In response to a question to my blog regarding the how to rig a Rebel Lure Omani style for tuna fishing, I’m posting some pictures and notes to help.
This lure is not fancy, or expensive, but is in very Omani fisherman’s equipment inventory (along with a throw net, a few sabiki rigs, some hooks, a club and a couple of handlines … all that they need to expertly catch tuna).
So, here it is. Rigged this way, this lure acts essentially as a pencil lure. It zig-zags erratically in the water, and on first viewing doesn’t look that convincing. But it catches yellowfin and longtail tuna, dorado, sailfish, marlin, barracudas and almost any other predatory fish feeding at the surface:
- Take a rebel lure, remove the original treble hooks and throw away (actually, do this with all trebels on all of your lures ….!!)
- Snap off the diving bib and file down
- Turn the front eye 90 degrees and turn down (prior to this a groove can be filed in the “chin” to help the line run through the lure with less of a kink:
- Turn the belly eye 90 degrees
- Snell heavy leader (typically 300lb +) on a large J-hook.
- Run the leader through the eyes of the lure (I add a bead as it makes the hook fit snuggly against the belly eye).
- Use at least a 15′ leader & attach a good quality swivel or loop at the other end for connecting to the snap swivel on your main line
The Omani fishermen sand the tail down to the plastic – I’m not sure why this improves the fish catching capability of the lure, but if they do it, you do it …. they catch LOTS of fish!!
Rigged this way, the angler is connected to the fish directly through the fishing line and is not relying on the strength of the lure fittings. It also makes the lure run in a crazy zig-zagging action, and works well run a long way back behind the boat.
I’ve run this lure in gold/orange, blue/white and white with red head colours. In my experience, the gold/orange is the most effective colour for tuna (and other species) in the waters off Muscat. The only downside I’ve found with the lure is that as the fish runs, the lure runs up the line to the loop/swivel and, because of the way it’s rigged, there is a slight kink in the line – I’ve had lighter leaders (<300lb) burn through at this kink point! Running the lure on heavy (and longer) leader is the key. Check the leader after each fish & cut-out and retie any worn section near the swivel/loop area.