How big of a difference is there between buying pre rig Ballyhoo and fresh Ballyhoo and rigging them yourself. I'm mostly an inshore fisherman and I'm just starting out trolling, and don't know a lot about rigging I've done it a couple times but not really confident. Also if anyone has any suggestions on where to get fresh or pre rig ballyhoo in the port st. Lucie area I'd appreciate it.
A little practice, maybe watch someone do it a few times and you'll be fine. When I've gone, I get frozen ballyhoo at the bait shop. Make sure it isn't freezer burned.
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I can tell you that someone gave me some of the mono pre-rigged Bionics and they were pretty good. So buy some pre-rigged and try some yourself also. Keep trying till you get it right, Pre-rigged 3 for $8.95, unrigged, 12 for $8.95
I think West Marine in South Pompano still only charges $6.95 dozen frozen. Thaw them slow and use brine.
Boat: Ft Pierce
2000 Tiara 3500 Open
Most of the off-the-shelf rigs are pretty good as long as you troll at a speed that they like.
When the ballyhoo are around, I try to catch about a gallon & freeze them. When I run out, I buy what I need. Juno bait is the furthest north of the places that I usually buy frozen from. You can get pre rigs or bare from that place. The guy there is pretty helpful too.
Fresh & brined gives you the best durability. Frozen once is OK. Frozen twice is sort of OK, but not as good. Frozen several times means that they probably belong in the chum bucket.
Brine is a powder/salt that you pu ton the ballyhoo that toughens them up. Most any bait shop that sells hoos will have it.
I prefer pin rigs with bait springs as my rigging method. Easy and quick and work well for me.
Good luck with it all.