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no-tail plastics for most species

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no-tail plastics for most species
Many years ago I was introduced to using a yellow Mr. Twister yellow grub rigged on a yellow jig head. I did great for smallmouth in my local river and from that point on assumed that plastic baits must have an action tail to catch fish. A Mr. Twister 6" purple Phenom worm with pink tail also did well for bass.

Funny how we assume things without questioning the logic of why something works and worse when we take an advertisers or pro angler's word what lures to use and when.

The lesson I should have learned from day one is that a bright yellow grub and a purple worm with pink tail are not even close to being realistic or suggestive of a real prey species. The curl tails of each move like nothing that swims underwater. But I do have to applaud those that have designed those lures and many like them that have helped anglers catch tons of fish over the years.

To be fair, another design I started using ten years ago is Lunker City's Fin S Fish. (The forked tail is for the angler's benefit - not for the benefit of the fish.) The elongated body does look and move like a minnow and maybe for that reason gets hit. The only problem is that it only works half the time if at all.

Late last year I just happened to fish a grub that looks like a bullet in reverse. I don't remember making it (I pour my own soft plastic baits) or putting it in my tackle box. Yet it caught many fish in different waters - even after Xmas day!
This is what the prototype looks like (the middle one):


It doesn't look like much, but the action of this tailless lure is a slight body wobble that fish notice and strike on a slow retrieve. The first fish it caught was this yellow perch:


I've decided to go nuts and use parts of other plastic lure to create non-action tail baits. As you can see by the upper photo, where the top lure is a detached Trick Worm tail and the bottom lure is a grub with the curl tail removed.

Why not expand to Sassy Shad and Fin S Fish lures? :


The Fin S Fish with fork tail removed, like the above Sassy Shad's, were dipped in clear plastic to increase thickness, create more light reflection and show off colors better. Sometimes no tail is better and I'll prove it in late March when the water temp starts to rise into the mid 40's.)


I also believe that if a lure basically looks and moves like a real prey animal (minnows and shads), it is more easily accepted by a fish that strikes it as something familiar and easily consumed. On the other hand, Strike King's three-legged Joker grub is anything but natural looking and it caught over 40 monster crappie last fall in a shallow school.


(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 26, 2016, 6:58 AM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Good info Frank, thanks for sharing it with us. Do you still live in New York state? I just noticed it has been 12 years since your last post but I'm glad you found your way back to BFT because I can say, I have never caught perch on a grub with out any bait, so that is something worth trying. Do you think the color also helped with the catch of the perch?
WH2


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Re: [wiperhunter2] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Still in southern NY just north of West Point. Retired now and have time on my hands to investigate lure options that get fish to strike. What I've found in the last ten years are what I consider lure basics for getting fish to strike, especially from information discovered fishing old and new waters.
1. presentation complements lure action and design
You can't have one without the other. Too fast or steady the retrieve and lure action is killed. Too slow and I can't get the most out of some lure designs. Lure action by design is key !!!!

2. Color is important though, usually within a small range of colors that are more than adequate for some lures types. One of the lure designs I pour will catch fish using only one color 100% of the time.

Color components can be significant in that the eyes of a fish can see an incredible amount of detail and IMO may make a difference especially for inactive fish just hanging out suspended (which is 99 % of the time IMO). For example a small bit of flash may be more effective in low light or stained water. At times bright florescent solid or translucent colors may annoy fish enough enough to strike. Small black flakes or glitter may help.

***The whole point of using lures IMO is to annoy fish into striking and not convince fish what a lure represents.***

3. Lure action is extremely important and I've found that finesse is the key for catching more fish in more water temperature ranges. Again, I was catching pan fish from shore after Xmas using the stubbie design fished as slow as when the water temp was over 60 degrees.

4. Live bait is nice, but not nearly as productive when covering large sections and water depths. I catch fish through the ice using one finesse design plastic lure and would never consider using live bait.

5. Line, lure and jig size as well as rod action are all interconnected and relate to presentation. A rod that is too stiff will not allow a good presentation using very light lures; too wimpy a rod will is not adequate for large deep diving lures.

6. Location, location, location
Indicates not only where fish are, but what to use and how to use it. It's nice when more than one pattern is happening on one outing, but many times only one pattern is found and the above factors are part of it.

Last year was extremely productive numbers and quality-wise. I prefer pan fish but will fish for bass and pike on the same day. Pan fish school more than bass and catching 30 or more in one location is a blast. Last year was also a year for personal record size crappie, sunfish and perch - again using one design and rotating through only a few colors.

Some may find many exceptions to the above, but trying out new ideas is the only way to disprove or modify them.
Outright slamming of them doesn't disprove them but only demonstrates a closed mine unable to adopt something that may change ones ideas about catching fish.

