StriperBoy08

Lures to use this fall?

Rate this topic

46 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

Haven't been out for a bit and I was just wondering what were some lures for stripers and schoolies that have been working well this fall so far? Thinking about heading to the shop and buying a couple. Don't know to much about fall run as I'm always busy then but this year i'll be able to head out a couple times. Not looking to catch a monster just have a good tug on my line.  Anyways, thanks for the help.

Edited by StriperBoy08

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 mins ago, aglenn said:

Sounds like you need an sp minnow

I have one. What colors do you suggest. I have a bone color. I also think the size might me too big as i'm a canal rat. What size do you recommend? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White bucktails is the most productive lures in use today...  For my fishing conditions I use from an ounce to three ounces... Fished these lures at different levels, from speeding them across the surface to bottom bouncing them and caught almost every specie of fish...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StriperBoy08 said:

I have one. What colors do you suggest. I have a bone color. I also think the size might me too big as i'm a canal rat. What size do you recommend? 

White or bone is your best bet honestly for all scenarios. The medium size should be your best bet as well. You could try going black and fishing at night too, that will certainly increase your chances

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, aglenn said:

White or bone is your best bet honestly for all scenarios. The medium size should be your best bet as well. You could try going black and fishing at night too, that will certainly increase your chances

Agreed.  Dark over light is another long time producer.  I wouldn't worry about the exact colors.  Black, charcoal, navy blue, green, etc. over white, bone, light yellow, silver etc., all make the grade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got into some decent fish over a 2 week period using a white needlefish on a N.Shore Beach.  Water was too skinny for even an SP minnow.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

AtThis time if year: You are definitely going to want to carry some plugs. The more you go down this rabbit hole, the more you will try various types of plugs based on wherever you're fishing.

 

Here is what I would start building from a collection standpoint in terms of plugs - not necessarily in order here: 

 

- Your Bone SP is good, I like Chicken Scratch myself though. as I think the contrast helps and if the water is the slightest bit stained the chicken scratch out produces the bone. A good one in clear water is the color I believe they refer to as sand eel which is basically olive on top & silver (Even though natural sand eels have unmistakably pearl bellies).

 

The Chicken Scratch, pictured below, is a good searching pattern especially when you have blue fish around. For that reason I'd rig it up with two inline hooks or just leave the troubles on it if you want to deal with that hot mess - which coincidentally is a lot worse for catch & release fishing which is why I STRONGLY recommend using Trebles only on swiveling belly mounts for most plugs. 

 

PXL_20201017_133725408.jpg.0feecd0535a660e680857756ef041ab9.jpg

 

The SP comes in a really nice size for imitating mid-sized bait. You can also add a flag and extend the profile slightly and thereby cover 9" bait when you need to. 

 

- Super Strike Sinking Little Neck popper - Yellow or Chartreuse over White which are both excell fall colors for this plug. Work this plug slowly. When you get it up to the surface give your rod tip a subtle little pop and try to make a blurp then retrieve it extremely slowly and then let it sink for about 20 seconds then work it slowly back up to the surface give it another blurp and try to hold it there while barely retrieving. The key is to imitate a severely wounded bay fish. when fish are feeding with reckless abandon you can be a little more aggressive with this plug but if you have blue fish up on top sawing up bait, which is often the case during fall blitzes, big stripers will wait below them and eat whatever falls down to them. A yellow sinking little neck can drop very slowly right into their zone. I've caught a ton of keepers with this technique. You can also just drop a larger Metal that will flutter down to them and you'll have equal success. This plug will come in two sizes and because most of your bait in the northeast in the fall is fairly small you're going to want the 1 5/8 oz and possibly the 2 oz as your primary go-to's. This is the best searching popper on the planet Earth and it casts like a missile. This plug is on the bottom in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Darter - I like to fish ones with contrast with the darker color over the lighter color. Great choice for when you have some current to work with & let's get a little bigger profile than just having an SP minnow for that situation. situation just you would use this darter in would be where you have a little bit of current or outgoing tide to pull against it and help it wobble. The Darterr is on the top in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Stubby Bullet - excellent searching pattern where you can zigzag it under the surface of the water. This is a vastly underused lure. for years, I've used it constantly with great results.When nothing is showing this should be one of the first plugs out of your bag. because searching patterns can easily get hung up you're going to want this plug in the 1 5/8 oz size. It also comes in a heavier 2 oz which is more for heavy current, though surprisingly the lighter one does a pretty nice job even in heavy current & it's much just likely to get hung up as you bring it back in shallow. This plug is in the middle in the picture below.

 

- SuperStrike Bottle Darter -!If you get into some current you can crack fish all day long on a yellow rattling SuperStriketrike bottle darter it's a phenomenal lure that digs in and darts all over the place. This is a great searching pattern when you have a little current. This plug is pictured individually and you see the one I like the best which is yellow.

 

IMG_20200622_165326.jpg.443c3fed5aa7b4033b55bf53e79c36a4.jpgPXL_20201017_133057487.jpg.cdb75e79adfcdedde959026f86984cc3.jpg

 

- Speaking of Bottle Darters - I like Mike's Custom Plugs Bottle Darter. Great choice for when you have larger bait around and you're fishing in or near current. This plug is deadly on rip lines and you can drift it out along a rip line if you're spotted up near structure where the line is forming. 

PXL_20201017_135524445.jpg.56e6064cbaf8350bb7b35f07cd96308a.jpg

PXL_20201017_135656252.jpg.d60950e3d2583d27fc27d3e62012c140.jpg

 

His Beast Darter which has a different body shape is also awesome for bigger bait such as adult Bunker and it runs a little deeper than a Bottle Darter does.

PXL_20201017_135726141.jpg.57451cb51fcbaa3b58ed6cbd562ec09d.jpg

 

- Yozuri Hydro Pencil - Bone it's probably your best bet these days -- they used to make Tutti Fruitti which guys would switch over to in the fall. It's an excellent stop and start searching pattern and can also be fished very slow. Perfect for medium sized baits that are around. The Shimano Orca which is pictured above doesn't feature the rattle and doesn't cast quite as good but it's nice for slithering along which is why I rig that one up with a Flag Tail. 

IMG_20200813_172250.jpg.be768cb95ad9f09f3891538c8c84135f.jpg

 

- Larger Spook preferably wood - The hold really well in the wash and you can slither them around and call fish up. Generally all white is all you need however if you have broken water chartreuse is excellent and really any color in the yellow family will do the trick. I also often use very realistic bunker looking spooks because I find their phenomenal for imitating the midsize and larger bunker that you will find in the fall.

PXL_20201005_183643694.jpg.2dc0f3b07d159f7ca8b61cbd16e9d367.jpgPXL_20201003_214454028.jpg.74d5b9285e7aac1b0225325b3bf5d5c8.jpgPXL_20201003_214503473.jpg.3df4381d30e3e8122fc123596eb7f6d0.jpgPXL_20201003_214026718.jpg.14228695c91954168eb291ed1c4c8b0c.jpg

 

Large spooks are great searching patterns. There are lots of custom plug builders that make cool spooks. My two favorites are Mike's & After Hours. Perhaps one of the worst made but most effective jumbo spooks out there is the Daddy Mack and the reason it's good is because it has rattles. Unfortunately it's actually a Musky lure that has been adapted to the Northeast saltwater environment. Notice the hook placements are all wrong on the plug. More plug builders need to start putting rattles in their plugs. Making a rattle chamber isn't that hard but it is an extra step in the process. 

PXL_20201017_134515526.jpg.bc9379eb04a78b826223e943384cc2d0.jpg

 

Metal Lipped Swimmers are another category of plug you're going to want to have some representation of in your plug bag. I've caught a lot of the big Stripers on Metal Lips and they are a lot of fun to fish because you can work them slowly & steadily through the wash.

 

I like to fish them on outgoing tides also, especially where I can drift them for substantial distances with my conventional reel and then bring them back -! Thumping them steadily along. Hits are often explosive in fish are also often very large. Fishing Metal Lips becomes a sort of art form obsession.

 

Lots of custom manufacturers make terrific Metal Lips. I guess the main criteria is how easy are these plugs to obtain? Do you have to special order them half a year in advance or can you just click on to the internet and buy one? That's a decision you have to make with all lures and custom-made plugs. Certainly availability and ease of obtaining are both highly desirable - but, as with most works of art sometimes seeking them out and waiting is worth it.

