Ballyhoo is the most popular trolling bait for offshore fishing. Rigged ballyhoo are used for catching tuna, billfish, and other species.
Ballyhoo are usually available frozen in packages of 6 to 12 fish, depending on size. In most areas, several sizes are available. As with most baits, quality is of utmost importance. Good ballyhoo should be firm and bright in color.
When fishing, it is important treat ballyhoo with care. Frozen ballyhoo can be thawed in a bucket of sea water on the way to fishing areas.
Ballyhoo are often brined with kosher salt, which toughens them. They can be brined and stored in bulk or rigged and brined the night before a trip.
Although they are intended for use as trolled baits, ballyhoo are sometimes used as cut bait, especially when dolphin or other pelagic fish appear at boatside.