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Questions about ballyhoo

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.


  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Google rigging ballyhoo and see if you want to do that. It isn't hard. Need to milk them, flex 'em, rig the hook & wire, wrap or rubberband them and see how they troll - if they spin, fix 'em til they don't.

    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.
  • schmittydptschmittydpt Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info, any bait shop you prefer?
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 1,012 Officer
    When you rig your own, you've got no one to blame but yourself if they don't swim correctly. Rigging your own lets you make and use the rigs you like: pin/no pin, no chin weight or as heavy as you need, style/size hook, wire or mono or floro, lure/witch/naked, etc. I also like fresh for durability, and the fact that if I don't use them I can then freeze for a next trip -- no worse than buying frozen ballyhoo.
  • bobert421bobert421 Posts: 400 Deckhand
    I prefer to rig myself. Can rig how I want and it's cheaper.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
  • schmittydptschmittydpt Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Sorry about all the questions guys, but what size wire and hooks do you use when rigging Ballyhoo to troll for dolphin. And I know you need copper wire too, is there a specific size or kind that is best?
  • I always rig my own and usually use 80lb mono with a number 7 hook. That can change depending on the size of the bait and target fish.

    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.
  • schmittydptschmittydpt Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Wow that was really helpful, I really appreciate it. I promise I'm not as stupid as I sound, I just have not been trolling in my own boat. Having to get all the gear together is alot different than just dropping a bait back to a fish. Thanks so much. What is brine though?
  • Trit21Trit21 Posts: 162 Deckhand
    I like to rig my own for most of reasons stated already, cost, type of rigging, etc etc. But, if time does not permit me to do that I will buy pre-rigged Bionics. I but maybe 3-4 packs to get us started and then rig some of my own while I am out there trolling. I have never purchased any fresh, going to give that a try if I can find them in Ft Pierce at the bait stores ?

    Live: Orlando
    Boat: Ft Pierce
    2000 Tiara 3500 Open
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    There are a number of different ways to rig them. Pin rigs let you do fast changes & keep going. Double hook rigs with wire inside keep the kings from biting you off. I rig a lot of mine with just a single hook out by the tail & wire inside for when the kings are around thick.

    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.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 1,012 Officer
    Try the website InTheByte or InTheBite -- I used their instructions to teach myself. Read it over and over and over again. Muscle memory is what you're after. Another common suggestion is take a 6 or 12 down to the docks to trade to a mate on a charter boat to teach you one evening.
  • schmittydptschmittydpt Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    I really appreciate all the advice guys, if you ever need any info on fishing in Ft. Myers or Tampa feel free to message me. I grew up in Ft. Myers and live in Tampa now. Thanks again
  • RiggedandReadyRiggedandReady Posts: 93 Greenhorn
    Wow that was really helpful, I really appreciate it. I promise I'm not as stupid as I sound, I just have not been trolling in my own boat. Having to get all the gear together is alot different than just dropping a bait back to a fish. Thanks so much. What is brine though?

    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.
  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    My brine is made from about half a pound of table salt & a half pint of ice water. I'm not sure that is the best that you can get, but it's what I use.
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