Monday, October 8, 2012

Bucktail Jig, My Ace in the Hole

Yesterday was another one of those days in which you could see a lot of fish, but you could not get them to hit. I saw lots of albies, stripers and bluefish.  Conditions were dead calm with little wind and clear water, a curse to begin with.  Add the fact that there were tons of small bait around and it made things even worse.  A lot of frustrated fishermen caught nothing.
I didn't kill the fish, but I did land some stripers (see photo at right) and bluefish, far more than I saw any other fisherman catch.  My key to success was a small 3/8 oz flathead, homemade bucktail jig spiced with a 3 inch Bass Pro triple ripple curly tail.  I can't tell you how many times this lure has saved the day for me, and it did again yesterday.
A small bucktail jig is a real good bet when small bait is around and fussy fish are feeding on them. Unlike other lures, the jig will get under the bait where the predators are lurking.  In addition, the bucktail jig is durable.  Yes, it will get you stripers AND bluefish.  A plastic on a jighead, so popular with fishermen these days, might also work, but the problem with plastic is that the bluefish will chop it immediately and the blues have a nasty habit of chopping the plastic right up to the hook.  Most always, they seem to avoid getting hooked while at the same time rendering the plastic worthless. 
Today, most fishermen don't even carry a bucktail jig in their bag.  These jigs are hard to find in tackle shops in small sizes so you almost have to make them yourself.  I guess plastics are more convenient and readily available.  Yet, I can tell you the bucktail jig remains a potent weapon with all the small bait around.  These days, just like years ago, the bucktail jig still remains one of the best lures you can use for stripers and bluefish.