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April 29, 2014

Top 10 Deadly Dolphin Rigs

Keep these proven mahi fishing tricks handy in your offshore arsenal.

2. Weedless Ballyhoo

Anglers quickly tire of picking weeds off their baits in areas of heavily scattered sargassum and often head off in search of cleaner waters. Yet those in the know stick it out, especially if bait abounds underneath the grass mats.

In such a situation, I deploy a spread of weedless ballyhoo, which are similarly rigged to the large ballyhoo baits outlined previously. The main difference is that the hook point is inverted back into the bait, where it won't snag weeds, and the wire tag that usually sticks up through the bait's bill is reversed so it points down into the bait. Thus, the bait is rigged much like a plastic bass worm. To rig it, run the hook point through the ballyhoo's gill slit and immediately out its throat. Pull most of the hook shank through, and then reverse the hook point and insert it back into the bait. Once the hook is positioned where it's not binding, push the pin rig through both jaws of the bait and secure the bait and hook with a strand of Monel wire. To do this, pass the wire through the bait's eyes and then make several tight wraps around the head, behind and in front of the pin, and all the way down, finishing with a couple of wraps on the leader.

Add a small skirt over the nose of the ballyhoo to deflect weeds from its bill, and scale the bait's midsection and belly near where the hook point is resting; this will "soften" the bait and facilitate the hook's pulling out and latching into a fish during the strike. Your best bet is to free-spool the bait on the strike and let the fish consume it.