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Rigs & Knots
How to Rig a Double-Hook Ballyhoo
Troll the double-hook ballyhoo deep and increase your hook-up rate.
The double-hook ballyhoo swims deep and makes a great bait to target king mackerel and wahoo. Many crews troll this ballyhoo rig with wire line or braid behind a trolling lead or planer. When using this method, there's no room for drop-backs, so to improve your percentages you can add an extra hook to your bait. Follow these instructions to rig the double-hook ballyhoo.
MATERIALS: Medium to large ballyhoo; 6 feet of #7 to #9 wire leader; copper rigging wire; 7/0 Mustad needle-eye hook or equivalent; 8/0 Mustad O'Shaughnessy hook or equivalent; 1/4-ounce egg sinker; and a trolling skirt.
Slightly flatten the barb of the 7/0 needle-eye hook with a pair of pliers and attach the hook to the egg sinker and wire leader using a Haywire Twist. Leave a short pin of wire sticking up from the end of the Haywire Twist.
Twist a length of copper rigging wire over the Haywire Twist.
Separate the meat from the backbone of the ballyhoo with the heel of your hand against the cutting board, then limber the bait up by twisting it with a series of S-curves.
Remove the ballyhoo's eyes and break off the beak by peeling downward.
Force the point of the hook under one of the ballyhoo's gill flaps and into its gut cavity. Poke the hook point through the skin at the ventral midpoint. Then, allow your bait to relax. This draws the hook shank back into the bait a bit.
Force the pin upwards and through the bait's skull, centering it just ahead of the eye sockets. After pushing the rigging wire through the empty sockets, hitch it firmly through the eyes, running back and forth around the pin.
Continue wrapping the copper wire forward along the ballyhoo's bill, while your leader remains positioned in the groove you exposed when you peeled the beak downwards.
Take the O' Shaughnessy hook and place it alongside your partially-rigged bait. Wherever the eye of the trailing hook lines-up with the bend of forward hook is where you want it positioned.
Determine the location of where the bend of second hook will exit the ballyhoo's body, and poke an incision dead-center through the bait's belly with your hook point.
Insert the eye of trailing hook through the incision you just made, and force it forward until you're able to push it through the hole created by the first hook. Now, while flexing your bait, slip the point of first hook through the eye of trailing hook. This may take some practice. Slip the back of a knife blade under the barb of the first hook, and by twisting it forcibly, lift the barb back to its former position.
The finished bait should entice an array of toothy game fish. You can fish it naked, or add a skirt for additional pizzaz.
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