jesgord

Rigged Sluggos at Night

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Caught a couple of decent fish Saturday night fishing a pre rigged 9” black sluggo in heavy current in shallow water.  Was fishing it like I would a spook (rod to my side) with frequent jerks but with a slow retrieve.  

 

Was reading up on technique yesterday and see that many advise fishing with a faster pencil popper like retrieve (rod tip up for first half of retrieve-then to side for 2nd half to keep it a bit down in water column). The idea of a fast-even medium fast retrieve in the dark goes against my instincts as i’m usually trying to maintain as slow a roll as possible at night. I plan on trying out the 3 nail weights to get a bit lower in the water column-but as the area I fish tends to be relatives shallow and sticky, it may not be necessary. So-when you fished rigged Sluggos in the dark, do you use the faster “pencil popper” style retrieve—or a slower retrieve!?  If there is current, do you ever let it drift down current-suspended the way you would fish a bucktail? 

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I fish my sluggos on a pt. Jude wobblehead. 3/4 oz if I want it higher, 1.5 oz if I want it lower in the column. I let the wobblehead do the work with an occasional pause, maybe every 3 cranks or so, then quick jerk and resume the retrieve.

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I have had good luck on the faster pencil popper method. Its often what I throw before false dawn, and the real pencil come out, and i am bored out of skull jigging. The pencil method doesn't really work when you stick the nails in them, but i have caught plenty jigging them with the nails. Bottom-line big fat sluggos work however you chuck them.  

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I think you can retrieve the rigged 9” Slug-go several ways but the faster “spook” or twitching the rod tip side to side has worked well for me after dark. Also, I use four Lunker city insert weights in the 9” model and it adds more distance as well as allows Sluggo to be fished in faster , deeper or rougher water without losing any of its action. 

Edited by VanStaalSteve
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9 mins ago, Jason B said:

I have had good luck on the faster pencil popper method. Its often what I throw before false dawn, and the real pencil come out, and i am bored out of skull jigging. The pencil method doesn't really work when you stick the nails in them, but i have caught plenty jigging them with the nails. Bottom-line big fat sluggos work however you chuck them.  

Going to have to give it a try.  Just re-read Steve McKenna's chapter in Zeno's "The Hunt for Big Stripers" and re-watched his youtube video on rigging/fishing sluggos. He seems to say that the moderate to moderate/fast pencil popper retrieve is also the way to go at night?  This is antithetical to how I fish just about any lure/plug/soft plastic after dark....but what do I know?

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26 mins ago, jesgord said:

Going to have to give it a try.  Just re-read Steve McKenna's chapter in Zeno's "The Hunt for Big Stripers" and re-watched his youtube video on rigging/fishing sluggos. He seems to say that the moderate to moderate/fast pencil popper retrieve is also the way to go at night?  This is antithetical to how I fish just about any lure/plug/soft plastic after dark....but what do I know?

IMO the erratic , faster motion of the Sluggo when fished in this manner triggers the bass to hit the lure. I have tried several different retrieves wirh the rugged Slug-go and they all seem to work but the medium erratic retrieved works best for me. Remember to add additional (4th) weight to belly area. It makes a difference. Good luck

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Sluggo is my primary lure for night fishing the canal. I mostly fish them on a weighted jig. I carry a variety of weights and sizes of sluggo. Mostly 9" but will fish 7.5". Sometimes smaller as a teaser when the bait is small. I will size the weight to make the jig swim as close to the bottom as possible and to be able to swim the jig close to shore. Many fish hit fairly close to shore. I have caught fish on weightless pre-rigged when the current is slow. I don't fish it much when the current is fast nor have I tried a fast retrieve. May have to try that next time I'm there. Sluggo catches a variety of ways. I would just try different approaches. One day one method may work the next time a different method.

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44 mins ago, VanStaalSteve said:

I think you can retrieve the rigged 9” Slug-go several ways but the faster “spook” or twitching the rod tip side to side has worked well for me after dark. Also, I use four Lunker city insert weights in the 9” model and it adds more distance as well as allows Sluggo to be fished in faster , deeper or rougher water without losing any of its action. 

Thanks for the further confirmation.....I'll give it a try next time I'm out.

9 mins ago, VanStaalSteve said:

IMO the erratic , faster motion of the Sluggo when fished in this manner triggers the bass to hit the lure. I have tried several different retrieves wirh the rugged Slug-go and they all seem to work but the medium erratic retrieved works best for me. Remember to add additional (4th) weight to belly area. It makes a difference. Good luck

So-one weight close to the tail, two weights parrallell to and slightly behind the top hook and the 4th lower in the belly?

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1 hour ago, jesgord said:

Going to have to give it a try.  Just re-read Steve McKenna's chapter in Zeno's "The Hunt for Big Stripers" and re-watched his youtube video on rigging/fishing sluggos. He seems to say that the moderate to moderate/fast pencil popper retrieve is also the way to go at night?  This is antithetical to how I fish just about any lure/plug/soft plastic after dark....but what do I know?

Just so you know, VanStaalSteve is Steve McKenna, so you are getting the advice from the horse's mouth

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I tend to just cast them out and retrieve them very slow w very sporadic twitches of the rod.  I also will just dead stick them and let them drift in current.  I have found that this method works best for me.  I also have switched to only using a single hook rigging method; again it's what works best for me.  This past week I was fishing a well known spot out on BI; just drifting the 12" sluggo in the current and slop was the most successful approach on that spot at incoming for our trip.  I came home with about a dozen shredded sluggos in need of super glue repair.  Each spot and location has an approach that works best. 

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14 mins ago, HKJonathan said:

Just so you know, VanStaalSteve is Steve McKenna, so you are getting the advice from the horse's mouth

Thanks-I was not aware of that-very cool! 

1 hour ago, VanStaalSteve said:

IMO the erratic , faster motion of the Sluggo when fished in this manner triggers the bass to hit the lure. I have tried several different retrieves wirh the rugged Slug-go and they all seem to work but the medium erratic retrieved works best for me. Remember to add additional (4th) weight to belly area. It makes a difference. Good luck

Steve-thanks so much for your responses.  No question in my mind now as to how to proceed!

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Steve,

I recently acquired a handful of old tin wobble-heads, the ones with an eye located about 2/3 back from the front.

 

I've used those successfully in the past with dead eels by simply running the hook up through the eel's head.

 

Can you offer any advice re how to best deploy these with long rubber?

 

As always, many TIA for your help.

 

 

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1 hour ago, jesgord said:

Thanks for the further confirmation.....I'll give it a try next time I'm out.

So-one weight close to the tail, two weights parrallell to and slightly behind the top hook and the 4th lower in the belly?

Your welcome. Yes , one weight in tail, three up near head hook running parallel to body. I insert them probably starting in the upper half of Slug-go. Two along each side and one in belly. Extra weight makes a big difference. Good luck

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Hmmmmm...I was fishing a very very similar type of spot on Saturday night as well using a 6" sluggo. I was fishing it like I would a bucktail because they were only going for the really slow retrieves. Truth be told, I didn’t know there were faster methods until now, so I guess I’ll be trying out some new stuff this weekend. This thread came at a good time, I was just telling myself that I needed to start fishing plastics more...

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One of my go to lures  when the surf is calm (day or night) is a smaller sluggo with a worm hook, sometimes with one of the little pieces of lead jammed into the front of it.  Its deadly when Bass are there but finicky, or any time sand eels are around

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