G'day lads, Garfish are a deadly bait and are sort after by all apex predators, especially Spanish mackerel, northern bluefin tuna, kingfish, marlin and tailor. As far as I know they are the only bait used in the commercial mackerel fishery. But unless you’re a professional and doing it every day like those blokes, it’s very difficult rigging them to swim straight. All kinds of methods have been tried, chin weights and crimped heavy mono leader:
Trollers use cone springs, often with a plastic squid over the head when chasing sail fish, but those – unless skipped – are only good for slow speed trolling too.
Ganged hooks work okay on a dead slow retrieve, but because the shank side of a hook is heavier than the point side, the bait is always going to be out of balance.
What if there was a way to rig a garfish so that it could be trolled fast like a Halco Trembler or Rapala CD-26, but with the added advantage of bait scent?
Well now there is. The Head Start trolling rig is a fantastic invention which allows you to troll a garfish at high speed for hours on end. Check out this short video we made recently, it explains their benefits really well:
There are two options for rigging:
The regular Head Start comes with an 80-pound breaking strain bead chain and a hook suitable for mackerel, kings, northern blues and sailfish on light string.
For large marlin and the like a separate rigging system using 175 pound multi strand wire is available. That one is $7.00.
Alternatively, you can run a straight mono leader, with a split shot lightly crimped to hold the head in place.
Want to know more? Click here!
Or, if you have any questions, send me an email.
There’s also a topwater version available, this one splashes like a mini bird teaser:
And yes, they’ll work on fresh or butterflied yellowtail, too:
With good numbers of small black marlin along the mid-north coast, this is the time to add a Head Start to your spread.