I have found that bridling my livebaits has greatly increased my success on a variety of billfish species. I also spend a lot of time trolling lures and am always looking for ways to increase my hook-up ratio, so I incorporated the same idea on my skirted trolling lures, rigging them with the hook in front of the lure. I have been pleased with my initial results, but as this is not the standard way skirted lures are rigged I want to check if this is IGFA-legal?
The short answer is – it depends. The IGFA rules specifically state that: “A hook may not precede bait, lure or bait/lure combo by more than one hook’s length.” Placing the hook before your skirted lure is certainly not a common practice, but it is IGFA-legal as long as the hook does not precede the lure by more than one hook’s length. If using a two-hook rig with a skirted lure, the eyes of the hooks must be no less than an overall hook’s length apart, and no more than 30.48cm (12 inches) apart. It is also important to remember that when using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing material, no more than two single hooks may be attached to the line, leader or trace.
IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:
Hook Set In Front Of A Skirted Lure
Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator
This question ran in ISSUE 107 of BlueWater magazine: JAN / FEB 2015