The Flapper bait is very simply a whole fish bait with its backbone removed, so that the two side fillets, well they "flap" in the tide, giving the bait movement and releasing a scent rail down the tide. Originally the shark boats out of Looe pioneered the flapper bait for shark, but it did not take long for the flapper to become the mainstay baiting method for inshore and offshore wreck fishing for conger.

The easiest method of preparing the bait is to use a thin bladed filleting knife and pass it through the fish, usually mackerel, behind the gills running the flat blade of the knife along the backbone. Do this on both sides before trimming away the backbone as close to the head as you can get it.

Use a hook from 8/0 upwards otherwise the bait will mask the gape of the hook making a false bite much more likely. I like the Mustad Sea Demon in 10/0 and 12/0 for shark and conger. If you are using circle hooks make sure the hook is of a reasonable size. I like the Eagle Claw 190A in 14/0 for conger and ling, in 16/0 for shark. Wire the hook to the bait so that the hook is exposed.

If the baitfish is on the small size, put two flappers on, one mounted above the other so that it becomes a tandem flapper. Some elasticated cotton or fine copper rigging wire can help with the bait presentation. Whatever you do ensure that the hook is not masked by the bait.

Happy Flapping.

Any questions to russ@reelfoto.demon.co.