It’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of live bait, whether you’re fun fishing or tournament fishing. Most tournament teams invest a considerable amount of time and/or money gathering a large quantity of baits in preparation for tournament success. While one would be hard pressed to leave the dock without a full load of live bait in a tournament, there are many who overlook an extremely simple and highly effective weapon in their tournament arsenal.
The secret weapon….a ballyhoo and jig setup. The combination of a jig and natural ballyhoo (Bionic Bait is our favorite) can be deadly. With just enough wind and a little bit of current there are days when the jig will give live bait a run for its money. You will want to rig up a few different jigs in the ¾ oz to 1 ½ oz range to be prepared for a variety of wind and current conditions. The rig is simple. You need a trace of wire, jig and hook. Haywire twist one end of the wire to the eye of the jig and add a trailer hook to the other end of the wire with a haywire twist as well. Break off the bill of the ballyhoo and run the lead hook from the jig through the bottom jaw of the bait and out through the top of its mouth. The trailer hook attached to the wire gets inserted in the anal vent of the ballyhoo as a stinger hook. Make sure your wire is long enough to allow the ballyhoo to move naturally in the water as the boat is rocking back and forth with the waves. This rig is very effective for kingfish, tuna, dolphin, cobia and wahoo….all of the target species in the PBSC summer series!