Anchovies and sardines have an inverse relationship. When the population of one is up, the other is down. In this way, nature is able to regulate itself. Southern California fishing has been in a sardine dominant cycle for decades now. It’s been so long that many anglers (myself included) have never fished with anchovies as the predominant bait.
To fish an anchovy and have a chance to successfully land an offshore gamefish requires special gear and techniques. Erik Landesfeind details how the latest tackle stacks up and even some cheats to get you fishing anchovies faster.
It’s been a long time since any of us has had to fish with anchovies as bait. In fact, it’s been so long that a lot of the younger guys have never had to do it. Well, a lot has changed since the late 80’s when my go to finesse combo for tuna was a Penn Squidder 145 with a plastic spool full of 20-pound mono matched with a Sabre 800. While the return of the anchovy still requires the same finesse, today’s tackle is going to make it a whole lot easier to not just fish the bait, but land the fish you hook on it.
In hopes of getting some insight into anchovy fishing in the new millennium, I asked a couple of industry experts to share some tips on choosing and using the right tackle. My first call was to Robby Gant of Shimano who was more than happy to share. “When fishing the chovy there are a couple things that need to be looked at when putting together the proper rod and reel combo.”
Gant continued, “This past decade we’ve been spoiled with fishing the Sardine as it’s a heavy and for the most part lively bait. So, when fishing the Sardine you can use a heavier action rod and also use lever drag reels. The spools on these reels are much heavier than those on star drag reels so your start up inertia is much slower; but sardines are heavy enough that you don’t lose any performance in casting.”
Photos: SoCal Salty (top); BD Outdoors (above)