• Published:February 26, 2014
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When targeting sailfish in South Florida, few baits perform better than ballyhoo.

Ft. Lauderdale mate Dave Wimberly of the charter boat Reel Works likes to stack the odds in his favor with a daisy chain ballyhoo teaser to bring sailfish into his spread like a pack of dogs.



Wimberly rigs these daisy chains to present three live ballyhoo swimming close together, about 18 inches apart, with a fourth "tail" bait set about 24 inches back. Dave prefers 30- to 50-pound test when assembling his ballyhoo daisy chains, and attaches the ballyhoo in one of two ways, either with copper wire or light wire hooks.


Where he positions the teasers in the spread depends on the seas and how far the anglers plan to drop back the hook baits. Wimberly typically pulls two ballyhoo teasers at once: one up close in the flat position and another one set back a bit further. He pulls the ballyhoo daisy chain teasers from kite rods equipped with 4/0 reels.



Wimberly prefers to use cast-netted ballyhoo when baiting his short lines (both teasers and hooked baits), since they're seldom as lively and make an easy target for a hungry sailfish. Feisty, hook-caught ballyhoo are good candidates for the longer lines, where the additional mono in the water impedes their movements. Sailfish really go nuts for these ballyhoo set back in the long position.


Follow the directions below to rig a live ballyhoo daisy chain. You can also click through the gallery above for step-by-step instructions. (For illustrative purposes, I substituted dead baits for live ones in the photos.)

Step 1: Tie three dropper loops near the tail end of your teaser line about 18 inches apart and 24 inches from the end. The knot you choose isn't too critical -- an overhand loop works fine. Cut one arm off of your dropper loop and trim the other to size.

Wimberly prefers to use cast-netted ballyhoo when baiting his short lines, since they're seldom as lively and make an easy target for a hungry sailfish.

Step 2: Attach a short piece of copper rigging wire to each of the dropper ends and the tail end with an Albright knot. Do this by forming a loop in the wire, pushing the mono through, making several turns around the loop, and bringing the mono back out in the same direction it entered the loop. Pull each knot tight and trim off the excess mono and wire tag ends.


Step 3: Push the end of the copper wire through the ballyhoo's lower jaw, before bending it forward and making a number of wraps firmly around the bait's beak. You can also substitute a small gold hook for the copper wire, and simply insert it point-up through the bait's upper jaw.


Wimberly suggests keeping a bucket filled with salt water on both sides of your cockpit where you can drop each ballyhoo after you finish rigging it. Once you rig all four teaser baits, start dropping them back immediately.

                                               



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