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Topic: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait  (Read 9776 times)

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Offline Bwana

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Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« on: February 27, 2012, 11:12:18 pm »
Rigging Bwana’s Swimming Bonnie Dead Bait





Hi Guys

Now that couta season has arrived and we are all looking forward to  tackling a few crocs this winter it is a great time to share a rig that I have  adapted to create an effective slow trolling bonnie. Again it is IGFA compliant  using 2 singles and an IGFA clip (couta clip) but this can easily be adapted to  suit trebles as well.

For this demo I must say the bonnie I have used is slightly too large  for the trace I am using, I prefer a slightly smaller jub-jub but in this case  I would normally have lengthened the back hook trace by another 3-5cm. This was  one of my marlin baits so it will have to do in the absence of a willing jub-jub  size volunteer!

What you will need:

1 x dead bonnie (30-40cm)
1 x couta trace            - 60cm  #7 wire with a #6 Centro power swivel + duster
- modified couta clip (I bend  it to an oblong shape to accommodate the teardrop sinker)
- #6 power swivel linked to 2  x hook traces (#8 wire)
- 2 x hook traces with a 6/o single  on each (in this case Mustad Big Gun)
2 x copper rigging wire (20cm each)
2 x bait pins
1 x toothpick
1 x bait needle
1 x elastic band
1 x teardrop sinker (in this case 3oz, smaller jub-jub size bonnies I  use a 2oz)

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 11:13:32 pm »
STEP 1
 Break the bonnie’s backbone close to the tail and  loosen the muscles about 1/3 up from the tail by bending the bonnie gently from  side-to-side to allow free movement while trolling. Take the elastic band and  hook it around the right side pectoral fin, through the mouth and around the  left side pectoral fin. This must be done gently to achieve equal pressure. Make  sure the bonnie’s fins are stretched out like wings. Lay the bonnie on its side  taking care to fold the one fin flat against the body. Take a piece of copper  rigging wire and put it into the bonnie’s mouth so that it hangs out either  side about 100mm like a moustache.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 11:14:03 pm by Bwana »

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 11:15:16 pm »
STEP 2
Take the bait needle and push it through the top and bottom jaws about  10-15mm from the tip of the nose. Repeat the process creating another hole  close to the tip of the nose. The first hole is for the rigging wire to close  the jaws, the second is for the IGFA clip.

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 11:16:29 pm »
STEP 3
Take the second piece of copper rigging wire and push it through the  first hole in the jaws, secure the elastic band and other rigging wire in  position by wiring the jaws shut. Trim off the excess copper wire. Fetch the  couta trace and lay it next to the bonnie to check size (in this case the trace  rear hook is a little short but it is just for an example).

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 11:17:25 pm »
STEP 4
Slide the teardrop sinker onto the IGFA clip and push the needle part of  the clip up through the bottom then top jaws in the front hole you made with  the bait needle. Close the clip and make sure it is sitting central in the  baits nose or it will be off balance. The sinker should be hanging at the bait’s  chin.

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 11:18:10 pm »
STEP 5
Now take the two hook traces and slide each hook under the skin on the  bonnie’s back taking care to lay the wire fairly flat against the body. Take  the bait pins and push them in through the eye of each hook to ensure the hook stays  in place and upright. Take the “moustache” rigging wire and wrap the sinker in  place at the chin of the bait. Use quite a bit of tension as the weight must  not move or the bait will wobble or spin.

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 11:18:55 pm »
STEP 6
Take the toothpick and lift the bait’s dorsal fin. Slide the toothpick  in near the front spine of the dorsal and push it in until the dorsal stays  upright. Trim off the excess.

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 11:19:45 pm »
STEP 7
Make sure the clip is centred, the pec fins are stretched out like wings  and the sinker is centred at the chin. Now slide your duster down the trace to  cover all the rigging and you’re ready to swim your bait! The combination of  the extended dorsal and pec fins combined with the chin weight will present a  nice straight swimming bait with a slight side to side “flash.” Adjust your  trolling speed to suit the bait’s action. You might want to experiment with  different sized weights until you find what works for you.

Give it a try and good luck….

Offline sardinella

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 11:53:46 pm »
 (clap) :resp: and thanks for sharing

Offline John F

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 12:26:27 am »
Great tut there Mark, thank you!  :+ cred:

How long does it take to rig one?

How important is it to extend the pec fins? I can already predict mine will not look so neat... 

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Offline Capt. Hook

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 12:35:45 am »
Excellent Tutorial  :+ cred:
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Offline Fritz

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 06:45:08 am »
Very nice tut Bwana, I am sure to give this a go :+ cred:

Offline Nikao

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 07:18:44 am »
Great Tut  :+ cred: going to give this one a try

Offline jaenswart

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 07:21:53 am »
Very Nice Bwana, Looks very good. I will just extend the back hook to the tail.

PS: How does this Bonnie actually swim? What speed can you pull her or is it slow troll? Also have you considered adding a big mydo or keel weight in order to impart some action on the fish?

Very nice tut. Cred for you

Offline Big Van

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 07:23:00 am »
Mark you are a genius with baits. Excellent will try it at Ponta in a weeks time. Still have some of our traces we used December so they will come in handy again.
Tight Lines and catch the crocs

Offline shagnrelease

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2012, 08:17:45 am »
This has got to be one of the best dead bonnie rigs I have seen, and it certainly makes me start to think of some other  :billf: opportunitites with a bait like this rigged slightly different with a single circle, down deep on a dowrigger!!
 
As always Mark brilliant stuff!!

Offline Manuel Junior

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 08:33:02 am »
Nice post (clap) (clap) (clap) :+ cred:

Offline Bwana

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2012, 09:03:14 am »
Thanks guys, hope you can get some results with this rig.


@Marcos - it doesn't take long to rig at all, if you have all the components laid out and have practised a few I reckon it will take about 3 minutes to rig. Also try not to handle the bonnie too much as the skin can mark quite easily and it does lose it's colour and slime. It's usually best with a fresh dead bait but you can also pre-rig them and keep them in a cooler box on ice. The pec fins are crucial to the balance of the bait. To be honest that is the easiest part of the rig - just put the elastic around the fins and through the mouth!


@Jaen - thanks bud. I find it trolls very nicely with the nose weighted, the slow troll is probably max 2knots and I find the best action is at a speed where the nose drops forward a bit and the tail wiggles. Sometimes you need to tweak the speed to get that action. With a heavier weight it does track straighter at higher speeds. I am sure a mydo would also work but not sure how that will work with the IGFA clip?


@BigVan - thanks mate, by all means give it a try at Ponta and let me know how it goes.


@Greg - I have always said I'm going to pull this rig in the deep for billies or even for wahoo. I have no doubt it will work with a few tweaks, maybe multi-strand cable and 2 j-hooks or even a circle bridled to the nose with the nose weight wired in place from the eye sockets and nose.

Offline shagnrelease

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2012, 09:14:33 am »
@Greg - I have always said I'm going to pull this rig in the deep for billies or even for wahoo. I have no doubt it will work with a few tweaks, maybe multi-strand cable and 2 j-hooks or even a circle bridled to the nose with the nose weight wired in place from the eye sockets and nose.
Thats my thinking!

Offline deezynking

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Re: Bwana's "Swimming Bonnie" Dead Bait
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2012, 10:43:23 am »
 :shre: :+ cred: