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The majority of predators (white, striped and smaller blue marlin; yellowfin; bigeye and longfin tuna; and dolphin) earn their living feeding on small baitfish. Frequently they hunt in packs, which means matching rigged baits in your spread to small baitfish will often account for multiple hookups, and that’s a good thing. Nothing fits the bill better than dink ballyhoo, the littlest ones you can buy.
I learned how to craft this circle-hook rig from John Prather, an Ocean City, Maryland, native who runs the cockpit aboard Capt. Jon Duffie’s Billfisher. When not chartering out of Sunset Marina, they are one of the hottest tournament teams on the water. Last year they set the modern record for the most white marlin releases in a day at 57, all on the dink rig you are about to learn. They use this naked swimming bait to deadly effect on sailfish in Florida and catch yellowfin and dolphin galore on it too.
The Deadly Dink swims best on light trolling outfits (20-, 30- or 50-pound-class) with light fluorocarbon leaders (60- to 125-pound-test max) and 7/0 tournament circle hooks. You can rig up a cooler full of fish-ready baits in no time once you get the hang of it and set up a little production line, and they can be changed out on the hook in an average of about 10 seconds.
COMPONENTS & TOOLS
Heavy rigging thread or floss, 14-ounce egg sinker, monofilament cutters and dink ballyhoo.
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