tomkaz

Bucktails in Florida?

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9 posts in this topic

For the past 30 years, bucktails have been a staple for striper fishermen in the northeast.

 

Here in Florida, I have come to know that they are a prime snook lure when fishing moving water in inlets, etc. 

 

But what about the rest of the fishery? Do you use bucktails? If so when and how? 

 

Thanks. 

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Off the piers (or on a boat) while sight fishing for cobia, wade fishing for speckled trout, redfish, snook, etc. in the backcountry, in the surf or around bridges for pompano, bottom fishing with strip baits for grouper, etc. Now, you'll use a different type/weight of bucktail for each of those applications, but they're really one of the most versatile lures out there. 

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Sometime in the 80s they became "unfashionable" to fish with in the gulf. I have never got a straight answer why. So when I started saltwater fishing in my teens (in the 90s) no one was using them. They've made a comeback in the last few years. I like using them for bottom fishing and small bucktail are fun little inshore lures.

 

Remember you cannot attach live or cut bait to non-circle hooks when bottom fishing in the gulf. So it's illegal to sweeten jigs and bucktails with dead or live shrimp, squid, crabs, sand fleas, fish etc. when you are "reef fishing" in the gulf.

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I make my own, and use them for every fish that swims in casting range off the beach closest to me. In the surf 3/4 OZ is the perfect weight for most conditions here. I’ve never gone over 1 1/2 oz even in very big surf. 1/2 oz in the trough for snook.

 

I’ve caught blues, jacks, pompano, whiting, sharks, snook, mackerel, trout, ladyfish... hooked tarpon (never brought one in!) caught a king mackerel off the beach last year on a white 1 oz banana head BT.

 

I give local guys some of my most productive patterns occasionally and they usually just put them in their tackle bag and forget about them!

 

FWIW I’ve found that a trailer really is far more effective than not. I either tie a rabbit hair zonker to the hook or sometimes use strips of chamois soaked in gulp juice or menhaden oil.

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So is Gulp or oil kosher if on a jig trailer, and not a circle hook? Common sense would say yes as a hit on a jig is hooked immediately rather than letting the fish chew on it. But don't want some overzealous F&G LEO nailing me for it!

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I use those slider jigs tipped with shrimp if I am looking for bones.

Caught some ladyfish on the old lima bean jigs.

Mangroves and muttons seem to like them too.

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1/4-1/2oz white banana heads tipped with a live/dead shrimp are deadly around bridges and moving water.  Fished a week in May last spring and had very good luck with snook, specks, jacks, and even spanish mackerel.  Just get it down near the bottom in the current, slow retrieve with an occasional jigging motion.  They work on the beach for snook as well.

Edited by Drumfish420
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