Friday, April 26, 2013

Bucktail Jigs....Prime Spring Lures

I was out fishing the upper Bay this evening.  At first, I was fishing a Zoom fluke on a jighead, a hot lure in the spring for schoolies in the Bay.  I worked an area and got nothing.  It was then I decided to switch lures and try something else in that same spot.  Of course I went for a bucktail jig.  On my third cast, bang, a schoolie hit the jig.  This fish, about 20 inches long (see photo), must have seen the Zoom fluke, yet it didn't hit it.  Instead, it wanted the jig.
Bucktail jigs, often  forgotten lures these days in our age of plastic lures, are still very effective.  In fact, I will catch more fish this year on a bucktail jig than any other lure. In past years I have taken countless stripers of all sizes, bluefish, fluke, black sea bass, large scup and hickory shad on bucktail jigs. The bucktail has often been called the most versatile lure in saltwater.
In the spring I like to go small with the bucktail jig when targeting schoolies on light tackle.  I favor a flathead or Upperman style homemade jig in sizes from 1/4 oz. up to 3/4 ounce. I like an all white bucktail tied with red thread.  I always add a curly tail to my jig for added action.
The bucktail is one of those must have lures in your surfbag for springtime striper action.  They will catch lots of schoolies as well as an occasional keeper.