Rigging ballyhoo is done in various ways. Probably the most common method is to rig the ballyhoo with a hook carefully embedded in the baitfish and then place a lure in front of the baitfish to give the presentation a specific color, appearance, and action. The exact lure can vary greatly depending on the situation, species targeted, weather and sea conditions, recent results, or even the captain’s own intuition for that day. Since ballyhoo is natural bait it needs to be perfectly rigged and then trolled at certain specific speeds that are not so fast that the bait is torn apart or so slow that you cannot cover enough area. Adding a lure in front can allow the bait to be trolled safely at slightly faster speeds.
Start off with a few color and style choices
Work The Ballyhoo to losen it up.
Remember, he's been frozen so think about how a natural live bait would look in the water.....flexible.
Run Finger Along belly from head to anus to remove the....poop and other stuff.
An unconstipated ballyhoo is a happy flexible ballyhoo. This process should be began as soon as the baits have been thawed.
Break lower beak.
Figure out where the shank of the hook will lay once the pin is lined up where you will push it up through the jaw.
Poke a hole in the belly once you determine the location.
You will need to refer back to this hole in the next few steps!
Open the Gill plate and insert the hook working the Bally Up the Hook.
Keep working it...
Guide the Hook out of the Hole you pre-punched earlier.
Once Hook is through, Push pin up through lower and upper jaw. Put rubberband over exposed pin and wrap around Ballyhoo's head twice, then put the end of rubberband back over pin.
You're done! This should be done in less then a minute once you are more comfortable.
Test the bait in the water next to the boat as you troll to insure that it does not twist or twirl. Make adjustments as necessary. Set the bait out about 20 or 30 yards behind the boat for trolling allowing the bait to skip the surface, and be prepared to scream "Fish on!".