 

Most of the time I fish the medium sized, sleeker designs because they swim a little smoother & a little more easily & they have such great profiles. The best time to fish a Metal Lip is in a fishy spot when nothing is showing. If you're fishing out front that means behind the waves and in the wash. If you have a little current that means dead drifting them into the rip line. And if you have an open beach or channel, it means bringing them back very slowly. Another awesome time to fish a Metal Lip is when you have a little structure breaking some current.

 

PXL_20201017_134359416.jpg.ef3e09cad1eafd1566da2e4682eb9c53.jpg

 

Medium to smaller Metal Lips are a must carry as they will help you get the most out of the fall season. You can also turn up the volume significantly and perhaps add a large species specific Metal Lip If you know you have big bait around. Adult Bunker are imitated really well by big plugs. Mike's Custom Plugs has all the size ranges covered and the plugs swim terrifically.

 

PXL_20201017_163243916.jpg.4a8cb7dd85d1285607288172a9d81445.jpg

 

 

AfterHours also makes a really nice size-range on these plugs & I really like the rounded noses which really provide a unique swimming action. 

 

PXL_20201017_162857020.jpg.8178ccd96a0969b339bda7772eabbe2d.jpg

 

Another type of Metal Lip that has been a great producer for me is what I call a Shovel-Lip Swimmer. These types of plugs are closer and body style to a Bomber, though about twice as wide they feature that nice long taper. Meanwhile, The convex "Shovel" Lip pushes a ton of water and gives the plug a really nice tight wobble. Mike's Custom Plugs came out with this design a few years ago & thankfully I swooped in and grabbed a couple. I fish the Shovel Lip a lot with a bucktail teaser at night & I love this plug on a slow retrieve. Noticed the pronounced Shovel Lip. This one's a money plug for me & in the Fall, it's constantly getting dunked. I actually like this plug better than the extra large "Danny" Swimmer as I've had much better luck on it. 

 

PXL_20201017_170500268.jpg.b6d45b0fde37858b4a3be61eccc62d82.jpg

PXL_20201017_170511213.jpg.8abbb331870f5c4ab65d8d294544b840.jpg

 

Pikies are actually in the Metal Lipped Swimmer family also. I love fishing Pikies also & sometimes when you're just targeting a big fish it's not a bad idea to throw something large and spend some time working it.

 

Surprisingly though, a micro Pikie can crush it when selective bass are feeding on smaller bait. For a couple of photos of Mike's Pikies, which are among the best you will find.

 

PXL_20201017_163033881.jpg.76cdca292b9bd0d335959a28adee7be8.jpgPXL_20201005_170021068.jpg.c7ca5380da9da594e6f44cd08857ee97.jpg

 

Rounding out the Metal Lip Swimmer family are the deeper diving "slope back" variety which absolutely require water depths of 6 to 8 ft or deeper to take full advantage of. For this reason this style of plug is not as popular in terms of all around fishability but, if you have a deeper spot and some current this can be a very good plug. 

 

Here is a Ghost Nunker pattern I love from Mike's Custom Plugs. I've actually snagged this plug a couple of times and I was willing to go swimming for it, that's how much I love it. I always fish with a base layer of a bathing suit because you never know! LOL 

 

The Slope Back Swimmer gives you that same thumping action that standard Metal Lip would, but it allows you to get down deeper into a rip line. I would put this plug in the secret weapon category actually. It's not a must have but for the right spots it's an awesome producer. it's probably one of the coolest designed plugs I've ever seen also in terms of that long gentle sloping angle that's cut into the head.

 

PXL_20201017_163116658.jpg.bfcb6e0f28add6b33c964418d8d2c363.jpg

PXL_20201017_163123449.jpg.22f2f739328e354acee99a7b46e9c71f.jpg

 

- Not a bad idea to have at least one Large Pencil that has a slight sink to it. Great for early morning blitzes. I like Mike's Ditch Witch & IMO it's the best pencil going. Larger size Pencils have been around a long time but for whatever reason young fishermen think that they are coming into Vogue just now. The truth is they are just discovering them in the last few years lol.

 

One Ditch Witch plug will hold up to thousands of blue fish & Stripers. Just use a good heavy fluorocarbon and make sure your knots are MONEY (secure). Braid to Swivel = Double Uni (If tied properly, there should be zero issues. one mistake people make here is they don't leave a tiny tag just in case there's any slip, which again if you tie the knot properly there shouldn't be any slip).Leader to plug = a well tied knot. There are a couple of choices here. And improved clinch knot tied properly will work fine. A double Uni will also work fine. Some people like a loop knot for certain plugs and if you tie that right that will work fine also.

 

The reason I'm talking about knots here while mentioning Mike's pencils is because he want to do everything in your control not to lose one. The bottom line here is that he speaketh loudest is most easily heard. The Ditch Witch puts a spell on Stripers who are looking for larger baits. So we will go ahead and call this one a must carry Fall lure. 

 

PXL_20201017_132956919.jpg.79d7d6f163250f910958234bc609735b.jpg

 

Smaller pencils can also be needed at times in the fall so you'll want to have with least one in your bag. Mike's, Guppy & AfterHours are three excellent choices for these mid-sized Pencils here but there are many others out there. Here is a picture of Mike's 6" with my flag tail that I installed after the original one was eventually crumpled by Bluefish. The teeth marks are visible on this plug if you look close but his bullet-like finish really prolongs the life of the plug. A lot of plugs out there just don't have the fit and finish that are present in his plugs and the other ones I'm recommending. however most custom-made plugs are very, very good in this department.

PXL_20201005_170212263.jpg.f71e54ed2afc603798a12a1c5ca84a19.jpg

 

If you've ever encountered a Peanut Bunker, Silver-Sides ides or Sand Eel blitz, it can be very frustrating. The late Stan Gibbs created an incredible answer to this conundrum.

 

His tiny Pencil Is perfect for not only Silver-Sides but also for Sand Eels. For this reason in the fall I have one in Olive (over silver) and one in Chartreuse on me at all times. I won't even leave the house without my micro tackle. 

PXL_20201017_153232259.jpg.80cb5dba9d3b9971c56110f118166f4e.jpg

 

These pencils will sometimes work in Peanut Bunker blitzes but Gibbs actually used a micro floating Little Neck with great success for these situations.

 

PXL_20201003_214606565.jpg.92315e515ca5864d10929615c155764a.jpg

 

Another very special fall Pencil Is the After-Hours Rascal Jr. Every time I change the hooks out on this rock-star plug I chuckle to myself. basically the rascal is a double-wide plug and it also comes in a senior model also which is a lot bigger. No question it takes some extra energy to move this Pencil properly, but if you have a rod with a fairly soft tip you are in business. 

 

The older Rascal Juniors featured only a rear treble hook but they have been improved, as you can see and now they feature a swiveling belly mount as well as a fixed position rear mount. 

 

PXL_20201017_154325291.jpg.b2f620a69f003df3f24d4be6b91deb72.jpgPXL_20201017_154337577.jpg.558342a8c23690fb11af3e987ee15292.jpgPXL_20201017_154414387.jpg.9e8232a0b55f11acdb6640400e1d5f7a.jpg

 

Pencil Poppers can get very complicated very quickly but you can simplify things by carrying something large, something medium-sized, something smaller and then something micro. then you can add in a couple different color options and before you know it you'll be lugging six to eight pencils in your plug bag - which is crazy, bit worth it. Most people don't have plug bags big enough to do this so you may need to pair this down based on whatever your strategy is going to be. Me? I carry things bro. It's not that hard to do. Get a comfortable backpack or get a big plug bag one or the other. You can also set yourself up with a belt that has tubes. Aqua Skins Hunter Elite surf equipment is all I use in conjunction with my water-resistant Patagonia & Simms backpacks. If it's pouring rain I go to the Simms, otherwise I use the Patagonia.

 

Unfortunately we're still stuck in the pencil proper category for a few more seconds here. First we have to look at a design that Atom made famous with their Striper Swiper series. I'm actually completely done arguing against this plug & I'm sick and tired of seeing people catch fish with it during a blitz lol. I mean it!  This style of "backwards pencil for whatever reason is just terrific. 

