Ballyhoo - Bait Rigging Aussie Garfish

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Instructor: Chris Rushford
Categories: Saltwater , Ballyhoo

Ballyhoo is the standard bait for offshore fishing, suitable for various fish such as sailfish, marlin, swordfish, dolphin, wahoo, and dredge. Australian fisherman Chris Rushford shares a step-by-step rigging video for sailfish, including wax thread, hooks, crimps, pliers, compact skirts, and rigging needle. He also demonstrates making a snub leader and securing the hook. The video is concise and informative, making it a valuable resource for those interested in offshore fishing.

Description / Review / Instructor


  • Ballyhoo Overview: Ballyhoo, also known as garfish in Australia, is a vital bait for those who fish for sailfish, white marlin, striped marlin, and other marlins.
  • Importance: It's a natural food source for these species and knowing how to rig it is essential.
  • Chris Rushford: A well-versed fisherman from Western Australia proficient in various fishing techniques, baits, and lures.
  • Rigging Guide: Chris provides a quick guide on rigging ballyhoo, starting with bait preservation and emphasizing the importance of quality baits.
  • Components: Key components for rigging include wax thread, hooks, snub leader, and others.
  • Stitching a Harness: Chris demonstrates how to effectively stitch a harness to the ballyhoo.
  • Final Steps: Details on attaching the skirt, trimming the bill, and making the connection for the hook to the bait.

Ballyhoo as Staple Bait for Fishing

For those who enjoy fishing for sailfish, white marlin, striped marlin, and even black and blue marlin, ballyhoo is a staple bait. This bait fish, also known as garfish in Australia, is a must-have for any gamefish boat. It's a natural food source for most of the species mentioned, and knowing how to rig ballyhoo is a basic offshore fishing skill that you really must master.

Meet Chris Rushford

Chris Rushford, from Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures in Western Australia, is as well-rounded a fisherman as you could ask for as a mate or fishing guide. He excels in fishing for big marlin, giant trevally, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, barramundi, snapper, and more. Chris is a fishyAF waterman who knows the tackle, terminal connections, techniques, rigs, baits, and lures.

Rigging Ballyhoo: A Brief Guide

In a brief In The Spread bait rigging video, Chris will show you how to rig skipping garfish or ballyhoo for sailfish. It's simple, quick, and a must-know. He will start with bait preservation and emphasize the importance of having good quality baits. Ballyhoo will deteriorate quickly without proper care. Chris will share each component used in this rigging technique, the stitches he makes, how he makes his snub leader, and his method for attaching the hook to the bait.

Components for Rigging

The components Chris uses in rigging a garfish include :

  • wax thread, hooks
  • snub leader
  • crimps
  • crimping pliers
  • compact skirts
  • rigging needle
With practice, this process should take less than two minutes

Stitching a Harness

Chris will demonstrate how easy it is to stitch a harness to the ballyhoo for holding the hook to the bait. You will see exactly where and how to make each incision with the thread. He will guide you on how to sew the gill plates closed without puncturing and potentially cracking them. Your main goal is to get a central tow point for the hook, so the bait swims without spinning.

Final Steps

Once the ballyhoo is stitched up, you will see how the skirt is attached, the bill is trimmed, and the connection for tying the hook to the bait is made.

This is a simple ballyhoo rigging video to follow. Chris Rushford makes it seem just as easy as it will be for you. Watch and learn from an outstanding fisherman.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is Chris Rushford?
Chris Rushford hails from Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures in Western Australia. He is adept at fishing for a wide variety of species, such as marlin, tuna, sailfish, and barramundi. He possesses deep knowledge about fishing tackle, techniques, baits, and lures.

Why is rigging ballyhoo important?
Ballyhoo is a primary bait for many species, and knowing how to rig it properly can greatly influence the success rate of catching target fish.

What components are necessary for rigging ballyhoo?
To rig a ballyhoo, you'll need components like wax thread, hooks, snub leader, crimps, crimping pliers, compact skirts, and a rigging needle.

How long does the rigging process take?
With practice, rigging ballyhoo should take under two minutes.

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