Spadefish Rigs

Alot of people around the lower Chesapeake wait patiently for the first schools of Spadefish to enter the bay. They are fun to catch being well known for putting up a hell of a fight for their size and making great table fare. Catching them can be tricky because they have very small mouths and good eyesight. I tell people to keep their line at MOST to a limit of 14lb test. This is what I tie on when i go after them and it works extremely well. I will also show the other variables people try.

My Rig:
  1. Tie a small snap swivel to your main line. I use a polomar knot.
  2. Take a small Octopus hook and tie it on to an 18in. piece of 15lb flourocarbon or 14lb monofilament leader.
  3. On the opposite end of the leader tie a barrel swivel.
  4. You can make a bunch of these to take with you on your fishing trip.  If the leader or hook breaks you can unsnap it from your main line and put a whole new rig on quickly without having waste your time on the water fooling with tackle.
Depending on the depth you want to fish and how strong the current is flowing you can use bigger swivels to help keep you bait down. Alot of people also add a split shot to their line but I use the wieght of the swivel instead. The swivel is very important beacuse when you hook a spadefish they spin all the way to the boat so without it, your line would be ruined after a day of fishing.

If you want to maximize your time out spadefishing you can also rig a couple rods to leave unattended in a rod holder. I use the same rig but just add a clip-on bobber just above my leader. This can be casted off the back of the boat and left or is good when fishing around structure with someone who is new to the game because it allows them to visually see where there hook and line is in relation to the structure. It also lets you see what the current is doing as well.