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No Ballyhoo? No Problem!

Shute Leadin

    Over the last few years I have been very fortunate and very appreciative to see my lure company do well with the help of the fishermen who have been pulling my lures for tuna and other species of fish. Joe Shute Lures were designed to be pulled with ballyhoo, but in the last few years anglers have started using plastics behind our lures instead of ballyhoo and having very good results.
    So I wanted to put this article out there for those of you that have not yet tried pulling our lures with something other than ballyhoo. I am also going to talk about using our Torpedo artificial lures that can help you catch large numbers of fish without having to use ballyhoo!
    Some fishermen seem to have a problem with rigging a ballyhoo and having the lure and ballyhoo swim properly. Others have had problems with the ballyhoo itself. What I mean by that is, sometimes you might purchase some packages of ballyhoo for a fishing trip, but once you have traveled way offshore and started to fish, you found out that you had gotten a bad bunch of ballyhoo; they are what we call “soft” and will not rig well and won’t even stay on the hook while trolled. Now, you have already traveled a long distance, spent time and fuel to get to the fishing grounds, and all just to find out that your ballyhoo aren’t worth a darn, and your fishing trip is pretty much over before it gets started!
    That is, unless you have an alternative bait to use. That alternative bait is a soft plastic bait that will rig behind your lures and catch fish almost as well as natural baits.
    There are many different soft plastic baits on the market today that will and have worked well behind the Joe Shute Lures. I am going to just focus on two of the most popular soft plastics that I have seen work extremely well with my lures. They are Hogy Lures and Ron Z Lures.
    Both of these soft plastic companies have long slender eel style of soft plastics that work extremely well when trolled behind one of the Joe Shute Lures. They have a very nice swimming action when trolled. Actually, I believe that they have more action than natural ballyhoo.
    They are very easy to rig and don’t require any special treatments or ice to stay fresh. Just throw a few packages of either of these baits on board your boat or in your tackle box and you are good to go.
    Even if you still plan to fish ballyhoo, I would always recommend that you have a few packages of RonZ, or Hogy Lures soft baits somewhere on your boat just to make sure that you will always have something to pull in case of bad ballyhoo or you have one of those days where you run out of ballyhoo.
    If you happen to fish tournaments, another good aspect of pulling these soft plastics is that you do not have to use circle hooks in them. Circle hooks are required in most tournaments these days if you're using natural bait.


Goin' Live In Virginia Beach


Don't turn your back on live bait when billfishing. Remember, marlin are used to eating swimming creatures.

The Ocean's Parting Gift


A day of trolling doesn't go quite as planned, but a stroke of lucky leaves them with hope and lessons for another day.