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Thread: Tie one on...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Tie one on...

    I keep my rods rigged between trips and I hang them from the ceiling of my garage so that they are out of harm's way. The exception to that is my fly rod collection. I break them down if I don't anticipate using them in the near future and store them in their rod tubes.

    Like many on this forum I have a good collection of rods. But I noticed the other day that tied on each was the same or a similar lure. In other words, I have a number of rods but my lure and fly selection was minimal.

    So I took a few photos this morning of what's on them. Those photos follow:

    I had two fly rods rigged from recent trips for white perch and stripers and each contained that old standby, a Clouser Minnow.

    P1020882.jpg

    The smaller fly on the left is a size 4 on a 5 wt. that I used for perch. The larger one is probably a 2/0, I'm not certain, that I threw on a recent striper outing with a 9 wt. from John Veil's center console. You simply cannot go wrong with a Clouser in our tidal waters. White perch and Stripers are cousins in the fish family and their behaviors are similar. They even swim together so it is not unusual to catch stripers on the smaller Clouser when targeting white perch.

    I pulled two light spinning rods from the ceiling that I use for white perch. Here is what is tied to their leaders:

    P1020884.jpg P1020885.jpg

    If don't catch a white perch with either of those two lures, my assumption is that they simply are not present or willing. In fact, I use them for scouting white perch. Sometimes before I throw a fly at white perch, I will toss the above lures into the water. If I get a strike, I'll immediately switch to my fly rod. Or, if I have worked an area with a fly and gotten no strikes, I will use the above lures to see if perch are ignoring the fly, which they will indeed do. Although I like to fly fish, the truth is that I can catch more fish with conventional tackle. I fly fish because I like the entire process from casting to manipulating the fly by hand to retrieving the fish the same way. I don't do it because I think it's the most effective way to catch fish from my kayak.

    I also use the above lures and flies when targeting pickerels and I will do the same thing -- Search for them with the conventional tackle and switch to a fly when I know they are present.

    Additionally, I know from my experience in FL that specks will hit Clousers. Unfortunately, I've never targeted them in MD. I've been encouraged to hear of sporadic speck catches in my area of the Bay. Maybe this is the year they'll move farther north than normal. Or better yet, I'll eventually meet up with the SMOG group on a trip to their waters.

    Next, I took two medium-light weight spinning rods I use for stripers from my ceiling rack. Each had a jig and a 3 inch paddletail attached.

    P1020886.jpg

    The smaller green jig head is 1/8 oz. Its eyes have worn off from ample use and that's typical. The stripers don't care. I cast this jig to the shallows on spinning gear. Between the weight of the jig and the paddletail, I can cast it a good 25 to 30 yards if necessary. Or I can flip it into tight quarters. The yellow jig head also shows some wear. It's 1/2 oz. and mostly I troll with it. However, I will cast it on occasion in deeper water and of course I can cast it farther than the 1/8 oz. jig.

    I've never found the color of the jig head to matter. But stripers sometimes show a preference for the color of the paddletail. I do believe, however, that they find white hard to refuse when they're in a feeding mood. So while I carry other colors of the padletails with me, my go-to color is what you see in the photos.

    I have a 7 foot slow action spinning rod that I had built for tidal topwater. This same lure has been tied on it for well over a year:

    P1020887.jpg

    Although it's a freshwater bass popper I use it quite effectively for stripers. I feel no need to try other topwater plugs as long as this one works and it does. You can see that I removed two trebles and replaced them with one in-line hook.

    I also catch stripers on top with foam fly rod poppers. I have none rigged at the moment because on my last outing it was too windy to use a popper effectively. Not only would it have been difficult to cast but the surface wave action would have made it hard for a striper to hit it. Below are two foam poppers that I use for stripers on the fly when conditions allow:

    P1020881 (1).jpg

    Very simple and easy to make. The key is to keep it chugging water. When stripers hit topwater, I'm not convinced they're discriminating. I think they see a disturbance and go for it. So my advice is to move it hard and fast to attract their attention. Also, don't stop moving the popper when they miss it as they often do. They'll come back to it. If you stop moving it, most of the time, they'll stop chasing it.

    I use fly rods for fresh water much more than conventional tackle but I have not been on a freshwater kayak outing for some time. So I had no rods rigged for that kind of fishing. However, here is a peek into my freshwater boat box:

    P1020888.jpg P1020889.jpg

    It may look like a lot of variation but mainly the difference is color and size. I use Clousers, wooly buggers, foam poppers and foam spiders. They will catch anything I target in fresh water.

