Tips And Tricks For How To Troll Our Lures
High-speed trolling is useful when you want to cover a lot of ground or when you're moving through a lot of dispersed grass. Instead of using ballyhoo, try rigging just a hook and lure with beads or extra weight as a spacer between the head and the end of the skirt, this will allow you to speed up and cut through the grass.
We typically down size from a 8/0 to a 7/0 hook for our speed troll rigs. The smaller hook allows for a lower profile lure that swims well. It's also worth mentioning that most pelagic species can see really well. The idea behind speed trolling is to mimic bait fleeing another fish. This presents an easy opportunity for the fish to attack, but even still fish may turn away at the last moment when they realize there is something unnatural about the lure. Down sizing the hook will help with this and increase success of reaction strikes.
Standard Ballyhoo Rig
Use a 8/0 J hook, bait spring or copper nose wrap. This is the standard used all around the world. There are several subtle variations anglers use but the concept is the same. Thread a 8/0 J hook under the gill plate and into the body of the ballyhoo. Be careful to keep the hook point in the center of the fish as much as possible. Even a small knick in the skin can turn into a full tear after an hour of trolling. Also the keeping the hook inline produces less wear and tear on the ballyhoo and has better swim action.
Deep Troll Rig
The deep troll rig is designed to be used with planers or down rigggers. This is just a standard rig with 1.5 inch wire braid strip added to prevent cut offs. The hook is placed deeper in the ballyhoo to both decrease tail bite offs and line cutoffs. It's true that the only way to fully prevent cutoffs from King Mackerels and Wahoo is to run piano wire, but we've definitely observed a reduction in the bite when running any size piano wire. A compromise is to add a small 1.5 inch strip of braid wire between the hook and the lure. When rigging, move the hook further back about 1.5", this hides the wire and moves the hook back into the 3rd quarter of the ballyhoo. This will also help prevent cutoffs once the fish is actually hooked up. Many pelagic species will attempt to cut their pray in half before they eat it. This is what causes so many of the cut offs to a standard rig. There will still be times when a fish will miss and take the whole lure off at the head but this method is a good compromise that will increase your strike chances and reduce your chances of in-fight cutoffs.