Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Building up the Arsenal

I'm reloading for the upcoming season. At this time of year, I usually assess my plug situation and look at what was successful last year. From there, I decide what I need more of and begin working. I'll make a lot of wooden plugs and jigs, and I'll buy some other stuff.

Here's what I think will be hot in the plug department for 2011:

1. Pencil Poppers- I fished the Canal last summer and was amazed that two plugs were catching the vast majority of the fish. These were pencil poppers and Sebile Magic Swimmers. We don't use many pencil poppers here in RI. Maybe we should. They cast like bullets and have that darting surface movement that really attract stripers. So, I plan to use a whole lot more of them this year. Made a bunch of them in a light color (see examples in photo).

2. Small Needlefish- There were decent numbers of sandeels around last year. I had very good luck with small, 5 inch needlefish. In the past, I made a lot of large ones, but I suspect small will be in this year. That's why I just made about a dozen smaller models.

3. Bucktail Jigs- You never have enough of these. I have the molds, cast a lot of different sizes and models and they all work. This is the most versatile lure you can stock in your plug bag. I am making a good number of 1 1/2 oz. hotlips jigs for deep currents (see photo at left). I am also making a lot of small (1/4-3/4 oz.) flathead jigs to use when small bait is around.

4. Swimmmers- I've bought some 6 inch Bombers in a pearl or black back. These where hot after dark when the mullet were around last year. Should be hot this year also.

5. Skinny Plastic- I'm sold on the Hogys and I've stocked up on these. I like all the sizes....6 inch, 9 inch skinnies, big 10 inchers. Go with the white or black models. Also, stock up on the Hogy swimbait hooks which made a big difference for me.