Using Live Baits Offshore?

Try the Double Rig


The use of multiple live baits on a single rig is only possible when slow trolling or on an extremely fast drift. Your vessel must have enough forward motion to force the baits into a consistent forward motion.

Not every bait that a kingfish eats will work as a duo or trio. Scaled sardines, threadfin herring (greenbacks, greenies), Spanish sardines, cigar minnows and small shad (pogies) work best. I've found that it's best to pick similar size baits of the same species to drag together. Bigger, stronger baits like blue runners, mullet, silver trout and ladyfish tend to foul your rigs and not swim properly when multiplied and tethered together.

Your basic double rig is simply and extension of the widely used stinger rig. Starting at the top of the rig is a no. 10 swivel. Haywired to the swivel is 12 to 18 inches of no. 3 or 4 wire. A single no. 1 or 1/0 livebait hook is twisted to the end to complete the single leader. 6 to 10 inches of no. 4 or 5 wire is then threaded through the hook eye and the haywire loop and twisted to the eye. The end of the wire holds another single live bait hook followed by a stinger wire (2 to 3 inches of no. 4 or 5 wire) with a no. 4 or 6, 4X treble hook. For a triple rig, simply add another single hook with 6 to 10 inches of wire between your first single hook and stinger.

Hooking multiple baits on a single rig requires a certain amount of delicacy and skill. As with many kinds of live bait fishing, you want to handle your baits as little and gently as possible. Every scale and bit of slime you rub off creates a lesser bait.

Always start by nose-hooking a bait on the bottom hook. This allows you to drop that bait in the well as you add subsequent baits to the rig. When the top bait (the one closest to the swivel) is hooked on, slowly remove the entire rig from the well and gently place it in the water. Hold the baits close to the boat and allow them to acclimate. If one or more spins or seems sluggish, replace it. Sometimes it takes a few seconds before the baits get it together where they track true, so be patient.

Don't be afraid to try a double rig on a downrigger. Just make sure that the baits are swimming comfortably before you lower them. You'll want to lower your ball and clip slower than normal, as well, to to eliminate any potential fouling. by

- Steve Hicks

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