Anchovies are a strong-smelling, oily baitfish that quickly release their scent in the water to attract larger prey. This makes the small, salty fish an excellent choice for bait in pursuit of salmon, striper bass, bluefish and river catfish, which feed off the bottom and need a strong scent to follow. Frozen anchovies are widely available at baitshops, or anchovies can be frozen at home for later use on the water. Rigging anchovies while frozen helps them stay on the hook longer.
Pierce the point of the hook through the eye of a frozen anchovy and thread the dead fish along the shank of the hook so that the barb pops out through the bottom of the head.
Pull the hook from the barb until the eye of the hook is pressed against the eye socket of the bait.
Turn the exposed barb of the hook upward and around so the point is facing the belly of the anchovy.
Bury the point of the hook into the belly of the anchovy for a weedless bait that will not snag on underwater structure as easily as if the hook was exposed.
Run the fishing line through the eye of the hook, wrap the line several times around the body of the anchovy, then back through the opposite side of the hook eye. Tie the line to the hook with a clinch knot.
- Wrapping the line around the anchovy keeps the fish from falling apart in the water so the bait lasts longer.
- Bait anchovies straight from the ice chest. Thawed anchovies are slippery, difficult to work with, and may not stay long on the hook, especially in salt water.
- hook image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com