Thumb-Burner

Need ultralight artificial bait recommendations

43 posts in this topic

I'm headed down the path of buying a kayak to fish local lakes this spring.  I'm set for the spotted a largemouth bass, but want to carry an ultralight rod for the crappie and bluegill that I know live there.  I've never fished for them with artificials.  Looking for a handful of versatile go to artificial baits to pack light and cover lots of scenarios.  Think 15' and under depths, wood and rocks on banks and a few docks here and there.

 

What would you pack if you just had one small box

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I'd buy a panfish curly tail jig assortment.  with different color twister tails, different size jig heads and some beetle type spinners and that's all you really need for crappie and bluegill most days.  This kind of kit.

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Edited by flyman28
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35 mins ago, flyman28 said:

I'd buy a panfish curly tail jig assortment.  with different color twister tails, different size jig heads and some beetle type spinners and that's all you really need for crappie and bluegill most days.  This kind of kit.

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great advice nice kit. I would also add a #0 and #1 plain mepps spinner and 1/16oz beetle spin with the spinner.Tough days a 1/32 oz jig head micro slip bobber and a Berkley power grub [ looks like a wax worn ]

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The Berkley Trout Worms do real well at catching the 'gills, crappie, and sunfish, too.

 

My favorite technique with a small jig head and any piece of rubber involves a bobber. I don't use the bobber as a strike detector, but rather as weight to put the tiny jig where I want it. With the jig between 1' and 3' below the bobber, I pitch into structure, under branches, etc. As soon as the rig hits the water, I start to retrieve very slow. I feel this is important, because that fish coming out of cover will actually get hooked, pursuing the jig from behind, and biting the hook instead of the head or side. I tend to get successful hook sets maybe 85% when I retrieve and 50% when I let it set. The bobber lets me retrieve slower with out snagging bottom, the branch I threw behind, etc. I can get a few more fish without changing rubber when the fish bites the hook. I also only carry 2 rods, one for pulling bass out of grass, and one for flinging light lures. I don't have room/desire to carry an ultra light, and the bobber let's me use my under-powered bass rod for 'gills. Some evenings, I have so much fun catching panfish, I just skip looking for largemouth. And, I do nab an occasional bass that was in close in 1' deep water doing this.

 

Whenever I see an overhanging branch with caterpillar web/nests, I throw under there. Trout worms or the little caddis fly looking rubber that comes with Trout Magnets work great there. There's always panfish under the caterpillar nests, and often bass or catfish, too.

 

Holy crap, I have a yak jones bad, now, just talking about this.

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2 hours ago, chris koltz said:

  Berkley power grub [ looks like a wax worn ]

I get a hit almost every time I throw one of those things, but they last me 1 maybe 2 fish before they're too mangled to use. How do you rig them?

 

One time my yellow power grub fell off the hook, and was just floating there. Then a sunfish and some 'gills started to compete to eat it. They kept missing and bouncing it around. Fish love those things.

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15 mins ago, Livefreeordie said:

I get a hit almost every time I throw one of those things, but they last me 1 maybe 2 fish before they're too mangled to use. How do you rig them?

 

One time my yellow power grub fell off the hook, and was just floating there. Then a sunfish and some 'gills started to compete to eat it. They kept missing and bouncing it around. Fish love those things.

no collar jig head threaded on thru the center 

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Another often forgotten panfish lure; the Rebel Crickhopper. I absolutely love that little bug. I've caught baby bluegill and trout up to 3 or 4 lb bass on it. Absolutely crushes panfish on top water with 2-4lb line on a st croix ultralight rod. The hooks are kinda crappy, and tend to bend over time but they're replaceable and the lures are only $6-7. I buy 3 or 4 at a time. Gold or black are great.

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9 hours ago, ThrowinPlugs said:

Another often forgotten panfish lure; the Rebel Crickhopper. I absolutely love that little bug. I've caught baby bluegill and trout up to 3 or 4 lb bass on it. Absolutely crushes panfish on top water with 2-4lb line on a st croix ultralight rod. The hooks are kinda crappy, and tend to bend over time but they're replaceable and the lures are only $6-7. I buy 3 or 4 at a time. Gold or black are great.

They make a popper and a diving crickhopper.  Have you had success with both?

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I just recently began fishing from a kayak myself.  One of the first fish I caught from the kayak was a rainbow trout on a mid-sized pond.  For no particular reason, I decided to try jigging with a small Kastmaster.  The trout hit the lure on the way down and the fish was on.  The big thrill was when the fish decided to jump out of the water right next to me in the kayak.  It was so close I could have reached out and touched it.  Somehow I gained control of the situation and eventually reeled in and netted the fish, It was quite an experience.  Jigging the Kastmaster also produced a number of yellow perch , I suspect It might work well for Crappie also. Worth a try.

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You want fun? Learn to throw poppers on a fly rod to shallow bluegills.

 

Otherwise, you can't go wrong with small curly-tail grubs on a jig-head.

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