 

PXL_20201017_153300877.jpg.bfaa003b4c112812ff00cd1e0c0e7dbd.jpg

 

Other plug manufacturers make the basic design as well, though very few offer it in smaller sizes )which allows you to cover more options). 

 

Mike's Custom Plugs offers a superior equivalent to the Atom and for whatever reason this is a very well-kept secret because I hardly ever see them around or being used during blitzes. This style of surface popper Is a classic and many old-timers use only this for the surface blitzes. Literally nothing else is in their bag. For this reason I commissioned Mike to make me a Block Island Green one & several hundred fish later it's still in great shape. I use this almost exclusively when it's Stripers that are blitzing & they can't F&$#+&@ resist it. Notice the ridiculous contrast he built into it. Wowww. 

 

PXL_20201017_145839085.jpg.41c271c4fc42b2e5b633ba3aa6d548da.jpgPXL_20201017_145852230.jpg.71964bc41428a092619af92831eaca7d.jpg

 

We talked a little bit above about Super Strike Sinking Little Necks and also we looked at the Stan Gibbs micro Floating Little Neck. Then we got into Mike's Ditch Witch which I have said is my favorite single Pencil. All of these Plugs, whether they are Inverted Pencils, Double-Wides, Stripe-Swiper or Little- Neck "varietals" - in the Pencil family.

 

So let's close the Pencil conversation with the Giant Loud-Mouth, which is an exaggerated Little Neck. For people that want yet another secret weapon - get in touch with AfterHours on this one as well. This is a serious attention-getter for when big bait is getting pounded and it's also quite useful on blustery days where you can see fish blitzing but you can't get their attention. 

 

PXL_20201017_160445123.jpg.a120488a1d9689d2c31d9eb9dc892062.jpgPXL_20201017_160452765.jpg.b4016a5f20e049ca7a8fb8bfab3c9cd5.jpg

 

- Crippled Herring 3/4 oz. Obviously not a plug but you should be fishing with this lure all fall along you'll probably catch more fish in this than any other lure. 

 

- Deadly Dick - again not a plug but pretty much just a must have Metal for the fall. Great for windy days or slightly broken water. 

 

- obviously not plugs but White Bucktails 3/4 oz to 2 1/2 oz & bag of White Grubs - Deadly. I like to tie my own on jig heads that I pour myself but some of the lower builders do a really nice job on bucktails and you're better off ordering a few from somebody who's great at this art. Dan Tinman or Gary Andrus would be where you would look.

 

- X Rap Bunker in all 3 sizes. Excellent for when the water is a little bit more clear the x-wrap will flutter and vibrate like crazy and draw strikes as you work near structure. Must have. Will call Blue Fish or stripers & both will spring into action and pound the X-Rap. I haven't seen a bunker pattern yet that has better vibration or better pearlescent belly flash which are two huge characteristics of a panicking bunker. Their pearlescent bellies are amazingly reflective.

 

PXL_20201003_220616729.jpg.83efba24ce5d835690735fcde5b39abd.jpg

 

A cool trick is in stained water use the clown X Rap. It features a Bloody red-head with a chartreuse body and that same highly reflective belly. Douse it in bunker oil also when the water is stained. You can get a can of bunker oil at any bait and tackle shop and any tackle shop that doesn't have bunker oil is one you probably shouldn't bother shopping at. Simply put a small amount of it in a little travel squirt bottle that has a reliable screw top lid. The last thing you want is bunker oil leaking all over your junk lol. Note below I've added a Flag Tail because that's a nice holding point for the bunker oil and also it gives your Ex-Rap a little extra kick.

 

PXL_20201017_133540754.jpg.bcf161a465cfb514fc2c687b8ad9a0a8.jpg

 

Rapala also makes their own spook and I think it's a great fall blitz lure that doubles as a pretty good topwater searching pattern as well. It's deadly in Back bays and in areas where you're fishing skinny water. Pictured here is one that I use for blitzes. 

 

PXL_20201017_150015351.jpg.c0c675e939ccb03156a6a85e27086b4a.jpg

 

- Ice 7" Sluggos w/ 7/0 or 9/0 straight shank offset worm hooks. Pretty much striper candy &! by far and away the preferred soft plastics. Try to make them go side to side when you retrieve them but they can be fished other ways as well.

 

- Storm or tsunami Bunker Paddle Tail Minnows. You could probably fish all fall with just a paddle tail and I've seen kids do it too & catch quite a few keepers.

 

- Mambo Minnow - terrific swimming plug similar to a Bomber or an SP minnow but the advantage is the right flutter. The trade-off is it's a little lighter so it's really better for the calm days that you'll encounter. In the fall most guys like to switch to the brighter colors. as always we're swapping out the unneeded treble hooks when we have fixed belly mounts and we're adding flag tails when it makes sense to do so. in this case with the tight flutter of the Mambo, the flag bounces all over the place and gives the plug a whole new dimension while at the same time the virtually weightless flag does absolutely nothing in terms of imparting action impairing drag.

 

PXL_20201017_134015444.jpg.8fc69df0efd6cbf8c58bbfdf8c2b0894.jpgPXL_20201017_133544951.jpg.e035d54b069fae9ca4d51e185dbe6158.jpg

 

The SP Minnow is in a family of lures that may all seem to look alike but actually several of them have very different action and are better fished under certain circumstances. Let's dig into that just a minute here so we can be crystal clear on the topic and speaking of Crystal, let's Cover the Yozuri Crystal Minnow first. The larger minnow on the top in this photo is one that I like as a searching pattern in slightly stained water or for when skies are overcast. You get a tremendous amount of prismatic light bouncing properties and an extremely tight vibration which makes this another great searching pattern to drag around structure or to cover a beach. a lot of times with this type of lure the smaller sizes will actually work better unless you're in really deep water or in spots where big bass might be hiding. The Crystal Mino is really a go-to searching pattern. Unfortunately they're not species specific. this would be the lure if you were a traveling man however because they'll work anywhere. 

 

PXL_20201003_215511071.jpg.d60722a1936f676781b878c3377c08b6.jpg

 

Next up is the vaunted Bomber and you actually have to carry one for situations where you are fishing from the beach and most other lures like we're looking at here either begin to collect seaweed or whatever else -or- you need a much slower retrieve. Most anglers fish everything too fast actually and that's a big reason they don't catch anything. not to say that fast fluttering retrieves at times aren't deadly because can be. The particular model of Bomber You are looking for is the A-Salt Long-A. 

 

The bomber runs fairly shallow for a larger profile bait. Not a shallow as the Mambo or the Cotton Cordell redfin. In the fall it makes good sense to carry a very realistic-looking bomber that you can bring in with a slow retrieve. Simply get it thumping and move it through the water. It has a nice kick and for whatever reason it really does the trick. Probably more stripers have been caught during fall runs on the bomber than any other man-made lure. It's falling out of Vogue a little bit these days but not amongst sharpies, who wouldn't be caught dead without at least one Bomber on them. 

 

PXL_20201017_134101568.jpg.58960961895c7bcd265395e701f442a7.jpg

 

The larger Long Slalt-A size Bomber is made for imitating larger bait. It's actually best for Spring Herring but it will work when you have big bunker around also.

 

Bombers are made in a smaller variety as well.Several of my friends and I swear by the  5" " A- Salt and in particular we love it in mother of pearl which is a Wonder bread looking finish. Here Is a picture with the Long A on top and the A-Salt on the bottom. 

 

PXL_20201017_144920563.jpg.07aeb2cf16759789ac92edff9a54239c.jpg

 

Bomber also makes the "Wind Cheater" which is a little bit stubbier, heavier version of the Long A. Is it worth it carrying one of these when you are also carrying an SP Minnow? That's a decision you'll have to make but I like the WindCheater for fairly broken water, in situations where there's wind at my face and I just want a slow retrieve in the wash. For this reason I like the chartreuse color palette on this lure.

