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The Two Hook Pilchard Rig

By Paul & Peggy Barnes

The Two Hook Pilchard Rig is the complete answer to keeping soft bait fish on the hook.

Many fishermen around the world have realized the benefits of using whole fish for bait.

Unfortunately, a lot of the best small fish species like pilchards, which are most attractive to other fish, are very soft and very difficult to keep on your hooks.

This rig also works very well with a piece of bait on each hook, often you will catch two fish!



The two hook pilchard rigs shown above allows the fishermen to insert one hook through the hard skull of the bait fish while the second hook secures the tail of the fish by being hooked around the backbone of the bait fish.

NOTE : The two hook rig works much better, and gives a far greater hook-up rate, if the bait fish is put the other way around with the head on the bottom hook.


Saltwater Baits Last Longer

As the nylon trace is kept straight between the two fish hooks it does not cut the bait fish in half at the first bite as other methods that require the trace to be wrapped around the bait fish can sometimes do.

Also, because the hooks are tied at a fixed distance apart, a fish biting one end of the bait cannot tear the bait in half.

It is important that, to get the maximum efficiency from this rig, that the hooks are snelled to the trace.

Information on tying snelled hooks can be found at the following link

Find out how to snell your hooks here

We have used this rig extensively, both fishing at anchor and drift fishing.

No-one else on the boat has even come close to catching the numbers or sizes of fish that we have taken on these rigs. Try them, you will be surprised!

Your destination and target species will determine which size rig is best.

The size of the bait you plan to use is also a factor when deciding on the correct rig.

If you are using smaller baits, or targeting school fish then the 4/0 Two Hook Pilchard Rig is recommended.

Each hook should be baited with a long strip bait.

The 4/0 size is also great when using whole baby squid or small pilchards for bait.

For targeting larger fish with bigger baits, such as large pilchards or whole squid, the 5/0 Rig is perfect.

The Two Hook Pilchard Rigs are highly successful in both deep offshore and shallow inshore waters.

Above: Ray Everson and Paul Barnes during filming for Geoff Thomas' Snapper Secrets II video. The Two Hook Pilchard Rigs proved that even though the hooks may appear small, they certainly catch good fish!

Being able to use a combination of squid and pilchards on the same rig is also an advantage, particularly when fishing for snapper.

If you don't want to make your own two hook pilchard rigs, we have Secure Online Purchasing available here

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