Using a Bottom-Fishing Marker Buoy

The Bandit Buoy makes marking your bottom-fishing spot easy and sells for around $100.

If you like to fish for tautog, scup, and sea bass over wrecks and rockpiles, you know that pinpoint positioning—whether on the edges of the structure or on the “high spot”—often yields the biggest fish. To make the task easier, try using a marker buoy to locate the precise spot you want to fish.

The American Bandit buoy ($100) shown in the accompanying photo comes with an internal spool that holds the line. A weight is tied to the line and the spool drag is adjusted so that line will flow off the spool until the weight reaches bottom. When you are directly over the spot you want to fish, as indicated by the depthsounder, simply drop the weight overboard. The bright-orange buoy also has a keel fin that indicates the current direction. Now you can drop anchor upcurrent and let out line until the stern of the boat reaches the buoy.

Of course, you don’t need a fancy store-bought buoy to mark your spot. You can use a two-liter soda bottle with heavy twine attached. Mark the line at 10-foot intervals so you have a sense of where to tie off the line based on the depth shown on your sounder. Tie a heavy bank sinker or other weight to the end of the line and you’re in business!

By the way, you can buy the American Bandit buoy on their website or on Amazon.

Watch a video on tautog fishing in Buzzards Bay, using the Bandit Buoy marker.