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Bluefish Chunking/Live Lining

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Bluefish ChunkingWhen chunking with, or live-lining large baits (bunker/pogies, porgies, herring, shad, etc.) for bluefish, we recommend a conventional rod and reel combo rated for 30-40lb mono. The optimal rod is a 6’6″ to 7′ rod with medium-fast to fast action. The rod needs to have enough backbone to pull the hook out of a large bait and into the mouth of the bluefish.

We recommend loading the reel with 30-50lb mono line attached to a 12-16in 45-60lb nylon coated black multi-strand wire leader using a 75lb barrel swivel. The rig is completed with a 8/0-9/0 offset octopus (beak) style hook with a turned-down eye. The turned down eye is particularly useful because the loop of the wire leader can be passed through it.  Some anglers use 40-80lb test single strand leader instead of the multi-strand leader.

Hooking Baits

The best hook placement for chunk baits must allow for the hook to easily pulled from the bait.  There is never a need to hook the bait deeply.  It may be necessary to hook live baits more deeply so they cannot work their way off the hook.

Sinkers

When fishing in the shallows with very little current, sinkers are not needed.  However, if there enough current to move the bait it is critical that an egg sinker is added to the main line above the swivel.  The smallest sinker that is heavy enough to hold the bottom should be used.

Snagging Bunker

We typically use a 7 foot spinning outfit loaded with 30-50lb braided line.  The thin diameter of the braided line allows use to easily cast an un-weighted 10/0 classic treble hook over a bunker school.  We reel very slowly and when we feel a slight tick on the line we take a swing to set the hook.  This works nearly every time.

Bluefish Chunking/Live Lining Checklist

  • 6’6″ to 7′ conventional rod rated for 30-40lb mono
  • 3/0-4/0 conventional reel
  • 30-50lb monofilament line
  • 45-60lb nylon coated wire leader
  • 8/0 – 9/0 offset octopus (beak) style hook
  • 75lb barrel swivel

Please contact us if you have questions about our recommendations!


Tackle Recommendations
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Rods
Penn Ally Boat Rods Penn Ally Boat Rods
Inshore casting (conventional) and spinning rods - 7' - multiple models suitable for 10-40lb mono and 10-50lb braid - fast to extra-fast actions - 1 piece tubular glass blank construction with solid glass tip - Fuji aluminum oxide guides - Pac Bay roller guides (on select models) - Heavy duty reel seats - EVA Torque foregrips - Aluminum gimbals
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Penn Ally Boat Rods Penn Ally Boat Rods
Penn Bluewater Carnage Casting Penn Bluewater Carnage Casting
Casting (conventional) rod - graphite composite - 6'6" - 7'10 - multiple models suitable for 10-130lb braid or mono
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Penn Bluewater Carnage Casting
Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Casting Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Casting
Inshore conventional rod - 6'6" to 7'6" - multiple models suitable for 12-50lb braid or mono - medium to fast actions - lure weights from 1/2oz to 6oz
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Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Casting Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Casting
Reels
Penn Fathom Penn Fathom
Star drag conventional reel (no level wind) - models rated for 10-50lb mono and 15-80lb braid - 6:1 gear ratio - 5 ball bearings - HT100 drag washers
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Penn Fathom Penn Fathom
Penn Torque Conventional Penn Torque Conventional
Star drag conventional reel (no level wind) - models rated for 10-50lb mono and 15-80lb braid - 6:1 gear ratio - 7 ball bearings - HT100 drag washers
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Penn Torque Conventional Penn Torque Conventional
Shimano Tekota Shimano Tekota
Star drag conventional reel with levelwind rated for 12-40lb mono and 30-80lb braid - 3 ball bearings - 4.2:1 gear ratio
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Shimano Tekota Shimano Tekota
Shimano Torium Shimano Torium
Star drag conventional reel (no level wind) - models rated for 14-50lb mono and 40-100lb braid - 6.2:1 gear ratio - 3 ball bearings - aluminum frame and side plates
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Shimano Torium Shimano Torium
Line
Berkley Big Game Mono Berkley Big Game Mono
Trilene monofilament line - shock and abrasion resistant - clear, green, and solar collector colors - available in 8 to 130lb test and 1/4, 1, 3 and 5lb spools - exceptional knot strength
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Berkley Big Game Mono Berkley Big Game Mono
Hooks
Mustad Beak Bait Hook Mustad Beak Bait Hook
92553NP-BN - Opti-Angle Needle Point, chemically sharpened, Nor-Tempered, forged, reversed, extra strong, turned up tapered eye - Octopus style
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Mustad Beak Bait Hook Mustad Beak Bait Hook
Terminal Tackle
Mustad Rolling Swivel Mustad Rolling Swivel
77900 - Black Rolling Swivel w/round eye - available sizes/rating: 4/144lb, 6/118lb, 8/104lb, 9/77lb, 10/70lb, 12/49lb, and 14/42lb


Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - additional abrassion resistance, lower diameter, invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear and disappearing pink colors - 8-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated Wire Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated Wire
Nylon coated wire leader - black or clear (bright) coating - 7 strand kink resistant - available to 15-120lb test - 30ft spools
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Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated Wire Berkley Steelon Nylon Coated Wire
Malin Single Strand Leader Malin Single Strand Leader
Stainless steel leader available 42 & 200ft lengths or .25, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 30lb coils - sizes #1 to  #27, (25-850lb test) - coffee color (recomended)
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Malin Single Strand Leader Malin Single Strand Leader
Other
East Coast Cast Nets East Coast Cast Nets
Custom USA hand-made bunker (menhaden/pogy) cast nets for serious and professional anglers designed and created by Charlie Kay.
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East Coast Cast Nets