucket full.

The stuff is like candy to bass.
 

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DoctorFish,

Your reply is much appreciated,I will look around and see if any of the bait shops on the coast carry them.We are fortunate here, in that the mackerel usually stay around most of the summer,but they can get real hard to find at times, as the water warms and the Bluefish get here.Then, you sometimes spend more time finding bait than you do fishing.It would be nice to have a good alternative.Thanks a bunch!
 

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Hi Folks,

These are all excellent points and it is very informative! Keep them coming! :)

Also… For those who likes to clam… It is a good idea to use circle hooks because it will reduce mortality (gut hook) and the hook up ratio will increase! However, if prefer the standard hooks…. MAKE SURE TO SET THE HOOK FAST!!!!

Here are some of the facts about Clam Bellies….

1) It is a good idea to have a designated chummer! Always keep the chum slick going (despite the hot bite)…

2) A known fact… "Large" fish are sluggish (they will hug the bottom).

3) No question about this…. If you are looking for fast action… The feisty and aggressive fish (rats and schoolies) will generally be near the surface competing for the free flowing bellies…

4) Avoid chumming during peak tide (high tide phase)! Work the last two hours of either tide…

5) Structure is also "key" to a very successful clam session…

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mikeyt413 wrote:
…" Like Big AL says....he fishes for quality BIG bass, so he will use large bait, fish productive structure, & stay close to the bottom... Hey Al- how is the fishing? you seem quiet lately- that only means one thing....lots of scouting & lots of fish...
________________________________

Hello mikeyt413
Yep… This the season (May & June) for big bass and I've been very busy on the water ! Mostly plugging!

Question: What is the ideal clamming rod and reel? …and why?

"Crazy" Alberto
[email protected]
 

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Hi Al,

I use a 7 foot heavy action rod, with a 321 GTI with 20-30 pound mono. Same rod for tog and trolling. What do you use?
 

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I forgot about the "Why"

I use the heavy rod because we are usually fishing where there is pretty good current, (It speeds up as it goes over the bar), and I like the extra power so I don't have to "play" with the fish too long.

I also use 8/0 circles and have the reel engaged but with a light drag and the clicker. Clams are small enough that the fish can inhale them and go. Once the reel starts screaming, I just lift the rod and reel.
 

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Rod and reel

I prefer a 6'6" med action SEEKER rod with a 400 Shimano Calcutta.
Mikey,I disagree with freespooling bellies,you will have more gut hooked fish than lip hooked.As soon as you feel the light pickup you have to set the hook.
paulie
 

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Bellies

I just started using the F/F rig last year and improved my bass fishing. I also chum but made my own pot using an old spackle bucket with the lid of couse. I made up a cement mix a laid about 2-3" of cement on the bottom of it. Then I drilled a seies of 1" holes around the bucket about 6-8" apart going around the bucket.Then another series of holes about 4" above the first set and continued this process up to the top. In the lid I put a series of samll hole to allow the flow of the water. Even if the chum is frozen the water will defrost it and let out the frozen bellies. Give it a shake once in a while a you will see the bellies come out. I also use fresh skimmer clams and schuck them myself if available.
Depending how fast the tide is moving will determine the sinker weight. I will aslo dead stick one pole with a 2 or 3 OZ drail going to your leader. Usally one of the 2 setups produce. The F/F is usally the best way but having the deadstick can help also. I have even used an ell on the deadstick and had a run off like you wouldn't believe. Try it you may like it.
One more thing is that I always use circle hooks, 6/0 for bellies and 3/0 for the ells.
As far as the rod and reel Med to heavy action ugly stick with a Penn 975.

Bill
 

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I find that the set up I use is determined by the depth I'm fishing in. In the back bays, along the marshes, I look for drop offs that are usually only 15-20 feet deep. In those areas, I small spit shot or two will get me down to the bigger fish. I don't use a chum bucket for this type of fishing, just squeeze bellies over the side.
In deeper, faster moving water, like in the Inlet, I do use a chum pot, and a fish finder rig. I have been very successfull using both methods.

I do like to use a heaver rod and reel in either situation. I tried going lighter, but it's too much stress on the fish using light tackle.
 

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I've used both methods F/F rig and feeding an unweighted belly back into the current. F/F's do catch larger fish but there is definently something to that feeling of when you get a pick up and feed line to a running Bass engage you reel wait for the line to come tight and lean back into him.With no weight the whole experience is just a special treat. Tight lines/ Safe returns
 
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