Bottom bashing

Hey I’m curious to know the length of line from the last hook to the sinker when bottom bashing using paternoster on coral ground about 100m deep.  


scubafish's picture

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Me ,

Sat, 2019-02-16 08:34

No less 2mtr with a line class half the breaking strain of the rig (old shitty stuff) connected to a swivel.
sinker gets caught you dont loose hole rig.


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Date Joined: 06/09/09

 I keep my bottom hook closer

Sat, 2019-02-16 08:54

 I keep my bottom hook closer to the bottom as possible without being too close to the sinker , generally about 500mm away from the sinker 

Posts: 90

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Closer the bottom hook is to

Sat, 2019-02-16 10:29

Closer the bottom hook is to the sinker increases the likleyhood of catching more stingrays. My brother uses the short method and has good results but he hooks into twice the number of rays.

ranmar850's picture

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You need to keep it outta the weeds

Sat, 2019-02-16 15:36

 nothing worth catching lives in the weeds.   A lot of people like to keep it really short, as it means easier handling on the boat, but I'll personally use a metre between the sinker and the bottom hook nowadays on the odd occasion I bottom bash--after doing it for a living, and snapping on  up to twenty hooks at a time, 600mm apart, fishing from an anchored boat, and catching fish all the way to the top hook, no point in getting too close. In fact , it was usually the bottom few hooks that caught the bloody wobbies or grey nurse.

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Sat, 2019-02-16 17:23

Did you notice any patterns of fish size to various depths - eg bigger fish middle hooks samller fish either side? cheers  


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ranmar850's picture

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It was very interesting, but did vary

Sat, 2019-02-16 18:41

 As an example, I found a good fish marking  one afternoon  in 70-odd meters, about 60 miles north of Kalbarri. Dropped the pick, dropped over as we hung back. Felt the weight go on immediately, just held it there for a few more moments, expecting it to fill up with snapper. We were hand winching with Reefmasters and 150lb mono, lot of weight. Fish from the top hooks down, and the first 3 were 9-10 kg Red Emperor! Must have been at least 25 metres off the bottom. Every hook below that was snapper. Subsequent drops were mostly snapper, a few reds mixed in.  They could be a bit weird at night--they would sometimes hold big consistent schools, bite until the early hours. Or sometimes they would just scatter at sunset and break up into smaller schools and be hard to track down.  But generally the reds were closer to the bottom.  If the snapper were sitting low and scatterd across the bottom, they were usually feeding on stuff like prawns and whiting, and they wouldn't come far up. I had a habit of putting bigger circle hooks and bigger baits on the bottom four hooks or so, but I  don't know that it ever consistently  made much difference.  A light scattering showing some distance across light spongy bottom could develop into a good aggregation --it seems that the activity and self-burleying of lost baits would drag them in.

So to answer your question--no, not really, depends on how they were feeding.

Tim's picture

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Sat, 2019-02-16 17:24

Normally run 2-3m between bottom hook and sinker.

Use a lighter leader in case you get snagged.


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I normally catch on the

Sat, 2019-02-16 18:36

I normally catch on the lowest hook and I don’t seem to get as many bites unless my sinker is on the bottom so I thought it might be better if the bottom hook was closer to the sinker? 

sea-kem's picture

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 About 300mm up from the

Sun, 2019-02-17 00:30

 About 300mm up from the sinker for me on a short leader, the another 500mm to a longer leader. Never get snagged and do alright on the Bangers.


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Date Joined: 28/11/16

Ok so we have a range from

Sun, 2019-02-17 15:06

Ok so we have a range from 300mm up to 3m. Apart from reducing the chance of a snag is there any other benefits from the increased length? 

Alan James's picture

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An interesting mix of comments

Sun, 2019-02-17 17:35

Putting the snagging issues aside I had always thought the target area was close to the bottom and as a result I tie paternoster rigs with the bottom hook around 300mm above the sinker on a shortish dropper.  Having said that though I prefer to fish with a drift rig on most occasions and clearly with that sort of rig the bait spends most of the time well above the bottom.  Fish take drift baits well off the bottom and chase jigs up into mid water so perhaps it is not so important to have the bait close to the bottom.  Food for thought when next making some paternoster rigs.



ranmar850's picture

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Apart from experience, I base my approach on observation.

Sun, 2019-02-17 19:00

 Observations made during diving. So many of our target fish are sitting 2 or 3 metres above the bottom, not hiding under ledges unless threatened. Rising high in the water column when feeding on baitfish, and this includes all demersal species that predate small fish. Which is pretty well all of them. Or they might be grubbing in the sand for crustaceans. But I take the approach that most fish can look up better than they look down. And I've rather have my bait above the weed/sponge etc where they can see it. 

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 when you explain it that way

Sun, 2019-02-17 19:05

 when you explain it that way it does make sense to have the first hook well off the bottom. might have to give it a try .however  we have been doing reasonably well with the sinker only about 500 from the bottom hook . trial and error i spose


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

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 Thanks for the tips and info

Sun, 2019-02-17 20:10

 Thanks for the tips and info guys. I’ve always run about 500mm but Ranmar theory makes sense so I’ll try 2m

NORUN NOFUN's picture

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I think it's a bit like

Mon, 2019-02-18 09:21

I think it's a bit like asking "what is the best knot" - everyone is different as most people fish differently and have a different skill level.

ranmar850's picture

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its like that.

Mon, 2019-02-18 12:30

 What if a fish sees your rig on the drop? Sinker close to bait may make the whole thing more visual. I always found a regular retrieve and drop again worked well for pinkies up here, particularly if you were in the shallower stuff. They sometimes just don't see it dragging along the bottom if they are not actively feeding down there. 

I always used to dive on my own snagged pots. If I was using a tank, the old deckie would move off a bit and drop a line over. I went over one day, down the rope in about 7 fathoms, vis not bad , 2 pinkies came in to investigate. Then they suddenly bolted in the direction the boat had gone, and, a few moments later, I could see two struggling flashes on their way to the surface. No way I could have seen a sinker and two baits at that distance, but they could.


Try everything, but,in the end, what works for you, works for you.