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Rigs & Knots
Simple Swimming Mullet
This easy-to-rig bait will entice everything from marlin to mahi.
There are a number of mullet rigs out there, including the famous split tail mullet, but the following is a good introduction to bait rigging and will always get bit. You'll need a mullet, suitably sized hook, 80- to 220-pound mono leader, crimps and crimping pliers, ball or egg sinker, bait needle, a small knife and light rigging thread. Photos and story by Glen Booth.
Make a cut from the anal vent up to the pelvic fins. Remove the innards and the eyes. Taking out the eyes is important because if one blows out, the bait won't swim straight.
Being extra careful not to break the throat latch, remove the gills with the bait knife.
Flex the body to loosen up the flesh, but don't snap the backbone.
Push the bait needle down through the top of the bait's head, straight between the eyes, coming out beside one of the gill plates. You may need to remove a scale or two from the head to do this successfully.
Slide the hook up through the belly slit, feed the leader down through the hole in the head and through the hook eye. Pull lightly on the hook to ensure that the mono has definitely gone through the eye or the bait will fall off when you place it in the water, which is very embarrassing!
Feed the tag end through the sinker, form a loop and crimp it into place. Crimp a small loop at the other end of the leader to form a towing point to attach the bait to your main line.
To prevent the tow point in the mullet's head from tearing and throwing the bait off balance, clove-hitch a piece of rigging thread to the leader and run the thread under the bait's pec fins.
Stitch the mouth and gill plates shut, and the bait is ready to catch a fish. Swimming mullet are best fished off flat lines rather than outriggers, with just a light drag setting. If you wish to use the mullet as a teaser for switch-baiting, just leave the hook out of the equation.
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