We first heard from Captain Joe James back in August. Joe had seen a Balloon Fisher King ad in The Angler magazine and was intrigued by the convenience of the balloon clip. Joe knows a thing or two about balloon fishing rigs having used balloons for 40+ years targeting monster fresh water striper and hybrid bass. He is also a long-time member of the Percy Priest Hybrid and Striper Fishing Club just outside Nashville, TN. Captain Joe’s credentials include 6 Angler Team of the Year awards and 4 club records.
Joe states that balloon fishing is quite effective for raising big striper and hybrid bass with the inflated balloon serving as a float for suspending 14” to 16” skipjack he uses as live bait, or for drifting the bait away from the cover of the boat. However, the problem has always been the balloons are attached to the fishing line with a rubber band to ”release” the balloon from the line whenever there is a strike so the angler doesn’t have to fight the balloon when landing the fish. A lot of times, just a bite will produce the same outcome and sometimes even a burly, live skipjack can cause the balloon to release. Obviously, this can lead to a lot of lost fishing time chasing down released balloons, which is never a good thing especially when tournament fishing.
Joe says the Balloon Fisher King clip now provides a solution to “efficiently fish with balloons”.
“The clips and balloons are real easy to attach and remove,” Joe stated, “so there is no lost time retrieving balloons. Plus the clips provide depth adjustment for the bait. We’ll put three, four, or five balloons out with skipjacks and use the clips as a fish finder setting the baits at different depths. We mark the bait depth on the balloons, then when we get a strike we know where the fish are so we’ll adjust all the clips to the same bait depth and pass over the same spot again. If the fish move deeper or shallower in an hour, which they often will, we’ll repeat the process to find them again”.
Joe also likes the grip the balloon clip provides to the 40 lb. braid he uses which allows for slow trolling at ¾ to 1 mile per hour without any concern for balloon clip slippage on the braided line.
Thanks much to Captain Joe James for the fantastic support and spreading the news of Balloon Fisher King! By the way, Captain Joe landed a 20 lb. striper which was the largest fish caught in a recent tournament and by way of a Balloon Fisher King rig.