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Use A Bird Teaser To Attract More Fish To Your Trolling Lures

So what's a bird teaser, and why do I need one? Well ...
It's a big old ocean out there with plenty of space for hungry fish to amble around, blissfully unaware of the presence of our trolling lines. Wouldn't it be great if our lures could shout out, in fishy-speak of course, "HEY GUYS, WE'RE OVER HERE - COME AND GET US!"

Well, I have good news...

If you were a baitfish, the very last thing you'd want to do is splash around on the surface, announcing your presence to grateful predators lurking some distance away. "Hey guys, we're over here ...!!!"

A bird teaser (or just 'bird' as they're usually known as) does just that. He spends all his time leaping around on the surface - much in the way of a demented break-dancer - and shouting at the top of his voice, "Hey guys, here I am. Come and get me!!!"

Just What Is a Bird Teaser?

Carolina Lures Inline Yummee Bird Snap Kits

Teasers are decoys, not lures, there's no hook involved. Whilst other types of teasers - daisy chains for instance - operate mainly sub-surface, bird teasers are buoyant and stay on top.

They come in various shapes and sizes, often resembling a flyingfish like the Carolina Lures Bird Teasers shown here - not that it matters a jot what they look like as long as they make a fuss on the surface.

They all do the job - which is to encourage any nearby predator to wonder what all the fuss is about, cruise over and take a look.

What he'll believe he's seeing is a small shoal of baitfish playing around, one of which is straggling off the back, away from the others. Your lure; the obvious target!

Birds are designed to operate on the surface, so they can't be used with trolling lures that will pull them under.

Light skirted trolling lures - straight runners and chuggers are popular choices - work well with birds.

How to Rig a Bird Teaser

If you use trolling lines, either as a sport fisherman or an offshore sailor looking for a free meal, then probably the simplest and most effective thing you can do to improve your strike rate is to tow a bird astern, just ahead of your trolling lure.

Birds can be rigged in three different ways:~

  • As an integral part of your trolling line, fixed about 10 feet (3m) ahead of your trolling lure,
  • Towed on its own separate line, with your trolling line attached to it by a snap link and
    elastic band which will break when a fish hits, or
  • similarly rigged on its own line, but completely independently of your trolling line.
  • A few more things to think about when rigging a bird:~
    Operating as they do on the surface, birds can only be used with trolling lures that have no tendency to pull them under. Skirted lures such as straight runners and chuggers are popular choices. They won't work with plugs or spoons.
  • For offshore sailors using a simple handline, a bird rigged in your trolling line about 10 feet (3m) ahead of your lure will make all the difference to your catch rate. There's simply no reason not to have one.
  • If you're trolling with a rod, then having a bird rigged integrally will be inconvenient when it arrives at your rod tip leaving your catch cruising around astern, smug in the knowledge that it's safely out of reach of the gaff. To get around this, tow the bird on its own line and attach your trolling line to it with a snaplink and an elastic band that will break when a fish hits.
  • Alternatively, tow the bird on its own line, independent of your trolling line, but with the trolling line positioned such that the lure is working just astern of it. Never ahead, as the fish will ignore your lure and have a crack at the bird. 

Top Tip - Combine a Bird with a Daisy Chain!

Boone Bird Rigs

For a surface commotion and bubble trail of biblical proportions, combine a bird with a daisy chain.  Attach the bird some 3m ahead of the first teaser in the daisy chain - and stand-by for action!

I think I'm right in saying that Boone Lures invented the Bird Teaser. Their version of the combined Bird/Daisy Chain Rig is shown here.

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