As a kid the standard, go-to terminal tackle from the Essex piers or our boat on the River Crouch would be a three hook, wire boom rig. Top hook would be a slice of mackerel, middle hook would be worm tipped with fish, and bottom hook pure worm. If one of the baits was out performing the others on the day, we would adjust the baits accordingly. We did more than OK with this simple life. With freedoms to fish and the kids holidays upon us once more; today’s blog focuses on this much maligned but highly effective tackle accessory.
I appreciate fishing has moved on somewhat but you hardly ever see any reference now to this gem of a set up now with overwhelming social media coverage and shop space dedicated to distance casting rigs. For what it’s worth though; my best pier landed Thornback of 2020 was caught on a wire boom paternoster as was two of my finest beach landed bass. Let me explain…
So there are two very different scenarios where I still fall back to the trusted twisted wire boom
- Pier fishing
With Piers opening soon I will plan to use these rigs as short cast or drop down tools. Using a 15ft rod to provide the possibility of handling a long spread between booms, A three hook paternoster rig can cover a 12 ft seabed to top hook spread. Using small size 4 top hook or micro baits of squid or rag tail and a bottom size 1/0 hook with crab or worm sandwiching a middle hook of squid or fish fillet you can cover so many different catch outcomes with one single rig. As the fish sheltering at piers settle at different depths, the wide coverage of the hook depths can locate the fish very effectively. The twisted wire booms hold structure to the rig and with short fluorocarbon snoods are largely tangle free even with the whiting around. If fishing with kids who can’t handle long rods then simply shorten the distance between the wire booms to reflect the length of rod being used. So long as the distance between the hook and the next wire boom down the rig is greater than the snood length the rig remains tangle free so easy for kids and novices to master
2. Beach fishing
Let’s be clear from the start before you howl. I don’ use twisted wire booms for distance casting conditions. Nor do I use them when the weed is in full growth unless I fancy a salad for lunch. If the water clarity resembles a gin and tonic forget it and the chance of snagging is greater too on rocky marks. Not selling this too well so far am I, but there are three reasons here to keep an open mind if distance and seabed conditions don’t rule them out.
Firstly, when conditions are causing a cross tide wave movement the wire booms with short snoods hold structure against the water movement that would birds nest a long trace or flapper rig in no time at all. Also, in these conditions if you are seeking to hold bottom; the weight of the wire rigs does this more effectively than plastic booms or heavy baits. If you are seeking to reduce movement in very cloudy water conditions to ensure a scent trail to attract the fish, then this sedentary rig is ideal. Just as in the pier set up, spreading the booms as much as you can cast with, gives more acreage of cover with a scent trail that will attract Roker any day of the week.
Secondly, I love this rig with a new technique (for me) this year having read about it on line, when fishing over mudflats. Popping a few small rag on a three hook wire paternoster flung out with a pyramid weight – I retrieve the rig back over the mudflats slowly, maybe 2-3 feet at a time before pausing for a few minutes. This in effect uses both the weight and the twisted wire booms to ‘plough’ the baits across the mud back towards me, disturbing the surface of the mud. This generates it seems, a taste trail that fish follow up to the hooks. Most of my flounder over the past month or so have been caught doing this at a new mark I have been luck enough to come across.
Finally, and again I admit a new technique for me this winter, is to use a single twisted wire boom fixed above a torpedo weight with a short snood leading to a vibro spoon. I picked one of them out of the Tacklebox selection and so far so good. With a 2ft rig line from the wire to the vibro spoon (a few beads added for total bling factor between snood and hook) a rag worm loaded hook ploughed back as previously described seems to be irresistible for the flatties when the tide is ripping. I guess here a mixture of vibration from the spoon and taste from the worm is doing the trick. If your kids get fidgety waiting for a bite, the periodic short wind back of the plough technique helps to break things up a bit too.
So to conclude, unpopular as they have become, there is still a place I believe for the good old fashioned twisted wire boom. If you are taking the kids out this week to introduce them to sea fishing then I can’t think of a better way to induct them, conditions permitting. I will be carrying them this week as an alternative rig.
Speaking of this week, yahoo we are allowed out and I have the week off work. I am heading off to meet up with fellow blogger David Porter on Tuesday to try to tease out a cod or two. Later in the week some more beach fishing before my first boat trip of 2021 aboard Dawn Tide 2 on Saturday. Good luck wherever you are heading out to