 

PXL_20201017_150523741.jpg.2968dc6da4d1e8786d3cea313027b910.jpg

 

The Red Fin Shad which is made by Cotton Cordell is another lure that is in this class. The Red-Fin features a little bit of a wider swimming motion which really imitates bait fish very well. I love the Redfin Shad in the open water. Below I have the bone Red Fin but my favorite color is actually Smokey Joe, which is basically the same thing it just has a dark grey dorsal area. The plug doesn't cast especially well on most surf rods. However if you are fishing from shore hopefully you are using a rod that's rated 3/4 of an ounce on up to 3 oz. Rod's in that rating will actually throw this lure fairly well. A lot of people like to load the RedFin with substances that don't evaporate, such as mineral spirits. mainly they do this because their rods are rated a little heavy and they don't cast this lure particularly well.

PXL_20201017_143842050.jpg.605ef8f0ea22f8db99d14959efac4294.jpg

 

There are a lot of other plugs that are basically in this same class and some of them are pretty good. But these Bomber style lures have a place because they build confidence and they really are go to plugs all season long but especially in the fall. Some of them come in different sizes also so depending on the lure, you can cover some different sized bait fish with it. Some of these lures don't cast all that well and for that reason I recommended sizes and patterns to save you some money as you're getting into this type of lure.

 

If you want to take your game to the next level & also really simplify life...

 

-Charlie Graves Tins would be the direction to go once you learn how to tie a loop knot. I've written a lot about these in the Metals & Tins thread here. For an in-depth look at these just head there and you'll see everything you need to know. 

 

The fish most often will see a Tim from below. For this reason they really don't see the top of the Tin. What they see is the Belly. Each one of the Graves Tins has a different shaped Belly for this reason. They imitate different sized bait fish. 

 

What's nice with the Graves tins is that they are all basically within the 1 1/2 to 2 oz range -- keep in mind we are talking about his pure tin varietals not his white metal ones which are definitely heavier. This weight range is ideal for surf fishing and with all of the different sizes and shapes available considering the way these tins wobble and shine (especially if you keep them polished), Charlie Graves Tins are a lights out solution for 95% of the bait fish are going to encounter in the Northeast. Windy days are completely negated by these types of lures and they work perfectly wonderfully on calmer days due to their profile, their light bouncing characteristics & their amazing wobbling swimming action. Rightdown to the last details, which consist of rear top mounted mini keels & feather tails for superior kick and lifelike action.

 

They actually fish best on a slow steady retrieve and the keel keeps the Tin running fairly straight. Meanwhile the belly has a multi-sheen to it which, If it were a boat would make people see sick in about 2 seconds. Think of the Tin's belly as the lure's hull. 

 

The Graves hulls are very unstable and Not only do they cause Tins to wobble like crazy but this wobble translates into the tail which creates wiggle. The overall effect is an extremely lifelike action. 

 

This time of year the Bunker Tin is great but I also constantly throw the 1-W & the 8M when I know I have peanut bunker or the slightly bigger juvenile bunker around. Most days under these conditions these lures are about all I throw. This year Ive caught Albie's, Bonito, Spanish Mack's, Blues & Stripers on the Graves Tins, same as every year!

 

If I know that I have Sand Eels present then I go right to the D-5. If the Sand Eels are very thick & down deep I might even use a Point Jude Po-jee as part of this rotation & just bounce it along the sandy bottom. 

 

The standard rotation you can use throughout the bulk of the year, including the fall - would be to lead off with J-7 and the reason for this is that silver sides are around all the time and this is the perfect tin to imitate them well at the same time this 10 will cover small Bunker also.

 

Work that through various cuts then you move to the J-8 if you're not hooking up. Keep working & then move to the D-5 & finally on to the 8-M if needed. This is called a rotation. It's really the only rotation you need for most conditions you will face. 

 

You can also deliver Bucktail Teasers, Red Gill Rascals or for the cheaters - Gulp Paddle Tails LOL.

 

Lastly, a day saver involves carrying a couple of Hogy Epoxy Minnows in case they are on silver sides & the water is extremely clear or much calmer than usual. Carry one that looks very realistic and one that is more of an attractor (my favorite is electric yellow over pearl).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by CaryGreene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

AtThis time if year: You are definitely going to want to carry some plugs. The more you go down this rabbit hole, the more you will try various types of plugs based on wherever you're fishing.

 

Here is what I would start building from a collection standpoint in terms of plugs - not necessarily in order here: 

 

- Your Bone SP is good, I like Chicken Scratch myself though. as I think the contrast helps and if the water is the slightest bit stained the chicken scratch out produces the bone. A good one in clear water is the color I believe they refer to as sand eel which is basically olive on top & silver (Even though natural sand eels have unmistakably pearl bellies).

 

The Chicken Scratch, pictured below, is a good searching pattern especially when you have blue fish around. For that reason I'd rig it up with two inline hooks or just leave the troubles on it if you want to deal with that hot mess - which coincidentally is a lot worse for catch & release fishing which is why I STRONGLY recommend using Trebles only on swiveling belly mounts for most plugs. 

 

PXL_20201017_133725408.jpg.0feecd0535a660e680857756ef041ab9.jpg

 

The SP comes in a really nice size for imitating mid-sized bait. You can also add a flag and extend the profile slightly and thereby cover 9" bait when you need to. 

 

- Super Strike Sinking Little Neck popper - Yellow or Chartreuse over White which are both excell fall colors for this plug. Work this plug slowly. When you get it up to the surface give your rod tip a subtle little pop and try to make a blurp then retrieve it extremely slowly and then let it sink for about 20 seconds then work it slowly back up to the surface give it another blurp and try to hold it there while barely retrieving. The key is to imitate a severely wounded bay fish. when fish are feeding with reckless abandon you can be a little more aggressive with this plug but if you have blue fish up on top sawing up bait, which is often the case during fall blitzes, big stripers will wait below them and eat whatever falls down to them. A yellow sinking little neck can drop very slowly right into their zone. I've caught a ton of keepers with this technique. You can also just drop a larger Metal that will flutter down to them and you'll have equal success. This plug will come in two sizes and because most of your bait in the northeast in the fall is fairly small you're going to want the 1 5/8 oz and possibly the 2 oz as your primary go-to's. This is the best searching popper on the planet Earth and it casts like a missile. This plug is on the bottom in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Darter - I like to fish ones with contrast with the darker color over the lighter color. Great choice for when you have some current to work with & let's get a little bigger profile than just having an SP minnow for that situation. situation just you would use this darter in would be where you have a little bit of current or outgoing tide to pull against it and help it wobble. The Darterr is on the top in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Stubby Bullet - excellent searching pattern where you can zigzag it under the surface of the water. This is a vastly underused lure. for years, I've used it constantly with great results.When nothing is showing this should be one of the first plugs out of your bag. because searching patterns can easily get hung up you're going to want this plug in the 1 5/8 oz size. It also comes in a heavier 2 oz which is more for heavy current, though surprisingly the lighter one does a pretty nice job even in heavy current & it's much just likely to get hung up as you bring it back in shallow. This plug is in the middle in the picture below.

 

- SuperStrike Bottle Darter -!If you get into some current you can crack fish all day long on a yellow rattling SuperStriketrike bottle darter it's a phenomenal lure that digs in and darts all over the place. This is a great searching pattern when you have a little current. This plug is pictured individually and you see the one I like the best which is yellow.

 

IMG_20200622_165326.jpg.443c3fed5aa7b4033b55bf53e79c36a4.jpgPXL_20201017_133057487.jpg.cdb75e79adfcdedde959026f86984cc3.jpg

 

- Speaking of Bottle Darters - I like Mike's Custom Plugs Bottle Darter. Great choice for when you have larger bait around and you're fishing in or near current. This plug is deadly on rip lines and you can drift it out along a rip line if you're spotted up near structure where the line is forming. 

PXL_20201017_135524445.jpg.56e6064cbaf8350bb7b35f07cd96308a.jpg

PXL_20201017_135656252.jpg.d60950e3d2583d27fc27d3e62012c140.jpg

 

His Beast Darter which has a different body shape is also awesome for bigger bait such as adult Bunker and it runs a little deeper than a Bottle Darter does.

PXL_20201017_135726141.jpg.57451cb51fcbaa3b58ed6cbd562ec09d.jpg

 

- Yozuri Hydro Pencil - Bone it's probably your best bet these days -- they used to make Tutti Fruitti which guys would switch over to in the fall. It's an excellent stop and start searching pattern and can also be fished very slow. Perfect for medium sized baits that are around. The Shimano Orca which is pictured above doesn't feature the rattle and doesn't cast quite as good but it's nice for slithering along which is why I rig that one up with a Flag Tail. 

