What this rig is all about:
Hogfish are bottom feeders so it’s important you have a rig that presents the bait to the hogfish as close to the bottom as possible. The rig presented in this article will accommodate for that and is like a knocker rig with a short leader and with the sinker fixed in place. This will give the bait a little bit of room to attract attention AND get it as close to the bottom as possible for the hogfish. Read on to learn more!
Here is a list of materials/items that you will need to make this rig:
Links include pricing info on Amazon and are the suggested products for this rig.
- 30-40 pound braid main line
- 30 pound monofilament leader line
- 1-2 ounce torpedo sinker
- Barrel swivel
- 2/0-4/0 Mustad hook
Recommended rod and reel combo:
- The first step is to tie your barrel swivel to your braided main line. You can use any secure knot that you like. I would recommend the palomar knot.
- Now, to construct the leader rig, cut roughly 3 feet of 30 pound mono leader line and tie one end to the sinker.
- Cut off another couple feet of leader line and attach that portion to the other end of the sinker.
- Feed in 4 beads through the line in step 3.
- Tie on a hook so that you leave roughly an inch after the beads. A palomar knot would do good here.
- Finally, tie the loose end of the leader rig to the barrel swivel attached to the mainline. The final setup should look like this:
How to use this rig:
One benefit with this rig is that, unlike a traditional knocker rig, every piece of gear is connected so you will feel every bite.
For the weight of the sinker, use a smaller weight for weaker current and a larger weight for stronger current. The beads are an additional design of this rig to help get the attention of the hogfish.
Hogfish’s preferred bait is live shrimp. Hook the shrimp from the tail and drop the rig down to the bottom. Cut shrimp also works but does not work as well as live. Once the sinker hits the bottom, reel in enough to remove the slack in the line.
When targeting hogfish, you are bound to have some bycatch like mangrove snappers, grunts, porgys, etc. It takes a bit of patience but just expect that you will be catching other species as well.
Make sure you adhere to local fish and wildlife department regulations when fishing for hogfish. Generally, you really only want to take male hogfish and opposed to females. The males are bigger and if you keep the males, it tends to be more sustainable for the population.
There’s a little bit of work involved but this hogfish rig works very well! Go out there and test it out! Let me know if this rig is working for you and rate it at the top of this article.