Trolling bigger ballyhoo on a pin rig will catch larger pelagic predators. In the past few years, I have used this one for winter bluefin tuna off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, spring bluefins off the mid-Atlantic states, canyon yellowfin and bigeyes. This easy rig can be fished naked or with skirts. When fished under an Ilander or Hawaiian Eye, it trolls for hours without washing out, and fish tend to grab it and hold on rather than making the hit-and-run typical with plastic trolling lures.
The Perfect Pin Rig can be crafted with medium, large or horse ballyhoo, but the hook and sinker size must be matched to the bait. It works with leader material up to 300-pound-test and can be fished over and over if you just replace the bait, which can be done in about 30 seconds. Just be sure to check the leader for nicks or chafing and retire it if you see any signs of weakness. Make a bunch on your workbench and coil them so they are ready to be put into use when you hit the fishing grounds.
COMPONENTS & TOOLS
Mono leader material; 12, 34- or 1-ounce egg sinker; 7/0, 8/0 or 9/0 hook; rigging springs; No. 12 stainless-steel trolling wire; nylon tubing; crimping sleeves; loop protector, or ring and grommet; mono cutters; and a hand or bench swager. A skirt or lure is optional.
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