Butterflied Ballyhoo Plug

An effective live bait replacement for bottomfishing

An excellent alternative to live bait when bottomfishing for snapper and grouper in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, or Caribbean waters is a butterflied ballyhoo plug, which combines the natural looks of the baitfish with enticing undulating action and scent to draw bottom dwellers and coax them into striking. Here's how to do it.

Step One

Butterflied ballyhoo plug
Step oneIllustration by Steve Sanford

Cut off the ballyhoo’s head and tail.

Step Two

Butterflied ballyhoo plug
Step twoIllustration by Steve Sanford

Split both sides, halfway down the core, and break off the exposed backbone.

Step Three

Butterflied ballyhoo plug
Step threeIllustration by Steve Sanford

Place hook in the narrow (tail) end so the flaps breathe and undulate in the water.