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Fish and Cut Bait

How to prep bait easier.

March 11, 2009
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Bait fishing isn’t as mindless as it’s often made out to be. Some techniques can be intricately complicated. And, of course, you need the right tools to prep the baits. Here are two that make cutting up on onboard a little easier:

****AFI Fillet Table** $130; www.marinco.com** Cutting crab for blackfish bait is messy. The process stains most cutting boards with particularly nasty goo that defies cleaning. But AFI’s new 12″-by-20″ fillet table gleamed after just a rinse and a wipe. That’s nice, especially if you use your table to serve snacks or prepare lunch. This table is made from HDPE–high-density polyethylene–like most cutting boards. But AFI increases the fiberglass content for a hard, glossy finish that cleans quickly. The unit is fully molded. There are no seams between the work surface and the side and back keeper rails. On most boards the seams of the screwed together rails absorb the stinky soup of fish prep. I’m on the fence about the wide scuppers at the rear of the board. These 1″ openings provide great drainage, but if you use your table as a rigging bench, sinkers, lures, and hooks could go overboard as well. AFI’s Fillet Table comes with a gimbaled, stainless-steel rodholder mount that has an adjustable cam-action lever for tilt. – Kevin Falvey

Puma Pro Fillet Knife $35; www.pumaknifecompanyusa.com There are a few questions anglers ask of a knife. How long will it stay sharp? How does it fare in saltwater? Will it break while hacking up frozen butter-fish? The list goes on. Puma knives have been providing answers for more than 50 years-longer in their native Germany. The brand is more closely associated with hunting, but the Puma Pro Fillet knife is a tough customer. It has a 6″ stainless-steel blade with a thickness of just .007″. Its fine blade is best suited for slicing meat off the bone rather than sawing through bait, but it works as a multipurpose fishing knife. Its contoured Plexi-grip handle sports a lanyard hole, and it comes with a belt sheath that keeps it within reach at all times. – Pete McDonald

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