IMG_20200813_172250.jpg.be768cb95ad9f09f3891538c8c84135f.jpg

 

- Larger Spook preferably wood - The hold really well in the wash and you can slither them around and call fish up. Generally all white is all you need however if you have broken water chartreuse is excellent and really any color in the yellow family will do the trick. I also often use very realistic bunker looking spooks because I find their phenomenal for imitating the midsize and larger bunker that you will find in the fall.

PXL_20201005_183643694.jpg.2dc0f3b07d159f7ca8b61cbd16e9d367.jpgPXL_20201003_214454028.jpg.74d5b9285e7aac1b0225325b3bf5d5c8.jpgPXL_20201003_214503473.jpg.3df4381d30e3e8122fc123596eb7f6d0.jpgPXL_20201003_214026718.jpg.14228695c91954168eb291ed1c4c8b0c.jpg

 

Large spooks are great searching patterns. There are lots of custom plug builders that make cool spooks. My two favorites are Mike's & After Hours. Perhaps one of the worst made but most effective jumbo spooks out there is the Daddy Mack and the reason it's good is because it has rattles. Unfortunately it's actually a Musky lure that has been adapted to the Northeast saltwater environment. Notice the hook placements are all wrong on the plug. More plug builders need to start putting rattles in their plugs. Making a rattle chamber isn't that hard but it is an extra step in the process. 

PXL_20201017_134515526.jpg.bc9379eb04a78b826223e943384cc2d0.jpg

 

Metal Lipped Swimmers are another category of plug you're going to want to have some representation of in your plug bag. I've caught a lot of the big Stripers on Metal Lips and they are a lot of fun to fish because you can work them slowly & steadily through the wash.

 

I like to fish them on outgoing tides also, especially where I can drift them for substantial distances with my conventional reel and then bring them back -! Thumping them steadily along. Hits are often explosive in fish are also often very large. Fishing Metal Lips becomes a sort of art form obsession.

 

Lots of custom manufacturers make terrific Metal Lips. I guess the main criteria is how easy are these plugs to obtain? Do you have to special order them half a year in advance or can you just click on to the internet and buy one? That's a decision you have to make with all lures and custom-made plugs. Certainly availability and ease of obtaining are both highly desirable - but, as with most works of art sometimes seeking them out and waiting is worth it.

 

Most of the time I fish the medium sized, sleeker designs because they swim a little smoother & a little more easily & they have such great profiles. The best time to fish a Metal Lip is in a fishy spot when nothing is showing. If you're fishing out front that means behind the waves and in the wash. If you have a little current that means dead drifting them into the rip line. And if you have an open beach or channel, it means bringing them back very slowly. Another awesome time to fish a Metal Lip is when you have a little structure breaking some current.

 

PXL_20201017_134359416.jpg.ef3e09cad1eafd1566da2e4682eb9c53.jpg

 

Medium to smaller Metal Lips are a must carry as they will help you get the most out of the fall season. You can also turn up the volume significantly and perhaps add a large species specific Metal Lip If you know you have big bait around. Adult Bunker are imitated really well by big plugs. Mike's Custom Plugs has all the size ranges covered and the plugs swim terrifically.

 

PXL_20201017_163243916.jpg.4a8cb7dd85d1285607288172a9d81445.jpg

 

 

AfterHours also makes a really nice size-range on these plugs & I really like the rounded noses which really provide a unique swimming action. 

 

PXL_20201017_162857020.jpg.8178ccd96a0969b339bda7772eabbe2d.jpg

 

Another type of Metal Lip that has been a great producer for me is what I call a Shovel-Lip Swimmer. These types of plugs are closer and body style to a Bomber, though about twice as wide they feature that nice long taper. Meanwhile, The convex "Shovel" Lip pushes a ton of water and gives the plug a really nice tight wobble. Mike's Custom Plugs came out with this design a few years ago & thankfully I swooped in and grabbed a couple. I fish the Shovel Lip a lot with a bucktail teaser at night & I love this plug on a slow retrieve. Noticed the pronounced Shovel Lip. This one's a money plug for me & in the Fall, it's constantly getting dunked. I actually like this plug better than the extra large "Danny" Swimmer as I've had much better luck on it. 

 

PXL_20201017_170500268.jpg.b6d45b0fde37858b4a3be61eccc62d82.jpg

PXL_20201017_170511213.jpg.8abbb331870f5c4ab65d8d294544b840.jpg

 

Pikies are actually in the Metal Lipped Swimmer family also. I love fishing Pikies also & sometimes when you're just targeting a big fish it's not a bad idea to throw something large and spend some time working it.

 

Surprisingly though, a micro Pikie can crush it when selective bass are feeding on smaller bait. For a couple of photos of Mike's Pikies, which are among the best you will find.

 

PXL_20201017_163033881.jpg.76cdca292b9bd0d335959a28adee7be8.jpgPXL_20201005_170021068.jpg.c7ca5380da9da594e6f44cd08857ee97.jpg

 

Rounding out the Metal Lip Swimmer family are the deeper diving "slope back" variety which absolutely require water depths of 6 to 8 ft or deeper to take full advantage of. For this reason this style of plug is not as popular in terms of all around fishability but, if you have a deeper spot and some current this can be a very good plug. 

 

Here is a Ghost Nunker pattern I love from Mike's Custom Plugs. I've actually snagged this plug a couple of times and I was willing to go swimming for it, that's how much I love it. I always fish with a base layer of a bathing suit because you never know! LOL 

 

The Slope Back Swimmer gives you that same thumping action that standard Metal Lip would, but it allows you to get down deeper into a rip line. I would put this plug in the secret weapon category actually. It's not a must have but for the right spots it's an awesome producer. it's probably one of the coolest designed plugs I've ever seen also in terms of that long gentle sloping angle that's cut into the head.

 

PXL_20201017_163116658.jpg.bfcb6e0f28add6b33c964418d8d2c363.jpg

PXL_20201017_163123449.jpg.22f2f739328e354acee99a7b46e9c71f.jpg

 

- Not a bad idea to have at least one Large Pencil that has a slight sink to it. Great for early morning blitzes. I like Mike's Ditch Witch & IMO it's the best pencil going. Larger size Pencils have been around a long time but for whatever reason young fishermen think that they are coming into Vogue just now. The truth is they are just discovering them in the last few years lol.

 

One Ditch Witch plug will hold up to thousands of blue fish & Stripers. Just use a good heavy fluorocarbon and make sure your knots are MONEY (secure). Braid to Swivel = Double Uni (If tied properly, there should be zero issues. one mistake people make here is they don't leave a tiny tag just in case there's any slip, which again if you tie the knot properly there shouldn't be any slip).Leader to plug = a well tied knot. There are a couple of choices here. And improved clinch knot tied properly will work fine. A double Uni will also work fine. Some people like a loop knot for certain plugs and if you tie that right that will work fine also.

 

The reason I'm talking about knots here while mentioning Mike's pencils is because he want to do everything in your control not to lose one. The bottom line here is that he speaketh loudest is most easily heard. The Ditch Witch puts a spell on Stripers who are looking for larger baits. So we will go ahead and call this one a must carry Fall lure. 

 

PXL_20201017_132956919.jpg.79d7d6f163250f910958234bc609735b.jpg

 

Smaller pencils can also be needed at times in the fall so you'll want to have with least one in your bag. Mike's, Guppy & AfterHours are three excellent choices for these mid-sized Pencils here but there are many others out there. Here is a picture of Mike's 6" with my flag tail that I installed after the original one was eventually crumpled by Bluefish. The teeth marks are visible on this plug if you look close but his bullet-like finish really prolongs the life of the plug. A lot of plugs out there just don't have the fit and finish that are present in his plugs and the other ones I'm recommending. however most custom-made plugs are very, very good in this department.

PXL_20201005_170212263.jpg.f71e54ed2afc603798a12a1c5ca84a19.jpg

 

If you've ever encountered a Peanut Bunker, Silver-Sides ides or Sand Eel blitz, it can be very frustrating. The late Stan Gibbs created an incredible answer to this conundrum.

 

His tiny Pencil Is perfect for not only Silver-Sides but also for Sand Eels. For this reason in the fall I have one in Olive (over silver) and one in Chartreuse on me at all times. I won't even leave the house without my micro tackle. 

