Rigging bait so that it swims in a most natural manner or flutters enticingly in the tide is a skill much developed in other more exotic parts of the world, but it seems to be skill which is relatively undeveloped in our waters.

Reading some words of "wisdom" recently in a UK paper magazine about how difficult it was to bait up with Circle hooks the thought occurred to me that some anglers have yet to pass the stage where, if it cannot be threaded onto the hook, then the bait is too complicated or time consuming to use.

Compare that with baits which are cut, stitched, weighted and wired to fool a highly suspicious tropical species, a process that might take all of five minutes or more, by a skilled angler, skipper or deckhand. Threading a worm on a hook or passing a hook through a slab of fish or squid is kindergarten stuff.

Bait care, preparation and presentation is one of the essential skills of the successful angler. Simple things like keeping squid, fish baits, worm and crab cool and out of the sun does not require the mental skills of a rocket scientist, but such simple precautions can spell the difference between being successful or going home with an empty bag.

Often, passing a hook through a strip of squid or mackerel two or three times will cause the bait to spin and twist the leader till it looks like a long spring. There are a few things which you can do to get rid of this twist. One is to incorporate one or two swivels into the snood or present your bait so that it flutters in the tide rather than spinning like a whirling Dervish.

An easy way to present a fluttering bait is to tie the bait to the eye of the hook using fine elastic and the pass the hook through the bait just once, so that the bend of the hook acts almost like a keel. By using this method it does not matter if the hook is a conventional "J" hook or a Circle hook and the presentation is superb, all it takes is a moment or two longer and a little more care.

Any questions to russ@reelfoto.com