Baitfeeders For Spring Trout and Catfish

Dave Brown is the Western Regional Sales Manager at Okuma Fishing Tackle.  Enjoying a wide range of fishing that most definitely includes a relaxing day of bait fishing, Dave shares his top technique for using baitfeeder functionality on spinning reels to advance his success.

Still fishing gear for trout

Still fishing for trout and catfish is a great way to get out and enjoy fishing with minimal expense.

It’s a beautiful spring morning with dew on the lawn. The kids have been itching to get out of the house for months. Finally there is a window of opportunity to hit the local water and soak a line. You’ve heard of an early season bite and it’s time to get out and see for yourself. The lake is full after all of the early season rain and snow melt and primed for some fishing.

Avenger Baitfeeder Trout Rig

The typical rig consists of mainline running through a sliding egg sinker to a swivel. To the other side of the swivel a light leader, hook and bait.

With costs rising, sometimes it is difficult to find an inexpensive activity. Why not get out and plunk some bait? Be it a dough bait for trout or a nice chicken liver for a catfish or two, there are many options and methods to this relatively simple form of fishing. I’m a Southern California born and raised fisherman, and one very common method for our trout fishing is soaking some dough bait.

Spring conditions typically include some wind. When we fish in windy conditions we normally struggle for a way to get the slack out of our line. A common solution to this is to attach something weighted to your line to remove the slack. A bobber with a sinker, or a lure, is what I see most often.

Removing slack from still fishing line with a lure.

Lures and weighted bobbers are often used to keep the slack out of line when still fishing, but these solutions create their own problems.

This isn’t the most convenient way to fish as once you do get a bite, the fish can feel the resistance of your weighted bobber or lure and spit the bait. Also, if you do manage to hook your fish, you must now remove your bobber or lure without fraying your line.

Okuma has come up with a solution to this type of fishing. The Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder 20a (ABF-20a)  is the perfect reel for this type of fishing. This is the smallest baitfeeder in the market and ideal for the bait plunker or still fisherman that wants fish to be able to eat a bait and move away while feeling little to no resistance.

Baitfeeder reels were designed for live bait anglers in order to let their bait run freely and still have their reel engaged. For the still fisherman, you can utilize the baitfeeder function to let fish bite, then turn and run with your bait with little to no resistance. The Avenger Baitfeeder has a secondary drag system that allows your reel to be engaged, but let’s your line run freely out of the spool. You can control the tension of the line leaving your spool by the secondary drag knob on the bottom of the reel. Once you do get a bite and you hear the clicking of your spool, all you have to do is turn the handle to engage the primary drag system and you are fighting your fish with regular drag pressure. It’s just that simple. In windy conditions, you can tighten the tension on your baitfeeder drag to get enough tension to take the slack out of your line, but still let a fish bite and run freely. There’s no need for a weighted bobber, lure, or anything that will cause interference when using the baitfeeder.

The Avenger Baitfeeder reels contain a full lineup of sizes. You can find everything from the size 20 to a size 90 for big offshore applications. Baitfeeders are also available in Epixor, Coronado and Cedros spinning reel line-ups!

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