Wednesday, June 22, 2016

They Still Hit Traditional Plugs

This keeper hit a jointed
Red Fin swimmer, a very
effective plug in shallow water.
Needlefish plugs can still deliver
especially in places where a
long cast is needed.
About a month ago, a reader of the blog sent me an e-mail asking me if I used any artificial other than a Slug-go.  At the time, that lure was hot, real hot, for stripers along the oceanfront and in the Bay.  However, I can report that I haven't used a Slug-go in weeks now. Ah, how trends change!
I have been fishing from shore in the last week.  The boat has not been available as my brother and his boat are off on vacation. So, I am back to slugging it out from shore. I am fishing mostly what I call traditional plugs.  These are either wooden plugs or hard plastic plugs.  The reason for that is because suddenly there has been an influx of large numbers of small bluefish in the 3-5 lb. range.  They are on the tails of large schools of peanut bunker that have also come ashore (yes, strange that we have them now) in the bay as well as along the oceanfront.  With a mix of stripers and bluefish around, it is almost a waste of time to use plastic as the blues are merciless when it comes to attacking and cutting up the expensive plastic offerings.
Decades ago we used nothing but traditional plugs long before plastics were even around.  We caught a lot of fish, and the traditional stuff still works today.  If you are fishing the top, why not try a needlefish, a popper or a Jumpin' Minnow.  All do about the same dance as skinny plastic and will withstand the hit of a blue. Swimmers still work as I landed a good number of stripers in the last week on a jointed Red Fin, a swimmer that I used to consider one of my top three plugs in the bag.  If you are going down deep, why not go with a bucktail jig instead of plastics on a jighead.  The bucktail jig has delivered good numbers of stripers and blues for me in the last week.
Last evening I got out from shore in the Bay.  I walked into pandemonium as stripers and blues had a school of peanut bunker cornered in a cove. And, they were blasting away at them.  My lure of choice was a homemade flathead bucktail jig so that I could get under the schools of bait where the predators were lurking.  That lure landed 4 stripers and 2 bluefish along with several more fish on as well as numerous hits.  Yes, traditional plugs still work.