PXL_20201017_153232259.jpg.80cb5dba9d3b9971c56110f118166f4e.jpg

 

These pencils will sometimes work in Peanut Bunker blitzes but Gibbs actually used a micro floating Little Neck with great success for these situations.

 

PXL_20201003_214606565.jpg.92315e515ca5864d10929615c155764a.jpg

 

Another very special fall Pencil Is the After-Hours Rascal Jr. Every time I change the hooks out on this rock-star plug I chuckle to myself. basically the rascal is a double-wide plug and it also comes in a senior model also which is a lot bigger. No question it takes some extra energy to move this Pencil properly, but if you have a rod with a fairly soft tip you are in business. 

 

The older Rascal Juniors featured only a rear treble hook but they have been improved, as you can see and now they feature a swiveling belly mount as well as a fixed position rear mount. 

 

PXL_20201017_154325291.jpg.b2f620a69f003df3f24d4be6b91deb72.jpgPXL_20201017_154337577.jpg.558342a8c23690fb11af3e987ee15292.jpgPXL_20201017_154414387.jpg.9e8232a0b55f11acdb6640400e1d5f7a.jpg

 

Pencil Poppers can get very complicated very quickly but you can simplify things by carrying something large, something medium-sized, something smaller and then something micro. then you can add in a couple different color options and before you know it you'll be lugging six to eight pencils in your plug bag - which is crazy, bit worth it. Most people don't have plug bags big enough to do this so you may need to pair this down based on whatever your strategy is going to be. Me? I carry things bro. It's not that hard to do. Get a comfortable backpack or get a big plug bag one or the other. You can also set yourself up with a belt that has tubes. Aqua Skins Hunter Elite surf equipment is all I use in conjunction with my water-resistant Patagonia & Simms backpacks. If it's pouring rain I go to the Simms, otherwise I use the Patagonia.

 

Unfortunately we're still stuck in the pencil proper category for a few more seconds here. First we have to look at a design that Atom made famous with their Striper Swiper series. I'm actually completely done arguing against this plug & I'm sick and tired of seeing people catch fish with it during a blitz lol. I mean it!  This style of "backwards pencil for whatever reason is just terrific. 

 

PXL_20201017_153300877.jpg.bfaa003b4c112812ff00cd1e0c0e7dbd.jpg

 

Other plug manufacturers make the basic design as well, though very few offer it in smaller sizes )which allows you to cover more options). 

 

Mike's Custom Plugs offers a superior equivalent to the Atom and for whatever reason this is a very well-kept secret because I hardly ever see them around or being used during blitzes. This style of surface popper Is a classic and many old-timers use only this for the surface blitzes. Literally nothing else is in their bag. For this reason I commissioned Mike to make me a Block Island Green one & several hundred fish later it's still in great shape. I use this almost exclusively when it's Stripers that are blitzing & they can't F&$#+&@ resist it. Notice the ridiculous contrast he built into it. Wowww. 

 

PXL_20201017_145839085.jpg.41c271c4fc42b2e5b633ba3aa6d548da.jpgPXL_20201017_145852230.jpg.71964bc41428a092619af92831eaca7d.jpg

 

We talked a little bit above about Super Strike Sinking Little Necks and also we looked at the Stan Gibbs micro Floating Little Neck. Then we got into Mike's Ditch Witch which I have said is my favorite single Pencil. All of these Plugs, whether they are Inverted Pencils, Double-Wides, Stripe-Swiper or Little- Neck "varietals" - in the Pencil family.

 

So let's close the Pencil conversation with the Giant Loud-Mouth, which is an exaggerated Little Neck. For people that want yet another secret weapon - get in touch with AfterHours on this one as well. This is a serious attention-getter for when big bait is getting pounded and it's also quite useful on blustery days where you can see fish blitzing but you can't get their attention. 

 

PXL_20201017_160445123.jpg.a120488a1d9689d2c31d9eb9dc892062.jpgPXL_20201017_160452765.jpg.b4016a5f20e049ca7a8fb8bfab3c9cd5.jpg

 

- Crippled Herring 3/4 oz. Obviously not a plug but you should be fishing with this lure all fall along you'll probably catch more fish in this than any other lure. 

 

- Deadly Dick - again not a plug but pretty much just a must have Metal for the fall. Great for windy days or slightly broken water. 

 

- obviously not plugs but White Bucktails 3/4 oz to 2 1/2 oz & bag of White Grubs - Deadly. I like to tie my own on jig heads that I pour myself but some of the lower builders do a really nice job on bucktails and you're better off ordering a few from somebody who's great at this art. Dan Tinman or Gary Andrus would be where you would look.

 

- X Rap Bunker in all 3 sizes. Excellent for when the water is a little bit more clear the x-wrap will flutter and vibrate like crazy and draw strikes as you work near structure. Must have. Will call Blue Fish or stripers & both will spring into action and pound the X-Rap. I haven't seen a bunker pattern yet that has better vibration or better pearlescent belly flash which are two huge characteristics of a panicking bunker. Their pearlescent bellies are amazingly reflective.

 

PXL_20201003_220616729.jpg.83efba24ce5d835690735fcde5b39abd.jpg

 

A cool trick is in stained water use the clown X Rap. It features a Bloody red-head with a chartreuse body and that same highly reflective belly. Douse it in bunker oil also when the water is stained. You can get a can of bunker oil at any bait and tackle shop and any tackle shop that doesn't have bunker oil is one you probably shouldn't bother shopping at. Simply put a small amount of it in a little travel squirt bottle that has a reliable screw top lid. The last thing you want is bunker oil leaking all over your junk lol. Note below I've added a Flag Tail because that's a nice holding point for the bunker oil and also it gives your Ex-Rap a little extra kick.

 

PXL_20201017_133540754.jpg.bcf161a465cfb514fc2c687b8ad9a0a8.jpg

 

Rapala also makes their own spook and I think it's a great fall blitz lure that doubles as a pretty good topwater searching pattern as well. It's deadly in Back bays and in areas where you're fishing skinny water. Pictured here is one that I use for blitzes. 

 

PXL_20201017_150015351.jpg.c0c675e939ccb03156a6a85e27086b4a.jpg

 

- Ice 7" Sluggos w/ 7/0 or 9/0 straight shank offset worm hooks. Pretty much striper candy &! by far and away the preferred soft plastics. Try to make them go side to side when you retrieve them but they can be fished other ways as well.

 

- Storm or tsunami Bunker Paddle Tail Minnows. You could probably fish all fall with just a paddle tail and I've seen kids do it too & catch quite a few keepers.

 

- Mambo Minnow - terrific swimming plug similar to a Bomber or an SP minnow but the advantage is the right flutter. The trade-off is it's a little lighter so it's really better for the calm days that you'll encounter. In the fall most guys like to switch to the brighter colors. as always we're swapping out the unneeded treble hooks when we have fixed belly mounts and we're adding flag tails when it makes sense to do so. in this case with the tight flutter of the Mambo, the flag bounces all over the place and gives the plug a whole new dimension while at the same time the virtually weightless flag does absolutely nothing in terms of imparting action impairing drag.

 

PXL_20201017_134015444.jpg.8fc69df0efd6cbf8c58bbfdf8c2b0894.jpgPXL_20201017_133544951.jpg.e035d54b069fae9ca4d51e185dbe6158.jpg

 

The SP Minnow is in a family of lures that may all seem to look alike but actually several of them have very different action and are better fished under certain circumstances. Let's dig into that just a minute here so we can be crystal clear on the topic and speaking of Crystal, let's Cover the Yozuri Crystal Minnow first. The larger minnow on the top in this photo is one that I like as a searching pattern in slightly stained water or for when skies are overcast. You get a tremendous amount of prismatic light bouncing properties and an extremely tight vibration which makes this another great searching pattern to drag around structure or to cover a beach. a lot of times with this type of lure the smaller sizes will actually work better unless you're in really deep water or in spots where big bass might be hiding. The Crystal Mino is really a go-to searching pattern. Unfortunately they're not species specific. this would be the lure if you were a traveling man however because they'll work anywhere. 

