How to Make a Stinger Rig to Catch Mahi, Wahoo, Kings, and More


What this rig is all about:

This article describes an effective method for offshore fishing to catch big pelagic fish along the east coast of the US, down to the Florida Keys, and into the Gulf of Mexico. The target species of fish include sail fish, dolphin, wahoo, king fish and even cobia. Part of this fishing method is how to correctly rig a setup and the other part of the method is actively slow trolling the rig offshore. This is a really good technique that you guys need to try. Read on to find out how to construct this advanced stinger rig, what bait to use, and more useful tips.


Here is a list of materials/items that you will need to make this rig:

Links include pricing info on Amazon.

Single strand American fishing wire, 6 size

2 size 4 treble hooks

1 Mustad live bait hook (4/0 to 7/0 in size works fine)

1 barrel swivel (at least 50-60 pound)

– 1 80-100 pound barrel swivel

– scissors/nail clipper for cutting the monofilament line

Recommended Rod:

Penn Warfare Level Wind Rod/Reel Combo


How to use this rig:

Let’s first talk about bait.

The best bait to use for this technique are bullet bonita, large blue runners, cero mackerel, Spanish mackerel, etc. Yes, these are all fish that you wouldn’t normally think of trolling. These are great fish to troll because they entice bites from the target fish. Maybe it is because these baits tend to stay deeper in the water and/or they produce a lot of vibration. Either way, these fish work great as bait with this technique.

Slow troll big live baits allow you to cover a lot of water so that you can really locate your target fish. Sometimes they are on that first reef. Sometimes they are in 150 feet of water. So by slow trolling you are able to find where these fish are.

Just as a reference since this tutorial has a lot of steps, the finished rig should look like this:

Setup guide:

    1. The first step is to take 12-15 inches of the fishing wire and thread the barrel swivel and the live bait hook through it like so:
    2. Tie a haywire twist such that the barrel swivel and the hook are at the end of this resulting leader wire. If you don’t know how to tie a haywire twist, no worries. It’s very simple and you can follow along with the tutorial below.

Now, your rig should look like this.

The hook and the swivel should be in the eye of the wire. This is important.

  1. Cut another 8-10 inch piece of the American fishing wire, thread it through the eye of the swivel and perform another hay wire twist like so:
  1. At the end of the 8 inch wire section, attach one of the size 4 treble hooks on using another haywire twist.
  1. Cut another 8 inch piece of the American fishing wire. Thread the wire through the eye of the treble hook about 3 inches and bend it such that it looks like this:

Use points “A” and “B” in the above diagram to produce yet another haywire twist. Now the rig should look like this:

The haywire twist should secure the wire on the treble hook and everything should fit nice and tight.

  1. Now thread the second treble hook through the 8 inch wire that you’ve tied to the other treble hook about 3-4 inches away depending on the size of your bait.

Bend the wire around the three prongs and thread it through the eye again like so:

  1. Use points “A” and “B” in the above diagram to produce another haywire twist.
  2. You can now connect the entire rig with the last exposed leader wire to a 80-100 pound barrel swivel and connect that to your main line.
  3. Rigging the bait onto the hooks is relatively straight forward. The points in which you want to hook the fish is through the nose (with the J hook), near the dorsal fin in the back with 1 prong of a treble hook, and about half way between the tail and the dorsal fin with 1 prong of the other treble hook. See the below diagram for reference.

With this stinger rig, the live bait will be able to swim freely and seem as natural as possible. Ensure that the “J” hook is oriented horizontally and aligned with the fish to help make this happen. Note that the length of wire between the treble hooks need to be sized according to the bait size. 8 inch wire lengths are just a default length.

This setup is a bit advanced but if you are having success with this rig, let us know and rate it at the top of this article. Thanks!


Don’t forget to check out the Pro Fishing Rigs store for more cool stuff!

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