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Hook placement on marlin lure

Old 02-13-2019, 08:29 AM
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Default Hook placement on marlin lure

There probably isnít one right answer but where do you place your hook when rigging black bart style marlin lures? IGFA rules say that some part of the hook must be inside the skirt. Are you rigging so that the whole hook is hidden in the skirt? Are you exposing as much of the hook as possible but leaving only the eye inside the skirt, or are you rigging so that the point of the hook is even with the end of the skirt? Does your hook placement change with the size of the lure or the intended target? Would you change the placement if you were going to run 1 or 2 while tuna fishing?

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Old 02-13-2019, 09:03 AM
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I always rig mine with the bend of the hook at or just outside the end of the skirt. I use a rubber stopper inside of most of my plugs that way I can orient the hook properly to how the plug should swim.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by offshore3144 View Post
I always rig mine with the bend of the hook at or just outside the end of the skirt. I use a rubber stopper inside of most of my plugs that way I can orient the hook properly to how the plug should swim.
This

and single hook
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamCatcher14 View Post
This

and single hook
Thanks - I only rig with a single hook.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:10 AM
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I've always rigged mine as was said, bottom of skirt just at the bend in the hook.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:43 AM
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I rig mine so the point is just out of the skirt, sometimes I will add a keel weight to the stiff rig for lures that don't have a heavy side.


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Old 02-14-2019, 07:58 AM
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Try not to make the rigs to stiff. You don't want that extra leverage for the fish to take advantage of. As we all know with all the jumping fast turns and hard runs that extra leverage will allow the hook to twist out. I like the rigs to be a little springy.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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Two schools of thought on the stiffness of the hookset.
I prefer a single hook, IGFA legal. Putting it way back in past the skirt does not create any higher hookup ratios.
In addition, I like to use only one layer of heat shrink to that when the bite does happen, the fish cannot clamp down on the heat shrink and miss getting a good hookup.
Some like to use straight mono to the hook but that little extra insurance with the heat shrink helps.
On word of advice. Do NOT heat shrink mono too much. Only use heat shrink on cable. Seen where the mate got really happy and was heat shrinking the mono to the point it was no longer 300 pound breaking strength but @ 100.
Figured it out after a couple break offs and the lure came back without a hook.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:49 PM
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We fish the same style of lures here in New Zealand for large Striped Marlin, biggish Blue Marlin and some Blacks as well. The most common hook setting is with the eye of the hook just inside the skirt to make it IGFA. Due to various differing opinions among my normal crew we run a mix of stiff single hook rigs and double 180deg swinging hooks. After many year and a lot of Marlin I still can't say that one works better than the other. I am the 180 double hook guy and I think I only run them now to annoy my single hook thinking crew. Anyway, I think that there is a bit of study somewhere to suggest you are best running the single or rear hook as far back in the skirt as you legally can.
Next question is how do you sharpen your hooks? Triangle, reverse triangle, cone etc??
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:17 AM
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I have tried the cone like the Hay Hooks are sharpened but I prefer sharpening mine like a triangle. I believe it is stronger. I do like the smaller barb on the hays hooks. That being said I cant tell the difference in hookups. I do believe hook sharpening is critical to getting that hookup. I don't like the point to thin as I have seen a few bent hook tips.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:46 AM
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Diamond sharpened. Inside out and outside in. The point remains over center mass.

All get polished with the impregnated rubber dremel bits so there’s no rough spots or burrs that could slow the penetration.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:50 AM
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As close to the end of the skirt to remain IGFA Legal. Single hook that is positioned to point slightly up and towards the inside of the spread. There is good data supporting that Marlin more times than not approach from behind and turn to go outside of the spread.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:52 PM
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I get warm fuzzies whenever any marlin fishing thread pops up.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:11 PM
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Drag setting for the strike - just enough to hold the lure in position, 1/3rd line weight, other? Going to be Marlin fishing from next weekend for 12 days.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Aliboy View Post
Drag setting for the strike - just enough to hold the lure in position, 1/3rd line weight, other? Going to be Marlin fishing from next weekend for 12 days.
Great question. I am usually between but have been thinking I should set it at 1/3rd and leave it? Where you fishing??

