Hoochies are great lures that can catch a wide variety of fish. They are suggestive style lures, and I believe it is often perceived by the fish to be a smaller bait fish, or maybe even a shrimp. Smaller hoochies, especially in dark colors, could even be mistaken for large nymphs and other insects.
I’ve caught king salmon, coho, pink salmon, sockeye, chum, kokanee, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout on hoochies.
But they can be confusing lures as they come in a variety of sizes, styles and colors. Adding to that they come unrigged with several to a pack.
Today I’m going to try and remove some of the confusion by demonstrating a common way to rig up a hoochie.
In this example I’m using a mini hoochie (actually an Ace High Fly Jr), but the same basic rig works for hoochies of all sizes and all target species. Just adjust the hook size, line strength and measurements to match.
Hoochies don’t have their own action and usually rely on action being imparted to them by a dodger or flasher. This means we should use high pound line to transmit that action. For trout/kokanee I often use 15# fluorocarbon. For salmon it is usually 25-40# fluorocarbon. I use fluorocarbon not only because of its low visibility in water, but because its stiffness helps transmit that action.
First select your leader material and cut a length that is roughly about a foot longer than you want the final leader to be. Then tie a hook on the end. Octopus style hooks work best. I usually use an egg loop knot.
Where regs allow I like to use 2 hooks on my hoochies. One inside the body, and a stinger hook which trails slightly behind. When doing this it can be helpful to lay out the hooks next to the hoochie in order to get the measurements right.
So next measure out where the next hook should be and tie it on, also with an egg loop knot.
Next you need some beads to space out the hoochie from the top hook. I like using the roller beads as it provides the right distance for the smaller hoochies I most commonly use. But regular round beads work too. On larger hoochies I sometimes use the lure head beads. Both the roller beads and lure head beads come in various colors, including glow.
Next slide on the hoochie I find it helps to wiggle the hoochie while sliding it down the line. It seems to help keep the legs from getting caught on the leader or hooks.
And there you go – the final product.
When you are ready to use it, simply tie a loop knot on the other end of the leader (taking care to get the right distance) and attach it to the dodger/flasher you are using.
Good luck and tight lines!