How to Rig Strip Baits

Learn how to build two easy strip bait rigs for offshore trolling.
Mike Murray
Part One of this Strip Bait Rigging Series, Capt. Mike Murray demonstrated how to fillet and brine bonito strips to toughen them up so you can pull them all day. Now, he offers step-by-step instructions to make two easy strip-bait rigs for trolling.
MATERIALS: 6/0 J-Hooks, 60- to 80-pound flourocarbon leader or No. 7 wire, rigging needle, a Sea Witch and/or Hawaiian Eye or similar lure.
To rig a strip bait on fluorocarbon or monofilament leader, start by tying perfection loop at one end of a 6-foot piece of line. This loop will act as the connecting point to the main running line. You can also use a swivel.
Thread the Sea Witch skirt onto your line. These skirts have a long portion of material and a short portion. You want the long portion of skirt material facing away from the strip bait.
Hold your hook up to the strip to determine where it will run when rigged. Note the location of the bend of the hook and the hook eye.
Pierce the strip on the meat side with the point of your hook, pushing the hook through the skin.
Use a rigging needle to make a hole through the strip and run the needle through the hook eye. Make sure that your hole is perfectly centered on the strip and leaves a bit of meat at the end.
Run your leader through both the hook eye and the strip bait.
Using the end of your rigging needle, tie a nail knot in the leader. A uni knot will also work here.
Make sure that the shank of the hook lies flat against the strip and everything is straight before cinching the knot tight.
Finish the knot by pulling back on the hook using a pair of pliers. Be sure not to pull on the strip when tightening the knot.
This strip is ready to entice dolphin, sailfish and more. Next, learn how to rig a strip bait using wire.
Start by making a haywire twist in the end of a 6-foot length of No. 7 wire.
Thread on a trolling lure of your choosing.
Line up the hook and run the wire through the eye of the hook and the strip bait.
Use another haywire twist to secure the strip bait onto the hook. Remember to break off your wire tag ends, never cut them off. If you cut them off, it will leave a burr.
Send this finished strip bait back into the spread for wahoo, kings and other toothy game fish

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