As a rather forgetful fellow, I appreciated Tom Conroy's tip in the February 2007 issue concerning the use of a small paintbrush handle to remove the eyes from your ballyhoo. I've also found myself facing down a huge pile of ballyhoo with no eyeball poker in sight. During a recent tournament gig, I sat down to start rigging and asked the captain if he had a tool to remove the bait's eyes - the look on his face answered the question before his lips started moving. Since I didn't want to waste time picking the eyes out one by one with the tip of a fillet knife, I rushed back to the hotel to see if I had a poker packed away in my bag somewhere. I came up empty, but as I was putting my suitcase back into the closet, I spotted a solution to the problem.
The wooden clothes hangers sported a perfectly sized wooden dowel running across the bottom where you hang your pants. My big clippers made short work of the cheap dowel, and I quickly had two rods - one to remove the eyeballs and one to hang across the mouth of my bucket to hold the ballyhoo once they were ready to rig.
La Jolla, Calilfornia