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September 21, 2007

Short-Striker Trolling Rig

In Belize, fishermen use this short, simple rig to troll live baits over patch reefs and deep flats with light tackle to catch fast, short-striking fish such as barracuda, king mackerel, bonito, jacks and yellowtail snapper. To make it, haywire a 100-pound barrel swivel to a two-foot piece of No. 9 wire. Slide on a one-ounce egg sinker and haywire a 5/0-7/0 offset O’Shaughnessy-style hook to the other end. The eye of an identical hook is forced over the barb of the first hook and allowed to hang in the bend. A large sardine, scad or mullet is hooked crosswise through the nose of the lead hook while the trailer dangles off to the side. The baited rig is trolled at a quick clip, well out of the prop wash, so that it rides just below the surface. It can even be dragged through shallow water without hanging up in the coral.

—Matt Buratto, Chicago, Illinois