I am pretty sure I have been either locking the hook point down or maybe not at all and have lost seemingly too many fish the past few times to either missed hits or on jumps. Recently Iíve been reading and it seems I should be locking the barb ďupĒ with maybe a bit of lean towards the inside. Iím always trying to learn something.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:29 PM
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I run charters in New Zealand. Heading away for the first 12 days game fishing for the season this coming weekend, Mainly Stripies in the 200 - 350lb bracket and Blues in the 300 - 800lb bracket. May also get Shortbill Spearfish, but 60lb is a decent one. Get Skipjack and Albacore Tuna and Yellowfin if they are around. YFT used to be prolific but the commercial fleets north of New Zealand seemed to have almost wiped them out. If the weather cooperates we will do some night drops for Broadbill as well. They tend to be in the 300lb - 600lb range but do get bigger from time to time. Also get the occasional Black Marlin if we do some live baiting in certain areas for them. Very occasionally on a lure. Main catch are Stripies between 200lb and 300lb.

There is a well developed practice here of fishing stiff single hook rigs, hook as far back as legal, with just enough drag to keep the lure in place. Let the fish swim away with it a bit first and gently lift the drag to set the hook. The idea was made popular by a well known charter captain here many years ago. I tend to run my single hook rigs like that and my double hook rigs on 1/3rd line weight at strike. Maybe a little less if pulling lures on 30lb line or less. We also do a bit of live baiting with small tuna and use ringed circle hooks. For this we actually hand feed maybe 100ft - 200ft of line with zero drag after the fish eats and then gently wind up the drag. Usually get a 100% hook up rate like this vs lure fishing which is lower. Same technique when pitch baiting. Needs the crew to be on their toes, but works pretty well.

Not sure what Marlin you chase but we get a lot of bill wraps on our Stripies. One clue here that the fish isn't hooked is when they do an initial long run underwater before the first jump. Probably 80% of the time that fish is bill wrapped or has the hook over its bill rather than penetrated. Sometimes they fall off on the first jump, sometimes a bit later, and very occasionally you can still land them. If the hook penetrates our Stripies tend to jump pretty early in the fight. Sometimes when the fish are biting a bit tentative we drop the lure pattern back a wave and they may bite better. Sometimes slowing the boat so the lure sinks a little and then bringing it back up to speed and entice a reluctant fish to bite better. Sometimes we change lure colours if the bite is tentative. Usually from mackeral/flyingfish/mahimahi type colours to squid colours. I guess every fishery has its own set of idiosyncrasies.

Fish in the pic is a 450lb Blue. See the hook over it's bill? It was only bill wrapped but then tail wrapped itself and eventually died and sunk in ~700ft of water. Guy was on standup harness in his 25ft trailer boat and couldn't raise it so we transferred him to my boat and into the game chair. Bit of the fast backwards forwards stuff and we had it up in maybe 30 minutes or so. Put him back on his boat with the fish and tagged a Stripie around 300lb shortly after. Heaviest fish in the contest he was fishing so a happy lad. Funny thing was that we lost a Blue of est 700lb - 800lb the previous day in the same spot. Died and sunk but we were only on 50lb line and broke off trying to raise it. The guy in the pic was on 80lb line with a much smaller fish so a better result.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:16 PM
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That pic is a perfect example of not making the hook rig to stiff. It's flexible enough to still flex around the bill. I like my drags to hold the plug in place plus a few more lbs.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:46 PM
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I think your hardest challenge in Marlin fishing is probably keeping your crew awake Dave
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:14 PM
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This is one big reason I quit using double hooks.
That is a really big lure, and the eyeball is bigger than a baseball, poor Popeye!
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:15 PM
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Just keep the pantry well stocked. They struggle to sleep when eating. Well, maybe I have seen one of them try do both at the same time. They all have a finally tuned ear for a screaming rachet though!! Mind you, when they are on the potty and hear a reel scream the first words uttered through the toilet door are usually - "you bastards better not be messing with me"
You still playing with those superyachts (assuming I have the right guy - "Mike")?
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