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October 12, 2001

Bait and Switch

Adding belly strips to all your teasers is the most important part

Of all of the subjects that I talk about in my articles, bait-and-switch fishing receives the most derision from the rank-and-file of U.S. offshore crews. I hear more "you just can't do that here" and "you have to see a lot more fish than we see" for this technique than any other. To refute this and offer a U.S.-based perspective, we'll turn to Capt. Mitch McFrederick, skipper of the charter boat Chapin at Hatteras and Oregon Inlet. McFrederick started pulling a teaser spread for fly fishing but found fish responded to teasers faster than his standard trolling spread.

"What we do on Chapin, and what I think is the most important part of our bait-and-switch fishing, is to add belly strips to all of our teasers. I think this may be what separates what we need to do differently than in Central America, where they do have all of those fish. Bait-and-switch with belly strips really enhances the quality of the bites you get from skittish fish."