A few forums have too many bigots that get a bit too aggressive when refuting my ideas and moderators that seem to be asleep when things get out of hand. All I ask anyone is at least give something a try before rejecting something that may change the way one fish's. If something works consistently for someone, by all means keep doing it. But it's nice to open doors than can lead to other doors being opened for variety if nothing else.

WH2, I'd be happy to send some of my lures rigged for you to try. I've only sold to locals that have seen me catch fish after fish and saw their catch rates increase dramatically once they adopted some new basics.

Frank
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 22, 2016, 8:18 AM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Now how weird is that this lure composite caught this bass ?!!



(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 22, 2016, 4:27 PM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Wow, thats a lot of good info, thanks for sharing it with us. I think some folks are over eager to show others, how smart they think they are and they think by refuting other peoples ideas, it will some how make them appear smarter but that is rarely the case. What I have found over the years is that there a lot of smart people in the fishing world and it pays to listen to those that are having success with methods I don't use. It might not be a method I'm using but it will likely help a bunch, in a certain situation.
Personally, I troll the most, while fishing and rarely fish from shore but there are times, like in the early Spring or late Fall when trolling just will not work consistently. Going with a slower presentation by casting or jigging plastics can be the best approach, for putting fish in the boat and I need to learn those methods to do better not only in those conditions but also in the Winter while ice fishing. I'll send you a PM in a few minutes.


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I appreciate your reply,
Quote:
... it pays to listen to those that are having success with methods I don't use. It might not be a method I'm using but it will likely help a bunch, in a certain situation.


None of what I conveyed is meant as gospel but after having spent so many days on the water and after catching so many fish on different lures, I've fit together pieces of the puzzle, playing with different variables such as line size, jig weight, jig hook size, lure design, types of retrieve, etc. Having noted which seems to work best most times, I've come to the conclusion that there are only a few good ways to catch fish a majority of the time but that many lure designs and colors can do the job 100 % of the time - at least for pan fish.

I fish from a boat 100% of the time (except when the boat launch was closed Dec. 27) and always check my sonar for bottom configuration, softness/ hardness, weeds, depth and bait fish. Larger fish on the screen I'm usually not interested in because the depth I usually fish is under 15' and I believe those fish are spooked by the trolling motor.

What I would suggest to anyone just learning how to catch fish the first time out is the following as a start to learning a few pieces of the puzzle:
5-5'6" light action rod
4-6 lb test mono
1/32-1/16 oz ball head jigs (unpainted, no bait holder barb)
A straight tail grub

Next I would say after rigging the lure would be to fan cast everywhere one can, retrieving the lure as slow as possible with slight twitches of the rod tip and a stop & go rate of retrieve. Also, try different depths in the same area.Your lure finds fish by provoking them to bite something slow moving and easily sucked in. (Think in terms of the similarity of getting a cat to go after a toy mouse on a string.)

If my young grandkids could catch fish the first time out, anyone can (BTW the youngest was 6 and the lure was dragged slowly along under a float.)

Fishing to me is more than just catching fish the same way day after day. I need to answer questions that come up every time I go out on the water and construct theories why things worked, didn't work or were just flukes. Too cerebral for many but challenging nonetheless. I refuse to read fishing articles or watch fishing shows based on misinformation that is useless on the water. The meat & potatoes of fishing in IMO is all of the above.

Thanks for reading.
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 23, 2016, 12:01 PM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Even if you are not getting many replies to on this thread, it appears 164 viewer are reading what you have to say. So if it helps even a few learn something new your mission has been accomplish. We have a member in utah that goes by Tubedude that fishes in the same manner as you. He makes his own lures as well and has a lot of years of experience, fishing in a similar way as you do. He also likes to help others learn to fish in a way that is different but it can be productive, if done right. As you said, the method you describe isn't for everyone but it does work, so I'll be giving it a try. Great info, thanks for sharing it with us.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Thanks again. I stopped posting on this forum years ago because I hadn't changed my notification e-mail address and thought no one ever replied. Changed it and now get notifications.

The reason I like fishing with others is that once they catch fish on lures I would never think of using , I immediately take notice and begin thinking of questions that I will work on getting answers to in the future. Much of the time I'll buy the lure they're catching fish on and note how many consecutive casts get hit and whether as successful on future outing.

Last year I was convinced of the Strike King's Joker, a three legged grub, when my partner started getting slammed by plus-foot long crappie and some nice yellow perch:


Three legged grubs were something I would never have considered using and now I've even attached the legs to the bottom left grub with its fatter ringed body. I know it will work come spring, but most important have accepted the design as one to carry for crappie and most fish species.

(Note: the top two lures are hybrids of a grub and worm using a candle flame to fuse the parts. They work well!)

