Daisy Chains for Offshore Anglers

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Do you carefully consider how and where you set your daisy chains, or do you just set them behind the boat anywhere?

Daisy chains are popular lures for offshore anglers, but few people realize that how you run them will have a huge effect on just how many fish they bring in to the boat. In fact, most people just clip them on the end of a line and send them back without a second thought. That’s a shame, because daisy chains could be doing a whole lot more for you. Conside these three factors the next time you set your spread, and your chances for success will go way, way up.

angler setting a daisy chain

Do you carefully consider how and where you set your daisy chains, or do you just set them behind the boat anywhere?

  1. Set your chains at a distance where the first lure or two dips in and out of the water. If the first one spends more time in the air than the water, it’s a good thing – those dipping lures drive tuna wild. Every boat and rig is a bit different, but the short rigger is often a great placement to get some dipping going since it elevates the line a bit and gets it out from the whitewash. On boats that don’t have outriggers or a way to get some elevation on the line, your best bet is to get a daisy chain with a mini-bird at the front. You won’t get any dipping but the splashing and commotion the bird creates has a similar effect.
  2. Run a shirted ballyhoo alongside the daisy chain or ever so slightly in front of it, more or less paralell to dipping lures or the bird. If the daisy chain is on a short rigger, this will usually be in the position of a flat-line or boat rod. Choose a skirt color that’s similar to, but slightly different than, the color of the lures in the chain. A bright lime skirted ballyhoo run near a dark green chain (or vise-versa) would be a good example.
  3. Watch the chains for billfish, and if one comes up to a daisy chain, pull the chain away as you drop back a naked ballyhoo. Sure, sometimes a billfish will eat the hook-bait on a chain. But often they’ll wack at the chain over and over again without eating. If you start pulling that chain away they get hot – and when you send the ballyhoo back in its place they get hungry.


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