Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Over the last 40 years, captain Pete Rose (no, not that Pete Rose) has garnered a reputation for putting up huge stats with his yellowfin tuna catches off Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. He credits much of his success to an innovative ballyhoo trolling rig he created to prevent short strikes. I call it the Grand Bahama Slugger. It's a quick rig""Rose can finish it in under a minute by our stopwatch""and, trust me, it's deadly. Here's how to rig the Grand Bahama Slugger for 30-pound tackle: 1. Use a clinch knot to tie a 5/0 hook to five feet of 50-pound-test fluorocarbon leader, and knot a No. 32 rubber band onto the leader, several inches above the hook. To knot the rubber band, lay it across the leader and then pull one end through the loop of the other end and cinch it tight. The rubber band slides on the line so it adjusts to fit nearly any bait. Rose prefers a medium ballyhoo.George Poveromo
Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

2. Push the point of the hook into the body at the back of the throat latch, pushing the point out through the middle of the ballyhoo's underside.George Poveromo
Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

3. Pull the hook completely through the bait and pull it and the leader toward the tail. Now the rubber band should be positioned under the ballyhoo's throat.George Poveromo
Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

4. Holding the fish in your left hand, take the loop of rubber band in your right and, pulling it tight, slide one side of the loop behind the ballyhoo's right gill plate. Be sure to center the leader beneath the lower jaw. Grip the loop of rubber band above the gill plate and wrap it around the head and around both jaws and the leader, working forward onto the beak. Make several tight wraps and be sure to stretch the rubber band. During this stage, the rubber band knot and leader may slip up to the top of the gill plate—don't worry about it.George Poveromo
Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

5. After you finish wrapping the tight rubber band around the jaws, stretch the end loop over the left gill plate. Make sure the rubber band is tight enough so that it locks in place behind the gill plate with no play.George Poveromo
Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

Tactics & Tackle - Tuna Slugger

6. Snap off the ballyhoo's bill ahead of the rubber band. Insert the point of the hook just ahead of the bait's vent, pushing it out forward of the tail. Then hold the bait and pull the leader steadily forward to eliminate slack. To test the rig, hold the head of the ballyhoo and pull on the leader. The pull should be absorbed by the bait's head, not the hook. Make sure the hook isn't binding against the bait, and you're all set. Fish the slugger on a 30-pound outfit set up with a 150-pound ball-bearing swivel tied on a short Bimini twist. Troll these baits at four to eight miles per hour and watch them splash across the surface, like flying fish. The yellowfin won't be far behind.George Poveromo