Game fishing rig 3 – Cubing and live baiting

Northern target species

Tuna, mahi, marlin and sharks.

Southern target species

Tuna, mahi, marlin and sharks.

Popular baits

Fresh, cubes or fillets of blue mackerel or small tuna and live blue or yellow tail mackerel and nannygai!

Fishing method

The cubing and live baiting rig is designed to target a variety of medium to large game fish species such as tuna, mahi and marlin. Throwing small pieces of cubed or cut fish into the water in constant intervals whilst drifting is referred to as cubing and is an incredibly productive technique of targeting larger tuna species such as yellow fin and big eye. Concealing small, strong hooks into baits and free drifting them down cubed fish trails on light leaders is a sure fire method of locating larger tuna in the area. Painting hooks and crimps red also helps to encourage cunning, larger tuna to feed more readily. Thick gauged suicide pattern or half tarpon styled hooks are preferred for targeting tuna with cubing techniques and circle styled hooks for chasing marlin with live baits. Circle hooks should be positioned around an inch or so from the nose of the live bait to allow the circle hook to work to its full potential This is easily achieved by attaching a loop of Dacron or elastic band to the bight of the hook before passing the opposite end into a bait needle and through the nose section of the live bait. Remove the bait needle and simply fold the looped end of Dacron or elastic band over the hook point and give it a couple of twists until the correct distance from the bait is achieved. Now pass the hook point between the fish and the Dacron or elastic band. The live bait is now ready to swim behind a drifting or slow moving vessel. Using sinkers to lower live baits to target species sitting deeper in the water column on calm, bright days is a very productive game fishing method! Allowing fish to get baits down properly before setting hooks is always important when game fishing.

Terminal tackle used

Main lines – Nylon 4 – 37kg breaking strain.

Hook leader – Nylon or fluoro carbon  60 – 250lb breaking strain joined to main line or wind on leader with ball bearing snap swivel. IGFA rules and regulations state that in all line classes up to and including 10kg the leader shall be limited to 4.57m – (15ft ). The combined length of double line and leader shall not exceed 6.1m – ( 20ft ). The leader on all line classes over 10kg shall be limited to 9.14m – ( 30ft ). The combined length of double line and leader is limited to 12.19m – (40ft ).

Wind on leader – Nylon or fluoro carbon  60 – 250lb breaking strain joined to main line with cats paw, loop to loop connection.

Hook – 4/0 – 12/0 circle or suicide pattern.

Sinker – Sinkers may be used to sink live baits down through the water column to feeding game fish and should be connected to the snap swivel with a light elastic band that will break free once a fish is hooked.

Crimps – Small, strong, aluminium crimps should be used to connect the hook and to form a loop or Flemish eye for main line or leader connections. These crimps are quite bright and should be painted red when targeting tuna with cubing techniques.

Swivels – Most hook leaders or traces should be attached to wind on leaders or main lines with the use of a high quality, ball bearing, snap swivel.

Depth range

Shallow – deep.


[School of Fish] [Rig It Up]

[Beach & Rocks Rigs]

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