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November 06, 2012

On A Troll

Four Pros' Favorite Rigs for Marlin, Sailfish, Dolphin & Tuna

Jason Arnold /


Capt. Glenn Cameron
Flo Rider Fishing Charters (Fort Pierce, Florida)

When and why do you choose to troll for this species?

We always troll for sailfish. It’s a tradition thing here (out of Fort Pierce). We train our anglers for competition year-round by trolling for sails. Starting in October, we go up to St. Augustine and New Smyrna Beach, and then we follow the fish down here. By the first week of February, it’s over.

Describe your favorite trolling outfit and rig for this species.

I use a 7/0 Eagle Claw tournament circle hook with a 5-foot leader of 50-pound Momoi fluorocarbon snelled to the hook. I like fluoro because of its higher chafe resistance over mono. To the other end of the leader, I crimp a loop. A 75-pound snap swivel connects the leader to a 10-foot wind‑on, which also is 50-pound Momoi fluoro.

I use a fluoro wind-on because of the recoil issue. There’s no stretch in fluoro, so I don’t have to deal with recoil when releasing a fish. It’s safer for mates to grab fluoro than stretchy mono.

The wind-on connects to a short length of doubled 20-pound Momoi high-vis mono main line with an Albright special. High-vis lets me see where the fish is going, which is important since we ­typically have more than one fish on at a time.

sailfish rig
David Shepherd

The bait is a small ballyhoo with a ⅛-ounce sinker under its chin. I attach the bait with 15-pound Monel wire to a No. 10 barrel swivel that goes over the point of the hook. I remove the pectoral fins during the rigging process and run the Monel down through both lips, hook on the sinker, then go around the gills and back through the eye sockets, and cut off the beak.

I cut a slot in the anal slit of the ’hoo large enough to remove the air bladder and guts, then gently pop its back so the bait is limber.

I fish this with a Daiwa Saltiga 20 lever drag and a Blackfin 12-20 rod. Its parabolic action bends all the way through to the foregrip — you need something with a lot of give so you don’t pull the hook.

Why is this your favorite trolling rig/outfit for this species?

This rig is my favorite because it’s very simple, and the simpler you keep your rig, the better off you are. We do use a skirt sometimes, but under protest. If the fish get finicky, we will add color.