Cut-baiting: The 'Slacking'

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Shawn McNew
Posts: 7433
Joined: March 26th, 2011, 8:30 pm
Location: Lake Allatoona

Cut-baiting: The 'Slacking'

Post by Shawn McNew » January 23rd, 2015, 12:08 pm

This is something we've all experienced at some point in our lives, but never talked about. Anybody who's ever fished much at all has gone through this experience and maybe just didn't realize it when it was happening. I'm going to get it out in the open now so we can talk about it.

The slacking is when you're fishing with your baits out on bottom in a stationary situation. The less current/wind/boat movement, the more noticeable it is. Fishing off the bank is the ultimate way to experience the slacking. As I sit here in the world's only striper-only bait shop on this rainy Friday, it actually occurred to me why this may happen.

Here's the setting: you toss out 6 cut bait lines, and it doesn't even have to be skipjack, or cut bait for that matter. It could be livers, worms, bread, anything that will sink without the need for a weight. When I fish slack water with motionless bait, I rarely to never use a weight on my line. The less interference, the better. You'll get set up putting the exact amount of tension in every line, set the clickers on, sipping on your diet coke, eating on your toast chee cracker, when ALL OF A SUDDEN, one of the lines just goes limp. LIMP! No big clicker-screaming, night of the living dead reviving SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, just limp. Your face scrunches up, you stare blankly into the left camera that isn't there as if you're on a candid practical joke show that you know doesn't exist, and nothing happens. Isn't it supposed to get tighter when a fish is there?

I think striper and other fish aren't used to a big free meal to appear out of nowhere. They approach with caution, leerily. They creep up on this wonder of wonders, mostly in disbelief that this could be happening to them on this day. They may even look into the left camera that isn't there thinking, could this really be? Just as they're about to take a big hearty bite, instinct jumps up and slaps them in the adrenal gland and they make an abrupt about face which sends a WHOOSH of water, mud, debris, etc directly onto your bait. THIS is exactly what causes the slacking. It may actually occur after a bite and tug. But for whatever reason, it's a great indicator that you're about to get bit. That fish is likely going to make a return appearance to snatch it up. Just don't miss the hook set!

Soup ON.

Mike Meeks
Posts: 235
Joined: September 7th, 2014, 7:43 pm
Location: Lake Allatoona, Canton,Ga

Re: Cut-baiting: The 'Slacking'

Post by Mike Meeks » January 23rd, 2015, 8:20 pm

Haven't really thought about that. I guess that's when you reel in to check your bait when you should leave it a little longer.

Scott Cress
Posts: 245
Joined: April 12th, 2011, 6:34 am
Location: Los Cumberlos

Re: Cut-baiting: The 'Slacking'

Post by Scott Cress » January 25th, 2015, 9:10 am

Interesting theory. Usually when my line goes slack it's because a fish (usually cat) is swimming with the bait in its mouth toward the boat. Might have to play around with the weightless rig idea. I haven't found the size weight to matter when Carolina rigging.

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Chase Corder
Posts: 438
Joined: June 4th, 2015, 2:19 pm
Location: Allatoona

Re: Cut-baiting: The 'Slacking'

Post by Chase Corder » July 17th, 2015, 11:32 am

Thread revival. I had to, how can you not enjoy the writing that took place in Shawn's post. I loved it and its really hard to explain when all my co-workers ask "what is so funny over there?".

Beyond that, I think this theory hold a ton of validity. Makes total sense. Amazing that you, essentially, figured this out or even thoughts about it (in my opinion).

Anyways, please read and enjoy Shawn's humor!

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