Slowwwride

Why are bucktails so hard for newbies

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Interesting discussion...........when I first started, did not have a clue. Read Skinner , Mueller, etc and started to fish bucktails more and more. Finally started to catch. In the beginning I was concerned about what weight to use........now not so much......it is all feel. If I am hitting bottom , go lighter.....if I think I am drifting maybe too much a little heavier. Bottom lime I could care less what the actual weight is now, I kinda know to feel  where I want to be in the water column. Certainly not an expert but I am getting better........forget the numbers , just learn the feel......just an opinion.

Edited by beret

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21 hours ago, LockedDrag said:

I struggled with bucktail when I started too. Hated them til I fished the fall last year for the first time. Love them now

This right here ^^^

Once the epiphany hits, it seems to never leave................:th:

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1 hour ago, pakalolo said:

Time on the beach throwing a bucktail is really the only way to figure it out, some coaching and tips are helpful but are not a substitute for TIME . 

:clap:  :clap:

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I hear of guys struggling with learning to fish a bucktail effectively alot. I think with any other lure it's all about feel, retrieval speed, and knowing where your jig is in the water column. I consider myself lucky that acouple guys I looked up too, including my father taught me alot about bucktailing when I was a kid. Confidence, I feel has alot to do with it. 

I've said this before. With all the time and money I've sent on custom plugs/altering plugs/toying around with building my own. I've caught way more fish with my homemade bucktails hands down.

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3 hours ago, Mack26 said:

I guess the point i was making, is that he should learn “feel” in an appropriate place or location that is conducive to learning. Throwing a heavy bucktail in heavy winds, or strong current, is a sure bet that he won’t even be able to tell where he is in the water column. 
When i say a lighter weight, i’m just talking a 1/4 oz or so. My favorite bucktail is 3/4 oz. It gives me the perfect balance of lift and drop, that i need to keep it close to the bottom or structure.  Obviously, it’s not gonna hold in heavy current or sweep, or in a big blow, in which case i’ll bump up to 1 or 1 1/2 oz. But, in 90% of my bucktail fishing, the 3/4 oz gets the nod. That’s just me.

Yes sir, your point is right on the money! It's very difficult to learn in bad conditions & some locations are hard to fish for folks with little experience. Not all spots make good class rooms!

 

I used a 1/4 ounce often in the past because I was fishing in rivers & creeks, and heavier jigs ended up snagged on the bottom much of the time. I also had the advantage of having fished with fly tackle from a very young age, where even heavily weighted flies were much lighter than 1/4 oz, so picking up on the feel of a jig was something I learned rather quickly, but there was still a learning curve to it.

 

My comment, stemmed from using jigs for bass and I would try something that was light weight, because folks told me to use the lightest weight you can, and I couldn't tell where the jig was in the water column. There was even less "feel" when conditions were bad. So, it was suggested to me by a very experienced jig angler, to use a heavier jig, one that I could feel it's weight, and stay in contact with it, despite the conditions. He told me that it is best to use the lightest weight but only when it was appropriate for the location & conditions. Others left that part out of their advice. 

 

In the end, as I developed and learned, I got to where the weight I used didn't matter as long as it fit the conditions & location. 

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18 mins ago, Jim H said:

Yes sir, your point is right on the money! It's very difficult to learn in bad conditions & some locations are hard to fish for folks with little experience. Not all spots make good class rooms!

 

I used a 1/4 ounce often in the past because I was fishing in rivers & creeks, and heavier jigs ended up snagged on the bottom much of the time. I also had the advantage of having fished with fly tackle from a very young age, where even heavily weighted flies were much lighter than 1/4 oz, so picking up on the feel of a jig was something I learned rather quickly, but there was still a learning curve to it.

 

My comment, stemmed from using jigs for bass and I would try something that was light weight, because folks told me to use the lightest weight you can, and I couldn't tell where the jig was in the water column. There was even less "feel" when conditions were bad. So, it was suggested to me by a very experienced jig angler, to use a heavier jig, one that I could feel it's weight, and stay in contact with it, despite the conditions. He told me that it is best to use the lightest weight but only when it was appropriate for the location & conditions. Others left that part out of their advice. 

 

In the end, as I developed and learned, I got to where the weight I used didn't matter as long as it fit the conditions & location. 

That’s a great place to learn how to fish them Jim. I grew up a LMB fisherman and absolutely love to fish jigs, so as i started to fish salt, the bucktail was an easy transition for me, and continues to be my favorite way to fish for them.

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Bucktails are difficult for newer fishermen because they are a lure that requires a technique that takes skill to produce fish.  In other words- unlike an diving plug like a SP minnow that can be fished by virtually anyone by simply casting, reeling, and occasionally twitching (which is even optional), Bucktails must be fished differently based off of where, when, and what fish that you are targeting.  Bucktails can be fished quickly, slowly, on the bottom, up top, or really any way imaginable.  It is up to the fisherman to try these different techniques and get a feel for what they think will work best.  Of course, this is much harder for a newer angler to accomplish with very little to no prior experience doing such.   As for how to teach your brother in law, like someone said earlier, putting time in fishing a bucktail is really the only way that someone can master it.  

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Baptism by fire, bring him somewhere with some current, a rip, river, inlet.  Get him a handful of $2 special bucktail from dicks so he could lose it.

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1 hour ago, hobobob said:

Baptism by fire, bring him somewhere with some current, a rip, river, inlet.  Get him a handful of $2 special bucktail from dicks so he could lose it.

just like hobobob said bring him where there's some water movement and let him feel the bucktail drift, bounce and let him feel the bucktail . it took my brother a couple of years till I showed him where to cast when the water was side washing and where the  lure will end and feel the lure drift naturally into the spot. then he understood.

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Because they don’t work themselves like some plugs and there is a learning curve......when I fish with noobs I alway give em a popper or a sp minnow so they are able to fish effectively.

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I fly fished throughout my childhood, fishing nymphs and swinging streamers were all part of the presentation when swift cross currents were the predominant environment.  Proportionately speaking, a river is the same as most tidal environments we fish for stripers and fish overall relate to currents in similar ways. With that said, fishing a bucktail comes down to presenting the jig to the fish in a natural way with respect to depth, current and positioning relative to structure. As with a nymph bouncing bottom in a river or a steamer swinging down current in a stream, the presentation of a bucktail often times mirrors that of a fly fisherman's drift in a steady, deep cross current.  Keep in contact and fish a weight appropriate for the depth and current you're fishing.

 

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15 hours ago, pakalolo said:

Time on the beach throwing a bucktail is really the only way to figure it out, some coaching and tips are helpful but are not a substitute for TIME . 

When I was young teen I was an expert. Read all the books and mags. Was limited in times and areas I could fish. Got pretty proficient at casting. I did observe and picked up a few things and when I started catching, the old timers were a little more forthcoming with info, probably because now I’d be useful to them. 

 

Im getting into woodworking an had some basic knowledge. Picked up stuff on job sites by observing, not asking or talking. Learned some basics online, but I still do a lot of practice jobs, because the tutorials don’t always mention some of the pitfalls involved. Nothing better than hands on

 

fishing is funny. Three guys could be fishing bucktails side by side. One fishing a slow steady retriev, one twitching it ever so slightly and the third whipping it. Alll catching. The book reader comes along and nothing. Tries to imitate the others and nothing. No substitute for time on the water

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My advice is to tell him to fish for a couple of years to get the hang of it.  Youre supposed to be bad at fishing when you first start.  Most guys are still bad at fishing a few years in but dont want to admit it.

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