Ballyhoo Sea Witch Rig

How to rig ballyhoo with a Sea Witch to target mahi and more.
Charlie Levine
The ballyhoo and Sea Witch combo will catch fish in any ocean, especially big mahimahi and tuna. To rig one is relatively easy but the difference between tight lines and landing a skunk is in the details. Start with high-quality ballyhoo for best results.
Use a de-boner to remove the eyes from the ballyhoo and trim off the beaks.
Squeeze out the bait's innards, which will give the bait more flexibility and keep the bait from washing out prematurely.
Gently work your way down the bait's back, squeezing it to snap the backbone. This will give the bait that natural swimming look in the water with tail flapping like a dog.
If the bait's pec fins, located right behind the gills, are sticking up they can make the bait spin. You can twist these small fins off to make the bait more streamlined.
To save time rig up several leaders before heading offshore. The leader includes a 7/0 J-hook, one-quarter to one-half ounce chin weight and rigging wire attached to the eye of the hook. Hold the hook against the bait to determine where you want the hook point to come out.
Insert the hook into the bait's gills and push the bait up the bend of the hook until the hook point exits through the bait's belly.
Use the rigging wire to secure the hook and chin weight in place. You want the bait to be perfectly balanced so it runs straight and does not spin.
Make several wraps around the mouth to secure it shut. If the mouth of the bait is opened, the bait will spin and wash out.
This ballyhoo is rigged and ready for a skirt or Sea Witch. At this point slide your favorite skirt down the leader so it runs in front of the bait.
Popular colors vary from location to location but some of the most popular Sea Witches are blue-and-white or pink-and-white with some flash.
Trolling a swimming ballyhoo rigged with a Sea Witch is deadly when targeting mahimahi.

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