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February 10, 2014

Top 10 Deadly Dolphin Rigs

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

3. Pitch Bait

One of the deadliest tactics for big dolphin is keeping handy a 20-pound-class spinning outfit rigged with a medium to large ballyhoo. Should a large dolphin appear on the periphery of a school of smaller fish, under debris or under working birds, immediately pitch the ballyhoo or slowly troll it around the working birds on an intercept course with the fish. When a dolphin strikes, free-spool the bait, let the fish swallow it, and then engage the drag and have fun!

I rig my pitch-bait rods with a short Bimini twist, followed by a Bristol knot to join that Bimini to about 4 feet of 50-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. I'll use a loop knot to join an 8/0 live-bait-style hook to the leader. The ballyhoo is attached by simply running the hook point underneath and out its jaws. Another option, for casting distance or dropping down to deep fish, is to impale the ballyhoo on a 3- or 4-ounce yellow bucktail jig.