Rigging Baits with TrollTrue Lures

Offshore Fishing

Success with TrollTrue: Rigging Baits

I hope you’ve had an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your TrollTrue lures. They provide you with an opportunity to rig a variety of baitfish and troll them in the most natural way possible. Previously, we’ve discussed how TrollTrue lures work in combination with the recommended rigging to ensure offshore trolling success. If you would like to review that discussion as well as complete instructions on how to make the recommended rigging, follow the link below: 

Your TrollTrue lures are designed to help you quickly and easily rig dead baits such as ballyhoo and cigar minnows. They can be used with other baitfish as well. Baitfish that are a minimum of 5” long and have a head shaped such that it will fit into the TrollTrue lures can be used. Other baitfish that have been successfully used include herring and ribbonfish. Mullet are an example of a baitfish that will not work. Their head is too wide to fit the lures.

Bait prep is a critical step to ensure your baits always perform optimally. There are a number of good resources available on-line with instructions for prepping ballyhoo and there is nothing wrong with following those practices.  I doubt I could do as good of a job explaining this as some of those resources.  However, the required bait prep for success with TrollTrue lures is not as extensive as with traditional pin-rigging.  The key steps for prepping baits are as follows:

  • Quality baits-  Offshore fishing is way too expensive to jeordardize a trip with poor quality baits. Baits should be fresh with clear eyes, minimal blood, and not refrozen.

  • Thoroughly thawed-  This is a very important step.  Partially thawed baits will likely have a bow to them and will not swim properly. Always thaw baits in saltwater to keep the bait firm.  Brining baits with salt is fine, but not required.

  • Remove the eyes-  The eyes are typically removed so they don’t get distorted unevenly and cause the bait to spin.  TrollTrue lures shield the eyes and this is not required.

  • Remove the fins-  Many anglers clip off the ballyhoo’s pectoral fins to make the ballyhoo more streamlined with less opportunity for the bait to distort and spin.  There is nothing wrong with this, but it is not required.

  • Empty the digestive tract-  By running your finger along the under-belly of a thawed ballyhoo from the pectoral fins down toward the anus, this will push out the feces and empty the digestive tract.  This is good practice and helps to ensure a limber, flexible bait.

  • Limber the bait up- Lastly, grasp the ballyhoo firmly slightly behind the pectoral fins and flex the tail back and forth in a simulated swimming motion.  As the bait begins to limber up, increase the flexure in a more S-shaped pattern.  The idea is to get the bait as flexible as possible with the goal of producing a natural swimming motion as it is trolled through the water.

The beauty of TrollTrue lures is the simplicity of actually rigging the baitfish.

  • As described above, start with a fresh, properly prepped baitfish.

Saltwater Trolling
  •  Insert the nose hook under the chin of the baitfish and out between the eyes.  Center the inlet and outlet through the baitfish as much as possible.  That’s it.  The recommendation for the trailer hook is to let it dangle.  The danger of imbedding the trailer hook is the possibility of inducing a bend in the baitfish and impeding an optimum swimming action.

Saltwater Trolling
  • Lastly, slide the TrollTrue lure down the leader and into place on the baitfish head. The point of the nose hook should ride in the lure slot.  This locks the lure and baitfish together.

Saltwater Trolling

Some of the advantages of this rigging system include:

  • Easy rigging-  Nothing could be easier than rigging with TrollTrue.  Now anyone can rig like a pro and troll great looking baits each and every time.  Trolling better baits means catching more fish.  

  • Faster rigging-  As you can see, the rigging couldn’t be easier or faster.  That’s important when the fishing gets hot.  It’s always better to spend more time fishing and less time rigging.

  • Less intrusive- As compared to traditional pin-rigging, TrollTrue lures and rigging are much less damaging to the baitfish.  This produces longer lasting baits with the ability to troll faster speeds without the worry of washing out the bait.