Ballooning is an effective way to get your baits away from a boat or shore using livies or dead baits. There are several different methods of fastening the balloon to the line, but one of the easiest and quickest ways we have found is illustrated below. It requires nothing other than a single balloon. We buy the party balloons from any supermarket, they cost no more than a couple of dollars for a pack of 100.
Note: High visibility fluro twine has been used instead of fishing line.
First step is to pin your live bait and return it to the live well. Then strip off the amount of line equal to the depth you want your live bait.
Now simply blow up the balloon, and wrap it around your fingers.
Make a knot in the balloon as you normally would, but do not pull it off your fingers.
Now pass the loop of line through the balloon as shown.
Pull a length of line through the balloon. 15cm - 30cm should be enough.
Finally pull the balloon off your fingers and pull tight. You will be left with the balloon on the line as shown.
Deploy the balloon over the side and let out some line so it moves away from the boat. Now throw your bait over the side. The balloon will take your bait away from the boat.
This method allows for the line to be pulled through the balloon and leave the balloon totally free after the fish hits. This allows slack line and gives the fish time to swim away and swallow the bait before the hooks are set. In situations that you are fishing strong current or using a large live bait such as Bonito, the loop of line through the balloon is pulled short and a piece of foam is put between the balloon and the line. This will stop the line being pulled through the balloon before a fish hits the bait.