Monday, May 6, 2013

Lure of the Week....the Bucktail Jig

This has been one of the hottest weeks of spring fishing I have ever seen along the oceanfront. My kids and I have landed hundreds of stripers.  While most have been schoolies, there have also been a good number of keepers in the mix.  The hottest lure of the past week has been the bucktail jig (check out pic of angler with a fish taken on a bucktail jig yesterday).  Oh, the Cocahoe has also been getting its share, but when the water kicks up and it's rough, the bucktail jig far outshines the Cocahoe.
The bucktail jig tracks much deeper than the more buoyant plastic Cocahoe minnow.  At this time of year, the stripers are right along the bottom and the lure that can stay in the productive zone the longest tends to score the most fish. So, in the last few days when the strong northeast winds kicked up a big surf, I went to the bucktail jig.  I was having my best  luck on a homemade 3/4 oz flathead jig.  The jig has a white painted head and white bucktail and is tied with red thread.  For those making or buying bucktail jigs, the key is to stock a number of sizes from 1/4 to 1 oz.  The size of the lure you choose will depend on the surf conditions.  It is also important to add a plastic curly tail to the jig.  I prefer the triple ripple tails from Bass Pro (see photo).  The three inch size goes well with the jigs I am using.
Here's how I work my jigs.  Cast out and let it sink to the bottom or close to it (need to develop a feel for this).  Reel at a slow to moderate pace with an occasional bounce of the rod tip. Pull back on anything you feel.  Braided line will give you the best feel when working a jig.