Rigging with Red
Using Whole Red Label Herring with Super Mag Heads
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Port of Manistee, MI 7/28/08

Using Red Label Herring right out of the package is EZ!  So, if you're looking for long convoluted steps and explanations ...prepare to be disappointed!

Basically, it as simple as snipping off the head and inserting the bait into one of my Super Magnum Meat Heads.  Then, push a toothpick thru the bait head and insert the hook thru the bait.  Hook insertion the ensures the fish get hooked up.

Fresh, right out of the package Red Label ...even if still slightly frozen works and eliminates the steps of brining before usage.  Granted brining bait beforehand is no big deal, but it's not necessary.

The batch of bait Fish On Bait Company had in 2008 was tough stuff.  Much better than most products seen in the past with excellent scale retention.  No artificial lure can ever be painted to match up with reel-bait, or leave a reel-natural scent trail designed and fully copyrighted by Mother Nature.

Method 1
When the bait is not too fat, or girth larger than the meat head

Step 1.
Snip off the head with a sharp pair of scissors right behind the gill plate of the baitfish.  If the bait does not have too large a girth, leave the entrails in.  I'll mention this again in the snippets at the bottom of the page again, but you'll need to break the vacuum seal as soon as you pull bait from the freezer intended for fishing.  Breaking this seal does not suck the natural juices, or blood into the flesh of the bait.

Step 2.
Slide the bait inside my Super Mag Meat Head.  This might be a tight fit.  So, carefully work the bait into the meat head.  Then run a toothpick thru and trim the toothpick ends, so the ends of the toothpick do not stick out like barb fins on a Catfish.  Trimming these ends makes sure the fish will generally be hooked deep and not dropped due to an un-natural feel.

Step 3.
Insert the first treble hook, closest to the meat head in the very tail of the baitfish. 
This does 2 things:
1. This guarantees centrifugal force from the spin does not helicopter the hook too far away from the bait and makes certain your hooks are in the most deadly place possible.
2.  Also, the rear line hole in the meat head is a tensioning device to continue the bend in the long side of the meat head.  Firmly re-toothpick the rear hole as needed.

Method 2
For bait that has a large girth that does not slide into the meat head easily

Step 1.

Snip off the head with a sharp pair of scissors right behind the gill plate of the baitfish just like in method 1.  Then, trim off the bottom section of the belly meat.  Top to bottom dimension should be 3/4 to 7/8 of an inch.  Click to expand photo for spot on understanding

Step 2.

Clean out the belly cavity you just opened.  Your finger, or the tip of the scissors can easily scratch out the innards in no time flat.  This step makes sure there's no loose ends of the intestinal system waving in the water for a more natural lifelike presentation.

Step 3.

Insert the first treble hook located closest to the meat head towards the midsection of the bait.  Thusly securing the hooks in the best possible location for consistent hookups.  Pulling the first treble hook closer to the meat head will tweak a slight bend in the bait, matching the curvature of the long side of the head.  This bend is absolutely necessary when trolling 2.2 mph and slower.  Rear hook is not attached to anything.

Click here for an updated version of methods 1 and 2


Entrails left in

General Size

Proof of usage

Brine Ingredients

John J deep rig

1.  Break the seal when thawing meat for usage.  This is a MUST!

2.  Have brine aboard and use it for preserving thawed, or used meat.  Do not throw away bait.  Just recharge in the brine for the next outing.  Keep brine cold, ...that goes without saying.

3.  Use the toothpick hole on the rear of the meat to pull a bend in the bait when trolling slow.  Deep cold water  lethargic Kings in 44 to 38 degree water love meat.  Bait should roll, but not twirl like a Mepps Spinner.

4.  Re-peg the rear hole on the bait by jamming a dry toothpick in it as hard as you can.  Unlike my competitor's product, this Super Mag rear hole has extra beef and will not split!  This is your tension device for the correct roll.

5.  Brine is no big deal.  I use my hands to measure.  A handful of Borax Laundry Freshener and a handful of Kosher salt to large pickle, or salad dressing jar, ...then pack in the bait and fill with water and flop the jar over a few times.

6.  You can weld the John J rig: Undertaker 3 Fly Meat Rig and King Kryptonite 12" Reel Flasher on your deepest rigger from May thru September.  This is a no brainer and has proven itself to produce all season long, as long as there's fish under your boat.  Try it, you'll like it!

7.  All products featured in the above can be purchased at: www.michiganangler.com
I have a vested stake in your success, because common sense dictates my livelihood depends on you catching fish.

8.  The Red Label I'm selling is from the 2008 batch from the Fish On Bait Company.  I know this stuff is good and fully tested.  Bait varies from year to year and will only sell the best that falls within the requirements of the MDNR.  Frozen bait will keep for close to 4 years and be in prime shape for 3 before the bait dehydrates.  After 4 seasons it will disintegrate in the water no matter how you dry brine it and toughen it up!  Not to mention the loss of natural scent ...the absolute most overlooked part of our Great Lakes Fishery.  Click to purchase Red Label Herring

9.  For more information in fine tuning your meat program, please let me suggest you visit our Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks by clicking here

10.  All products featured in the article can be purchased at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com

This article was completed on 4/19/09 by Captain John King
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