 

PXL_20201003_215511071.jpg.d60722a1936f676781b878c3377c08b6.jpg

 

Next up is the vaunted Bomber and you actually have to carry one for situations where you are fishing from the beach and most other lures like we're looking at here either begin to collect seaweed or whatever else -or- you need a much slower retrieve. Most anglers fish everything too fast actually and that's a big reason they don't catch anything. not to say that fast fluttering retrieves at times aren't deadly because can be. The particular model of Bomber You are looking for is the A-Salt Long-A. 

 

The bomber runs fairly shallow for a larger profile bait. Not a shallow as the Mambo or the Cotton Cordell redfin. In the fall it makes good sense to carry a very realistic-looking bomber that you can bring in with a slow retrieve. Simply get it thumping and move it through the water. It has a nice kick and for whatever reason it really does the trick. Probably more stripers have been caught during fall runs on the bomber than any other man-made lure. It's falling out of Vogue a little bit these days but not amongst sharpies, who wouldn't be caught dead without at least one Bomber on them. 

 

PXL_20201017_134101568.jpg.58960961895c7bcd265395e701f442a7.jpg

 

The larger Long Slalt-A size Bomber is made for imitating larger bait. It's actually best for Spring Herring but it will work when you have big bunker around also.

 

Bombers are made in a smaller variety as well.Several of my friends and I swear by the  5" " A- Salt and in particular we love it in mother of pearl which is a Wonder bread looking finish. Here Is a picture with the Long A on top and the A-Salt on the bottom. 

 

PXL_20201017_144920563.jpg.07aeb2cf16759789ac92edff9a54239c.jpg

 

Bomber also makes the "Wind Cheater" which is a little bit stubbier, heavier version of the Long A. Is it worth it carrying one of these when you are also carrying an SP Minnow? That's a decision you'll have to make but I like the WindCheater for fairly broken water, in situations where there's wind at my face and I just want a slow retrieve in the wash. For this reason I like the chartreuse color palette on this lure.

 

PXL_20201017_150523741.jpg.2968dc6da4d1e8786d3cea313027b910.jpg

 

The Red Fin Shad which is made by Cotton Cordell is another lure that is in this class. The Red-Fin features a little bit of a wider swimming motion which really imitates bait fish very well. I love the Redfin Shad in the open water. Below I have the bone Red Fin but my favorite color is actually Smokey Joe, which is basically the same thing it just has a dark grey dorsal area. The plug doesn't cast especially well on most surf rods. However if you are fishing from shore hopefully you are using a rod that's rated 3/4 of an ounce on up to 3 oz. Rod's in that rating will actually throw this lure fairly well. A lot of people like to load the RedFin with substances that don't evaporate, such as mineral spirits. mainly they do this because their rods are rated a little heavy and they don't cast this lure particularly well.

PXL_20201017_143842050.jpg.605ef8f0ea22f8db99d14959efac4294.jpg

 

There are a lot of other plugs that are basically in this same class and some of them are pretty good. But these Bomber style lures have a place because they build confidence and they really are go to plugs all season long but especially in the fall. Some of them come in different sizes also so depending on the lure, you can cover some different sized bait fish with it. Some of these lures don't cast all that well and for that reason I recommended sizes and patterns to save you some money as you're getting into this type of lure.

 

If you want to take your game to the next level & also really simplify life...

 

-Charlie Graves Tins would be the direction to go once you learn how to tie a loop knot. I've written a lot about these in the Metals & Tins thread here. For an in-depth look at these just head there and you'll see everything you need to know. 

 

The fish most often will see a Tim from below. For this reason they really don't see the top of the Tin. What they see is the Belly. Each one of the Graves Tins has a different shaped Belly for this reason. They imitate different sized bait fish. 

 

What's nice with the Graves tins is that they are all basically within the 1 1/2 to 2 oz range -- keep in mind we are talking about his pure tin varietals not his white metal ones which are definitely heavier. This weight range is ideal for surf fishing and with all of the different sizes and shapes available considering the way these tins wobble and shine (especially if you keep them polished), Charlie Graves Tins are a lights out solution for 95% of the bait fish are going to encounter in the Northeast. Windy days are completely negated by these types of lures and they work perfectly wonderfully on calmer days due to their profile, their light bouncing characteristics & their amazing wobbling swimming action. Rightdown to the last details, which consist of rear top mounted mini keels & feather tails for superior kick and lifelike action.

 

They actually fish best on a slow steady retrieve and the keel keeps the Tin running fairly straight. Meanwhile the belly has a multi-sheen to it which, If it were a boat would make people see sick in about 2 seconds. Think of the Tin's belly as the lure's hull. 

 

The Graves hulls are very unstable and Not only do they cause Tins to wobble like crazy but this wobble translates into the tail which creates wiggle. The overall effect is an extremely lifelike action. 

 

This time of year the Bunker Tin is great but I also constantly throw the 1-W & the 8M when I know I have peanut bunker or the slightly bigger juvenile bunker around. Most days under these conditions these lures are about all I throw. This year Ive caught Albie's, Bonito, Spanish Mack's, Blues & Stripers on the Graves Tins, same as every year!

 

If I know that I have Sand Eels present then I go right to the D-5. If the Sand Eels are very thick & down deep I might even use a Point Jude Po-jee as part of this rotation & just bounce it along the sandy bottom. 

 

The standard rotation you can use throughout the bulk of the year, including the fall - would be to lead off with J-7 and the reason for this is that silver sides are around all the time and this is the perfect tin to imitate them well at the same time this 10 will cover small Bunker also.

 

Work that through various cuts then you move to the J-8 if you're not hooking up. Keep working & then move to the D-5 & finally on to the 8-M if needed. This is called a rotation. It's really the only rotation you need for most conditions you will face. 

 

You can also deliver Bucktail Teasers, Red Gill Rascals or for the cheaters - Gulp Paddle Tails LOL.

 

Lastly, a day saver involves carrying a couple of Hogy Epoxy Minnows in case they are on silver sides & the water is extremely clear or much calmer than usual. Carry one that looks very realistic and one that is more of an attractor (my favorite is electric yellow over pearl).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can't beat that:):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

AtThis time if year: You are definitely going to want to carry some plugs. The more you go down this rabbit hole, the more you will try various types of plugs based on wherever you're fishing.

 

Here is what I would start building from a collection standpoint in terms of plugs - not necessarily in order here: 

 

- Your Bone SP is good, I like Chicken Scratch myself though. as I think the contrast helps and if the water is the slightest bit stained the chicken scratch out produces the bone. A good one in clear water is the color I believe they refer to as sand eel which is basically olive on top & silver (Even though natural sand eels have unmistakably pearl bellies).

 

The Chicken Scratch, pictured below, is a good searching pattern especially when you have blue fish around. For that reason I'd rig it up with two inline hooks or just leave the troubles on it if you want to deal with that hot mess - which coincidentally is a lot worse for catch & release fishing which is why I STRONGLY recommend using Trebles only on swiveling belly mounts for most plugs. 

 

PXL_20201017_133725408.jpg.0feecd0535a660e680857756ef041ab9.jpg

 

The SP comes in a really nice size for imitating mid-sized bait. You can also add a flag and extend the profile slightly and thereby cover 9" bait when you need to. 

 

- Super Strike Sinking Little Neck popper - Yellow or Chartreuse over White which are both excell fall colors for this plug. Work this plug slowly. When you get it up to the surface give your rod tip a subtle little pop and try to make a blurp then retrieve it extremely slowly and then let it sink for about 20 seconds then work it slowly back up to the surface give it another blurp and try to hold it there while barely retrieving. The key is to imitate a severely wounded bay fish. when fish are feeding with reckless abandon you can be a little more aggressive with this plug but if you have blue fish up on top sawing up bait, which is often the case during fall blitzes, big stripers will wait below them and eat whatever falls down to them. A yellow sinking little neck can drop very slowly right into their zone. I've caught a ton of keepers with this technique. You can also just drop a larger Metal that will flutter down to them and you'll have equal success. This plug will come in two sizes and because most of your bait in the northeast in the fall is fairly small you're going to want the 1 5/8 oz and possibly the 2 oz as your primary go-to's. This is the best searching popper on the planet Earth and it casts like a missile. This plug is on the bottom in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Darter - I like to fish ones with contrast with the darker color over the lighter color. Great choice for when you have some current to work with & let's get a little bigger profile than just having an SP minnow for that situation. situation just you would use this darter in would be where you have a little bit of current or outgoing tide to pull against it and help it wobble. The Darterr is on the top in the photo below.

