Halibut Trapper Rig

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When drifting for halibut, I found they often strike short - when I retrieved the bait after feeling a strike, I noticed the rear of the bait had bite marks, but the hook placed through the eye sockets was untouched. I made up a rig that uses a 4' leader of 20-pound fluorocarbon with a treble hook tied to the end with a palomar knot. I then loop the leader through the eye of a single live-bait hook and slide the live-bait hook down to near the treble-hook end. I snug the shank of the live-bait hook to the leader with a wire-tie just below the eye of the hook, trimming the tag end of the wire-tie. Now I pin my bait through the eye socket, attach the treble to the bait near the tail and pull the other end of the leader to take up the slack. I don't have to tie on a new leader for baits of different sizes. I make up a bunch of these rigs ahead of time and store them in individual zip-close bags. The majority of fish I've caught on these rigs are hooked on the treble hook.

- Jeff Beam, Prescott, Arizona