Bluemax Trolling Heads

Pro Talk: Ballyhoo Alternative for Sailfish

Pro Talk: Ballyhoo Alternative for Sailfish

We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Dean Langton of Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica to discuss Ballyhoo alternatives for Sailfish. Here's what we learned...

Capt. Dean Langton
Facebook: Osa Outfitters

Location: Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Approach: For the most productive trolling, it’s important to focus your efforts in blue water. If you can find areas where temperature breaks, even by 1-2 degrees, it can be a great starting location. Trolling around floatsam or sargasso can be productive as well. Here in Costa Rica, it can be somewhat common to encounters massive schools of spinner dolphins pushing shoals of herring up to the surface. I like to begin trolling about 300 yards in front of the school, then swing back behind the school about 20 yards. You need to make sure that you don’t troll directly through the bait school, as this can push the fish down in an instant.

Rigging Selection: Hogy Bluemax Series 1oz and 3oz.

Bait Selection: The Hogy 10inch Original Series as a ballyhoo replacement.


Why This Bait? The large profile and action of this bait are perfect for imitating oceanic herring and flying fish. When rigged properly, the Hogy Original Series becomes a ballyhoo on steroids. A multitude of dancing, darting and quivering actions can been seen as it dances in the spread.

Colors Selection: Ballysmoke, Blurple, Bubblegum

Retrieve: The Hogy Bluemax Series can be trolled two different ways.

In The Spread With Spreader Bars: This is more of a slow trolling technique (4.5knts) for creating a large bait school imitation on the surface.  2 or 3 spreaders bars are deployed from the outriggers, behind each spreader bar, drop a Bluemax about 10′ behind the spreader bar. Often fish will be attracted by the bars, but jump on the Hogy® Bluemax. When using this technique, it’s a good idea to run a single 3oz Bluemax way, way back in the spread.

Normal Speed Spread: Running your spread around 7knts is far more common when targeting these pacific sailfish. Typically 4 Bluemax would be deployed into the spread and trolled along the edges of temperature breaks, floating debri or around bait schools.


Rod: Medium Heavy Custom 5′ 6″ Trolling Rods

Reel:  Shimano TLD 2 Speed 25’s and 30’s

Line: High Vis 30lb Mono

Leader: Use a Bimini twist to attach your snap swivel, then simply clip onto the chafe protected loop of the Bluemax.


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