There are almost as many ways to rig a ballyhoo as there are to skin a cat, and the “San Sal” rig is a great way to put a second hook in a ballyhoo when you are wahoo fishing. The “San Sal” reference is because San Salvador Island in the Bahamas is famous for giant winter-time wahoo and this is a rig built for that. The double hook rig will work for wahoo in any location and this method does not require a bead chain or flimsy connections to the second hook. The second hook is set back in the bait to eliminate that missed cut-off that wahoo are famous for. I will say it is slightly more advanced than a normal ballyhoo rig, but so are the results.
Here are my tips for prepping your ballyhoo for rigging. These steps remain the same for all of my ballyhoo rigging.
I’ve taken lots of pictures of each little step, so you can practice at home. Just don’t get ballyhoo juice on the computer!
First we have to make the double hook connection. The hook size needs to match the size of the bait. Normally we are using large or horse ballyhoo.
I’m opening the eye on a Mustad 3407 Super Strong 9/0 with a pair of side cutters. Only open it enough to pass the other hook point through.
Pass the second hook through the opened eye so that the hooks are opposing each other. Then squeeze the eye back to normal with a vise or heavy-duty pliers.
Use needle nose pliers to bend a 90-degree into the tag for the sinker to slide on.
Add the 1/2 to 1-ounce egg sinker and then bend another 90-degree turn back towards the main leader.
Now make some simple barrel wraps with the tag end and trim to a half-inch. Add a copper wire. (get the heavier, longer version for big ballyhoo)
Next lay the rig alongside the ballyhoo and mark the spots on the belly with a hook point where each hook will exit the belly. (this ballyhoo is almost too small, but its what I had)
Hold your thumb on the spot where the back hook exits and mark with a hook point.
Then lay the rig back out and mark the spot for the front hook to enter. Be precise, it matters!
Now take the rear hook and enter in the hole you made for the forward hook.
Exit the rear hook through the rear mark near the tail.
Take a knife and slightly enlarge the forward opening. Keep it minimal because water will force in while trolling and reduce the life of the bait.
This is the tricky part. Turn the front hook backwards and work the point into the opening.
Start turning the hook back forward to its normal position concentrating on keeping the point from poking through the side of the bait.
Here is the desired position. You are now ready to secure the head.
Push the pin upward through the mouth and wrap tightly with the copper wire. Take some of your wraps through the eye cavity to anchor the head. Finish the wrap up the bill making sure the wire is centered underneath.
Slide your favorite lure in front and go catch big wahoo or anything else for that matter. The back hook can pivot on the front hook, so the bait can still swim, and the chin weight helps the bait to swim upright.
Go Get Em’!