Seeing is believing!
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 25, 2016, 5:36 PM)
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Wow, crappie and perch on the same jig, thats impressive, was he using any bait or just the plastic?
I can see how that rib design can make a difference and adding those three legs must really get those crappie going. Did you make the pink one in your pic as well?


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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Those are some nice plastics. It looks like the old days of micro tubes and Mister Twisters are a thing of the past.

I used those a lot for all types of panfish. Now I use plastics for several of my ocean varieties. They work well with or without tipping them.

I like your design and think you have done an awesome job comparing to what I have seen out there on the market. Cool


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Re: [tubeN2] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
tubeN2 wrote:
Those are some nice plastics. It looks like the old days of micro tubes and Mister Twisters are a thing of the past.

The truly are a thing of the past considering the new plastic designs that have come out in the last few years. Nice to know I can buy some of the aluminum molds with multi-cavities on-line.

Quote:
I like your design and think you have done an awesome job comparing to what I have seen out there on the market


Thanks. A work in progress...
You ain't seen noth'n yet considering the mods I've been coming iwith up daily in my basement workshop.

Curt - any lure I show is capable of catching most fish species. Here a few caught on thin tail minnow grubs:







.



(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 25, 2016, 6:14 PM)
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Here are a few other snub tail grubs I think will do great in the public waters I fish:


(Kind of reminds me of a freshly cut slice of watermelon yet it has been one of my best color combos. Spike-It dye was used.)



Blood line effect dipped plastic




The above have a pearl center which changes width depending on viewing angle. The flash will be subtle as well as the lure's action. (compare the grub below to the fourth one down in the above.)





Lures dipped in clear hot plastic:


Double dipped tubes will continue to work:


(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Feb 27, 2016, 6:39 AM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Well I gave those plastics a try, just as you said but no luck. Water temps were 45 to 50 degrees and I tried several colors at several locations. Could be I just don't know what I'm doing or the water was just a little too cold. I'll give them a try, my next time out.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Use what you normally would and first find fish. If you catch a few, cast a few of the ones I sent and see how they work.
I haven't been out yet but I believe I could catch them locally as long as the water is above 40 like the last time I fished in Dec.

Are you using sonar to locate bait fish or pan fish? Pre-spawn might start earlier this year for both of us and a good time to experiment.
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Mar 9, 2016, 6:03 AM)
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Re: [wiperhunter2] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Today I caught 14 fish in two hours - 2 were crappie, one sun fish the rest yellow perch (half were loaded with eggs). Water temp 44-46; most fish caught in 5-6'.





The core-shot bullet grub caught most of the fish.
I started out using 1/32 oz jig head but figured a 1/16 oz would cast further and get down faster. It did well.
The retrieve was very, very slow mid depth. I used a 4 # test mono leader.
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Mar 9, 2016, 9:57 PM)
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
I usually troll and after finding an area that had fish, we dropped anchor and fished with the method you told me about. Just wasn't the best day I guess, I'll give it another try this week. Could be the area you are fishing just has more fishUnsure.


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Quote:
Could be the area you are fishing just has more fish

Had a hard time establishing location patterns - a few here, a few there. Nice thing about a highland lake is the diversity in hard vs soft bottoms as well as old channel drops and flats adjacent to them. For example, at the deepest end of the lake there is a long rocky ridge - one side drops quickly to 14' (deepest section); the other side of the ridge has stair-shaped ledges at different depths that eventually drop to deeper water.

Because I got out late, I only surveyed less than a quarter of the lake's structure and areas known to have fish. Could be that pre-spawn fish will be going shallow in the next few weeks and easier to pattern.

Does the lake you fished have good structure? Another local lake I fish in April is a boring-as-h*** - a lowlands lake with a mostly flat bottom and a few points and rock walls, but extensive, shallow wetland flats.

I have to wait until weeds begin to form to and find which areas, at which time of day fish are present in large numbers. The other lake I fished today has no wet lands flats, but distinct areas that hold fish at one time or other at different times of year.

I'll be fishing more military compound lakes in the near future given the early rise in water temperature. Most have nice large wetlands but also rocky structure bordering deep water.

The lure I sent is less likely to work trolling regardless of location and time of year. It must be kept at mid depth to near bottom and with a very light jig and retrieved so slow, you'll grow more hair on your beard before it's time for another cast. Laugh Once the action gets hotter, 1/8 oz. jig heads can be and must be worked a bit faster to cover more water on the long cast. The strikes today were just as hard - even the small sunfish didn't mess around!

Wished we lived closer so you could fish with me on any of the dozen or more lakes I rotate - some off limits to the general public and with far less fishing pressure.
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Re: [SenkoSam] no-tail plastics for most species In reply to
Here are a few of the fish caught on the bullet grub:
(This post was edited by SenkoSam on Mar 10, 2016, 5:07 PM)