    Although I fish for various species in fresh and tidal waters with numerous rods, my lure and fly selection is by comparison limited. That's the main thing I wanted to share here. I doubt this is usual. I suspect most of us learn that it's better to become proficient with a few bait options than trying to master many.

    So, for those of you who keep your rods rigged, what is tied on them at the moment?
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arlington, VA
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    178

    Default

    Great post, you should write a book. Oh wait...
    It's always interesting to hear what other people use. I basically have the same set-up for jigging with white being the go to. For the popper, I often have a smack-it always ready to go, it a black one that I dipped in a bucket of white house paint. Surprisingly its holding up well. but recently I have been throwing a jumping minnow spook just for jiggles. If I don't catch anything on it, I still feel good that I made it walk properly, so win-win.
    I keep wanting to bring my fly rod, but I always chicken out thinking that big piece of spaghetti is going to be a pain in tight quarters. But the thought of catching a striped on one of your popper flies of clauser would be amazing.
    I found it interesting that certain areas use different methods/lures for the same target fish. I know it can be attributed to local prey fish, but I also think methods stay local and take time to migrate.In the Chesapeake it's all about z-mans, up north anything but a gulp on your jig will get you smacked. I gave my northern brother a z-man and now it is all he uses.
    Who knows, I may go all southern and try popping some corks for specks tomorrow if this wind ever dies. But I will definitely try those white perch rigs you pictured there.
    Unfortunately my surf plug arsenal severly outweighs my ridiculous rod collection, despite putting the same 10 plugs in the bag.
    13' Sand Revo
    16' Yellow Tarpon
    10' Red Ocean Tandem
    Old Red Cherokee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Midway between Baltimore and Washington
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    Love it Mark! Gotta make some foam poppers like yours!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    columbia
    Posts
    600

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    I may have to force myself to bring a fly rod with me the next time I go perch fishing.
    I used to be an "addict," but I'm afraid that time, and wear and tear on my shoulder would result in me not being able to raise my arm over my head the next day.
    Either that, or the first time I try to make a long cast, I roll the canoe on the follow thru!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMarino View Post
    Love it Mark! Gotta make some foam poppers like yours!
    Tom,

    I have help: http://www.riverroadcreations.com/Ga...PopperJigs.htm

    I used to cut the foam cylinders freehand. That worked but I like uniformity. The popper jig allows me cut three distinct sizes quickly.

    The jig works great and so do the poppers.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Pasadena, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by bignose View Post
    ...Either that, or the first time I try to make a long cast, I roll the canoe on the follow thru!
    Stu,

    You know how to cast. Let the rod do the work and you'll keep the wet side down and not make a ripple in the water.

    Look here:

    LA.jpg

    I can't help you with the sore shoulder, though.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Mark; 06-24-2017 at 11:04 PM.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3,867

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    I know that Mark loves to throw the fly rod. I have never had any interest in that style of fishing (and it saves me from buying a whole bunch of other types of rods, reels, tackle, and fly tying supplies). I do overlap closely with Mark on the spinning rigs I use. On recent trips in my small fishing boat, I limit myself to 2 or 3 rods. One of them is a light rod rigged with 3/16-oz jighead and 3" paddletail. The other has a 4" Mirrolure popper on it. If I bring a third rod, it has a 1/2-oz to 3/4-oz jighead with a 3" or 4" paddletail. For shallow water casting, those rigs work great.

    On my Severn perch trips in the kayak, I carry three light or ultralight rods. Two have small Bignose spinners and the other has a 1/8-oz jighead. I could use a small plastic twistertail, but recently I have been putting a 4" Gulp on that jighead. The spinner and Gulp catch about equal numbers of fish, but the Gulp tends to catch slightly larger perch. For me, perch are all catch and release, so the size is not critical. On each day and each stretch of shoreline, I never know which of those two lures will be preferred. Trial and error usually gives me the answer.

    I have spent far less time jigging to stripers in deeper water than usual this year. When I do that I carry one rod with a 3/4-oz to 1.5-oz jighead and a slender plastic like a BKD or BassAssassin. The second rod has a 3-oz Stingsilver with or without a teaser fly 18" up the line.

    Finally, when trolling in my kayak, I keep things simple. I use paddletails (either just the tail or swim shads with the weight built in). Depending on the season, I use 1/2-oz, 3/4-oz, or 1-oz jigheads or bucktails. These are tipped with 3" or 4" paddletails.

    I have developed a system that works for the ways in which I fish. I do not need a large variety of lure types.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

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