A simple trolled ballyhoo spread attracts plenty of other species besides bigeye tuna. My good friend Capt. Damon Sacco, who runs his Castafari Sportfishing charters out of Nantucket, trolled up a 400-pound swordfish dead center in Welker Canyon last summer at 11:30 p.m. — on ballyhoo. Another well-known Nantucket captain won the tri-state tournament about five years ago with a 275-pound swordfish he trolled up in the dark, again while using ballyhoo.
Last summer my crew and I rolled into West Atlantis at 2:30 a.m., marked some bait and put out our four-rod spread. Ten minutes later, we boated a 50-pound yellowfin. We circled back and hooked another 50-pounder. A second return yielded nothing, but after we extended the circle another half mile, at 4:30 a.m., three rods arced over hard and we tripled up on bigeyes — all on ballyhoo.