2008 tournament rigging - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 05-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Ruby Red Lip
 
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Default 2008 tournament rigging

with the new circle hook rule in place this year, how will you be rigging natural baits? i have heard of all the success being had in central america using natural baits and circle hooks, but the number of billfish in those areas outnumber ours to an extent that bait and switch fishing doesnt seem to be a real option. I have much better luck on islander/ballyhoo or mackeral and want to continue with that success but from what i have read, the ilander/circle hook rig is not an extremely effective combination. when the gulp! ballyhoo come out ill definitely try some of those and i may try rigging one of the 10in gulp eels behind an ilander with a j-hook to see how that works. give me your thoughts/techniques.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

I thought they repealed the circle hook rule for tourneys this year?
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

The circle hook rule was not repealed. The deadline for implementation was extended past the '07 deadline. The new deadline became January 1, 2008. The circle hook rule is in effect for 2008 tournaments, as best as I can tell. Visit www.nmfs.noaa.gov for more information.

Wish someone would suggest to me how we can rig an Ilander with a ballyhoo on a circle hook and have it be effective at 7 knots. The Berkley Gulp! ballyhoo that is coming out looks to be an acceptable substitute that will let us use J-hooks. Otherwise lets break out the plastic! Speaking of which, we've got a great assortment of Polu Kai, Aloha, MoldCraft, and Makaira Pulling Lures here at Sam's in Orange Beach. Please forgive the shameless plug, but pretty nice transition into the commercial, wouldn't you say? Good luck this season, guys...Bryan Bennett, Sam's Orange Beach, (251) 981-4245.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:51 PM   #4
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

bryan, i was hoping you would chime in on this one..... when do you expect the gulp ballyhoo to be on sale. im going to try the eel rigged like a bally. the circle hook rigs that i have seen over and over are a circle hook rigged upside down on the ballyhoo's nose>> good for drop back billfish but no chance for dolphin or wahoo bites, the circle hook in front of the ilander/bally that would only be effective if you can get a fish to completely eat the whole rig and then some, and then a large circle rigged similar to the way that a J-hook is rigged, but from what everyone says over and over, the entire shank of the circle needs to be exposed inorder for them to hook up correctly. I have spent thousands on plastics over the past few years with only marginal success compared to the trustworthy ilander/bally combo so i cant help but be hesitant about making the switch.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

i have about 4 different ways to rig ballyhoo with circle hooks and would be more than happy to show anyone some weekend. unfortunately, i dont have a digital camera and cant supply the pics on here
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:04 PM   #6
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

Some thoughts about the whole circle hook deal:

1. Remember, it is only in billfish tournaments that the rule applies. We can still use J-hooks on "fun" trips. However, we all know how the government works: give them an inch and they take a mile. Soon enough, it will probably be circle hooks all the time.

2. I don't know when the Gulp ballyhoo will be available, and I don't know how much they will be. All I know is I saw a prototype that Kevin Benton (the Berkley rep) had in Sam's and it looked good. Right size, right shape, nice paddle-tail, ported for both circles and J-hooks. And I am sure it will smell pretty fishy, knowing how "good" the Gulp inshore stuff smells. I will email Kevin tomorrow and get an update.

3. Regarding plastics, yes, expensive, yes, some won't catch a scale, yes to all the perceived negatives. Remember though, that a plastic lure catches fish only as well as it is rigged, and where and how it is fished behind your boat. I would only call myself an average lure fisherman, relying on the Ilander crutch for years, too...that's the beauty of an Ilander, isn't it? Catches fish for just about anyone who can half-way rig a ballyhoo. But I've caught some nice fish on lures, too.I like the following lures for the blue: most anything Erik Rusnak makes (Aloha Lures), but especially the Beauty series and the Mongo series. He's got some cool new stuff though, too. Caught a 400 pound blue the first time I ever ran his Large Beauty behind a 53' Ocean. And the Medium (or "Midi-") Mongo is just a meathog, especially for wahoo, when rigged with a single stiff hook. I am a big fan of Polu Kai's Fat Boy, the larger one, (an FB9), in the light blue head. I've got one that looks like it was beaten with a hammer and I've reskirted it about 5 times in two years. Still catchin' em on it. I like a MoldCraft Standard Wide Range #41, Purple/Silver/Black...had a 50W dumped at the Double Nipple one year while dragging that lure, and its just a fish magnet when pulled kinda long off the 'rigger. And I like Justin Roper's (Makaira Pulling Lures) Lena (Yap-style riggerbait) and Brutus, an awesome flatline lure with a unique shape andkiller action. Anyway, lures have their place in bluewater, but I agree, the old' Blue/White Ilander-Ballyhoo is hard to beat, anytime, anyplace. Hopefully the Gulp! ballyhoowill be a good substitute.

