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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Live Bait Rig

The following rigging technique came to me curtsy of Dion Forman. The idea is to create a way to rig live bait that has a very effective hook-up rate, as well as have the ability to avoid bite offs from Mackerel.

The technique involves rigging two hooks in unison, without ganging them. Gang hooks lack the flexibility to allow a live fish to swim freely. In this rig, the back hook is placed in the back of the fish just below the dorsal fin, and the front hook either in the front of the eye socket, or through the nose. The bait can swim freely, and the second ‘stinger’ hook is hardly noticeable.

In Dion’s original version of this rig, heavy mono was used between the two hooks. My theory is that mono, no matter how heavy, will be bitten in seconds with the sharp teeth of a Mackerel. So in my version, I experimented with a short length of multi-strand wire. Multi-strand is still quite flexible and, if kept as light as possible, is barely any different to mono.

To begin, you will need to following equipment.
  • Two hooks (I use Gamatsu Live Bait hooks in a 6/0 size)
  • Short length of multi-stand wire (60lb in this case)
  • Crimps
  • Small Crimping tool
  • Some heat-shrink electrical stuff (I like the finish the red colour gives)

This rig has been responsible for catching fish like fingermark and coral trout, as well as mackerel and sharks. The wire seems to have no effect on finicky fish, and the wire has proven to hold on the mackerel (even without wire off the front hook). In my short experience using this rig, I would have to say that the hook-up rate is easily double that of a single hook in nose. I have fished side-by-side with someone using a single hook, and watched them miss fish after fish, while I hooked up almost every time.

This final hook should look a little like this.