The Evolution Of Fishing Part 2: Bottom Fishing


Bottom fishing simply means that fishing is done at the bottom. The angler just puts on some bait, cast his or her line out into the water, and wait for a fish to bite. Bottom fishing is certainly a simple form of fishing; perhaps a step up from fishing with a stick or branch, or a pole (pole fishing can get technical too and in this sense we mean a simple form of pole fishing).


A group of anglers bottom fishing along a river in Sekinchan (Pantai Redang).

The Start

Most anglers start out by doing bottom fishing. All it takes to start is a spinning rod, a spinning reel, fishing lines, hooks, and sinkers. Very easy. Most start out with a very basic setup since the need is just to get the bait into the water and then for it to attract fish. Simple indeed. When that is done the angler holds on to the rod with a finger hooking on to the fishing line near the reel spool. This is done so that the angler can detect fish bites.


Bottom fishing; a fish took the bait and a fight ensued.


After awhile of fishing the angler realizes that he or she can do or must do more to increase his or her catch. From the basic form of bottom fishing evolution sets in now. To detect bites some anglers use tricks such as creating a slack line between a section of guides and hanging something there such as bread, straw, paper, etc. This acts as a bite detector. When the fish takes the bait, the bread, paper, straw, etc. goes up as the line straightens.


Bite detectors (floats) as well as a device to control how deep in the water the angler wants his or her bait to be at.

Next, the evolution of detecting bites kick in. Some anglers employ the use of a float to detect bites and to set the bait at certain water levels. When fish takes the bait, the float takes a dip. That is the most basic of float reading. Even float fishing goes through some evolution where the angler ditches round floats for more sensitive floats such as wagglers.

Some anglers go through another evolution where he or she learns that there is not much use in holding the rod until a fish bites. They place then start to place the rod on a rod holder and wait for the fish to bite. Some may ditch floats as bite indicators if they fish right at the bottom and use bite alarm; a more modern bite detector that beeps when the line is pulled by a fish.


A bait holder for attracting fish to the area. This one is attached to the Apollo rig (a rig with a few hooks linked t one line).

It then comes a time when the angler realizes that fishes need to be attracted to the area where the bait is. The way of baiting goes through some changes. Some anglers opt to use scent to attract fishes. Scent is sprayed onto the bait before casting it into the water. Some anglers begin to ground bait where chunks of baits (or fish feed) is thrown to the area where the bait is located. Some use a container that holds more baits, attractants, etc. that is secured to the terminal tackle and cast out together with the bait. The bait in the container then dissolves releasing scent into the water attracting fish to the area. 


Bottom fishing can be done both at sea and on land. This one is out at sea. 

Next Major Evolution

From bottom fishing some anglers jump into bait casting while the rest remain as bottom anglers. Bait casting is a whole new style of fishing that requires a whole new skill set. Many term this as moving from primary school (bottom fishing) up to high school (bait casting). We will look at bait casting in a future issue.

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