By Captain Mike Hogan
I stumbled across this rigging method a couple of years ago when fishing with my good friend and fellow charter captain Chris Burden off the coast of Palm Beach for Mahis, Blackfin tuna and whatever else might be in the area. We were light on bally-hoo that day so I suggested that we rig a couple of my Hogys instead so that we could extend his bait supply further into the morning.
Due to their extremely soft plastic, Hogys have a natural place behind trolling heads such as the Iland Head used in the rigging diagram below. You’ll find that one major advantage to trolling soft-baits is how vibrantly they swim when trolled up to 6 or eight knots.
When rigged properly, Hogys seemingly hum through the water but when the boat is taken out of gear to land a fish, their soft nature maintains some action as they descend, often inducing an additional strike. Another major advantage high speed soft-baits have is the ease with which you can change color simply by re-rigging with another soft bait.
Regardless if your using them as a go-to bait or as a bait alternative, you won’t be disappointed! Depending on the size and model you choose to fish with, they very easily mimic squid, ballyhoo, mullet and even sand eels.
- Desired Leader. ( e.g. 8′ 100lb test fluorocarbon)
- Appropriately Sized Crimps. (1.2 MM Aluminum Crimps)
- One Hogy Hogy Stopper
- Desired Trolling Head (e.g. Iland Head)
- Desired Soft Baits (e.g. 10″ Amber Hogy)
- Desired Hooks (e.g. 10″ Hogy Quick Rig)
Step 1: Let’s start by making the leader. In this case, we’re using 100 lb test flouro carbon leader. Create the terminal end using which ever chaffing method you prefer to connect to your snap swivel. In this case, we’ll use an offshore loop followed by two crimp sleeves. Then slide on your desired trolling head.
Step 2: Slide on Hogy Hook Stopper, wide end first. If you wish to add additional weight, now’s the time. Slide an egg sinker on between trolling head and Hogy Hook Stopper.
Step 3: Crimp on desired hooks. In this case, we’ll be using the Hogy Quick Rig. Hogy Brand Mono rigs are suited for school sized tuna up to 60 lbs. Heavier gear is recommended on larger game fish.
Step 4: It’s now time to rig the soft bait. In the case of the Hogy Tandem Quick Rig, we will follow the normal rigging instructions, however with one change, Instead of coming out where the marker ordinarily would indicate, we will come out the side of the bait, so that one hook is “off-set.” This will increase hook-up ratios and will also eliminate a bubble trail that tends to build between the two hooks when rigged “inline.”