4. If you don't like the circle hook rule, thank the voices down in South Florida. When you hold a 3-day sailfish tournament with guys kite-fishing and slow-trolling live ballyhoo, goggle-eyes, and blue runners with J-hooks, and the winning boat reports something like 40 or 50 releases, yes, there are going to be a few sailfish floating around belly-up when the dust settles. Probably more than just a few. So the well-meaning, conservation-minded personalities down there went to TBF (I hope I'm telling this story right), who went to NMFS, pushing to require circle hooks in billfish tournaments in the "Atlantic Bight," i.e. the east coast and the Gulf Coast. NMFS went ahead and implemented the rule, apparently not realizing that up in North Carolina and here on the Northern Gulf, we're not sailfishing with kites, nor are we idling the boat with live baits behind it (very much), and we catch other fish besides billfish when we're fishing, fish that taste good and we really don't care if they're gut-hooked or not. But have you ever gut-hooked a yellowfin, wahoo, or mahi while you were 7-knottin' with your Ilander spread out? I haven't. Gross example of a broad-sweeping rule that solves a localized problem and really discriminates against everyone else. I think it's ridiculous, personally...yep, that was a rant, but so be it.We should all bombard the NMFS's Highly Migratory Species division with a veritable flood of emails telling them exactly how unnecessary the rule is up here.

5. Circles rigged like J-hooks in the belly of small and medium ballyhoo and dragged at 3-5 knots 100 yards behind the boat work fine on yellowfins. But I've only done it with little dusters in front of the ballyhoo, not lures that cover up most of the ballyhoo like an Ilander-type lure does.

Anyway, like I said, I want someone to show me how to rig a ballyhoo on a circle hook, one that will withstand 20 pounds of drag on an 80W, on 400 pound test, with an Ilander, that we can drag at 7 knots, that will let an average fisherman catch a fish and not have to stand a foot away from the rod ready to drop back at any given time (this ain't Costa Rica). And, by the way, I want my Ilander back after I get a bite. Whoever invents whatever gizmo will let us do this will probably get rich. My money is on John down at Rite Angler in S. Florida.

Sorry for the novel, guys, but I get wordy...shoot us a line down here at Sam's in Orange Beach if we can help. (251) 981-4245
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

This is a pretty good vid showing exactly how the rigging goes. Of course I have no idea how well it works but it sure looks like they do it a lot. Hope it helps.

http://videos.sportfishermen.com/vie...key=c41831acf0
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:20 PM   #8
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

well i am going to fun fish with what i am going to use for tournaments so that i get used to fishing with other techniques and figure out what works. next weekend im going to try some of the plastic ballyhoo, gulp eels, rigging an 18/0 circle like a J hook and rigging a nice sized circle a little further down the back of the ballyhoo to see what i can get hookups with. ill post my results.



bryan bennett, if you get shipments of the gulp bally, please post on here so that i can come and scoop up half of your stock.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:28 PM   #9
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

Please do post your results, bluewaterau...and, ya'll, I am serious, I want to know how to rig the Ilander with a circle so I can show our customers...keep you posted on the Gulps. Good luck, everyone.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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Default RE: 2008 tournament rigging

ok, one more thought on a rigging idea: what about using some heavy wire with a haywire twist connected to a medium circle hook, run the wire into the anus of the ballyhoo, up through the belly, and exiting between the gills...... so that the only part of the hook inside of the hoo is the eye. make a loop in the wire to connect rigging wire to close the gills and mouth and crimp the mono leader. also, is it kosher to rig two circle hooks in a dead bait?



if you cant tell, ill do whatever it takes to keep dragging dead baits that can hookup incase you arent quick enough to drop back.
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