In general, multi- hook rigs do not lend themselves to shore fishing at many locations in Ireland as the sea bed can be very mixed and the more hooks one has on the end of the line, the greater are the chances of fouling the bottom.
When fish are feeding at distances of 100 metres or more from the shoreline, multi-hook rigs are again a disadvantage because the more hooks and bait one has on a trace, the less distance will be attained due to wind resistance.
The One Hook Paternoster (fig. I)is the ideal setup for reaching fish which are feeding at long range from the shore. This is a very simple rig which sports a running dropper, between two blood knots. Small beads act as buffers against the knots to prevent the dropper swivel from moving out of its confines. At the bottom of the main trace, and immediately behind the ‘Genie’ lead retainer, is a bait clip. When the hook has been baited up, it is hung tightly into the clip. The bait will then be directly behind the lead, giving it a streamlined effect and lessening the possibility of soft baits flying off during the cast. When the trace hits the water, it compresses and the snood drops out of the clip, presenting a complete bait to any fish in the vicinity. The line strength and hook size are dependent on the species sought, but this type of rig is useful for codling and whiting in winter and bass in summer.
When fish are feeding close to the shoreline and distance casting is not essential, the Two Hook Paternoster/Leger (fig II) is recommended because it offers the angler the best of both worlds, in that, a conventional snood can be fished while legering at the same time. This system works particularly well for flatfish on open beaches and will also take ray, dogfish etc from deep water rock marks which give access to sandy ground.
FLOAT FISHING FROM SHORE AND BOAT
One of the most successful methods for catching a wide range of sea fish is through the use of a Saltwater Float Fishing Rig (fig VI). Despite what some so called “purist” sea anglers may think, float fishing is a true sea angling method, and in many cases it is the first introduction that beginners and freshwater anglers have to fishing in the sea. It is a very effective way of shore fishing from piers, harbour walls, rocky headlands or while inshore boat fishing. Mullet, mackerel, pollack, wrasse, and garfish can all be taken this way using baits as varied as bread, worm, shellfish or fish strips. The rig can be adjusted to suit the depth being fished and the float slides between a movable stop knot and the trace which is attached to the main line by a small swivel. Beads are inserted between the knots to act as buffers. The trace is weighed down with shot, with the number used being dependent on the size of the float and bait. As a general rule of thumb, the top third of the float should be above water. Size of hook and bait are dependent on the type of fish being sought and in fact a scaled up version of this rig can also be employed from boats where larger fish such as tope or shark are the quarry!