 

- Super Strike Stubby Bullet - excellent searching pattern where you can zigzag it under the surface of the water. This is a vastly underused lure. for years, I've used it constantly with great results.When nothing is showing this should be one of the first plugs out of your bag. because searching patterns can easily get hung up you're going to want this plug in the 1 5/8 oz size. It also comes in a heavier 2 oz which is more for heavy current, though surprisingly the lighter one does a pretty nice job even in heavy current & it's much just likely to get hung up as you bring it back in shallow. This plug is in the middle in the picture below.

 

- SuperStrike Bottle Darter -!If you get into some current you can crack fish all day long on a yellow rattling SuperStriketrike bottle darter it's a phenomenal lure that digs in and darts all over the place. This is a great searching pattern when you have a little current. This plug is pictured individually and you see the one I like the best which is yellow.

 

IMG_20200622_165326.jpg.443c3fed5aa7b4033b55bf53e79c36a4.jpgPXL_20201017_133057487.jpg.cdb75e79adfcdedde959026f86984cc3.jpg

 

- Speaking of Bottle Darters - I like Mike's Custom Plugs Bottle Darter. Great choice for when you have larger bait around and you're fishing in or near current. This plug is deadly on rip lines and you can drift it out along a rip line if you're spotted up near structure where the line is forming. 

PXL_20201017_135524445.jpg.56e6064cbaf8350bb7b35f07cd96308a.jpg

PXL_20201017_135656252.jpg.d60950e3d2583d27fc27d3e62012c140.jpg

 

His Beast Darter which has a different body shape is also awesome for bigger bait such as adult Bunker and it runs a little deeper than a Bottle Darter does.

PXL_20201017_135726141.jpg.57451cb51fcbaa3b58ed6cbd562ec09d.jpg

 

- Yozuri Hydro Pencil - Bone it's probably your best bet these days -- they used to make Tutti Fruitti which guys would switch over to in the fall. It's an excellent stop and start searching pattern and can also be fished very slow. Perfect for medium sized baits that are around. The Shimano Orca which is pictured above doesn't feature the rattle and doesn't cast quite as good but it's nice for slithering along which is why I rig that one up with a Flag Tail. 

IMG_20200813_172250.jpg.be768cb95ad9f09f3891538c8c84135f.jpg

 

- Larger Spook preferably wood - The hold really well in the wash and you can slither them around and call fish up. Generally all white is all you need however if you have broken water chartreuse is excellent and really any color in the yellow family will do the trick. I also often use very realistic bunker looking spooks because I find their phenomenal for imitating the midsize and larger bunker that you will find in the fall.

PXL_20201005_183643694.jpg.2dc0f3b07d159f7ca8b61cbd16e9d367.jpgPXL_20201003_214454028.jpg.74d5b9285e7aac1b0225325b3bf5d5c8.jpgPXL_20201003_214503473.jpg.3df4381d30e3e8122fc123596eb7f6d0.jpgPXL_20201003_214026718.jpg.14228695c91954168eb291ed1c4c8b0c.jpg

 

Large spooks are great searching patterns. There are lots of custom plug builders that make cool spooks. My two favorites are Mike's & After Hours. Perhaps one of the worst made but most effective jumbo spooks out there is the Daddy Mack and the reason it's good is because it has rattles. Unfortunately it's actually a Musky lure that has been adapted to the Northeast saltwater environment. Notice the hook placements are all wrong on the plug. More plug builders need to start putting rattles in their plugs. Making a rattle chamber isn't that hard but it is an extra step in the process. 

PXL_20201017_134515526.jpg.bc9379eb04a78b826223e943384cc2d0.jpg

 

Metal Lipped Swimmers are another category of plug you're going to want to have some representation of in your plug bag. I've caught a lot of the big Stripers on Metal Lips and they are a lot of fun to fish because you can work them slowly & steadily through the wash.

 

I like to fish them on outgoing tides also, especially where I can drift them for substantial distances with my conventional reel and then bring them back -! Thumping them steadily along. Hits are often explosive in fish are also often very large. Fishing Metal Lips becomes a sort of art form obsession.

 

Lots of custom manufacturers make terrific Metal Lips. I guess the main criteria is how easy are these plugs to obtain? Do you have to special order them half a year in advance or can you just click on to the internet and buy one? That's a decision you have to make with all lures and custom-made plugs. Certainly availability and ease of obtaining are both highly desirable - but, as with most works of art sometimes seeking them out and waiting is worth it.

 

Most of the time I fish the medium sized, sleeker designs because they swim a little smoother & a little more easily & they have such great profiles. The best time to fish a Metal Lip is in a fishy spot when nothing is showing. If you're fishing out front that means behind the waves and in the wash. If you have a little current that means dead drifting them into the rip line. And if you have an open beach or channel, it means bringing them back very slowly. Another awesome time to fish a Metal Lip is when you have a little structure breaking some current.

 

PXL_20201017_134359416.jpg.ef3e09cad1eafd1566da2e4682eb9c53.jpg

 

Medium to smaller Metal Lips are a must carry as they will help you get the most out of the fall season. You can also turn up the volume significantly and perhaps add a large species specific Metal Lip If you know you have big bait around. Adult Bunker are imitated really well by big plugs. Mike's Custom Plugs has all the size ranges covered and the plugs swim terrifically.

 

PXL_20201017_163243916.jpg.4a8cb7dd85d1285607288172a9d81445.jpg

 

 

AfterHours also makes a really nice size-range on these plugs & I really like the rounded noses which really provide a unique swimming action. 

 

PXL_20201017_162857020.jpg.8178ccd96a0969b339bda7772eabbe2d.jpg

 

Another type of Metal Lip that has been a great producer for me is what I call a Shovel-Lip Swimmer. These types of plugs are closer and body style to a Bomber, though about twice as wide they feature that nice long taper. Meanwhile, The convex "Shovel" Lip pushes a ton of water and gives the plug a really nice tight wobble. Mike's Custom Plugs came out with this design a few years ago & thankfully I swooped in and grabbed a couple. I fish the Shovel Lip a lot with a bucktail teaser at night & I love this plug on a slow retrieve. Noticed the pronounced Shovel Lip. This one's a money plug for me & in the Fall, it's constantly getting dunked. I actually like this plug better than the extra large "Danny" Swimmer as I've had much better luck on it. 

 

PXL_20201017_170500268.jpg.b6d45b0fde37858b4a3be61eccc62d82.jpg

PXL_20201017_170511213.jpg.8abbb331870f5c4ab65d8d294544b840.jpg

 

Pikies are actually in the Metal Lipped Swimmer family also. I love fishing Pikies also & sometimes when you're just targeting a big fish it's not a bad idea to throw something large and spend some time working it.

 

Surprisingly though, a micro Pikie can crush it when selective bass are feeding on smaller bait. For a couple of photos of Mike's Pikies, which are among the best you will find.

 

PXL_20201017_163033881.jpg.76cdca292b9bd0d335959a28adee7be8.jpgPXL_20201005_170021068.jpg.c7ca5380da9da594e6f44cd08857ee97.jpg

 

Rounding out the Metal Lip Swimmer family are the deeper diving "slope back" variety which absolutely require water depths of 6 to 8 ft or deeper to take full advantage of. For this reason this style of plug is not as popular in terms of all around fishability but, if you have a deeper spot and some current this can be a very good plug. 

 

Here is a Ghost Nunker pattern I love from Mike's Custom Plugs. I've actually snagged this plug a couple of times and I was willing to go swimming for it, that's how much I love it. I always fish with a base layer of a bathing suit because you never know! LOL 

 

The Slope Back Swimmer gives you that same thumping action that standard Metal Lip would, but it allows you to get down deeper into a rip line. I would put this plug in the secret weapon category actually. It's not a must have but for the right spots it's an awesome producer. it's probably one of the coolest designed plugs I've ever seen also in terms of that long gentle sloping angle that's cut into the head.

 

PXL_20201017_163116658.jpg.bfcb6e0f28add6b33c964418d8d2c363.jpg

PXL_20201017_163123449.jpg.22f2f739328e354acee99a7b46e9c71f.jpg

 

- Not a bad idea to have at least one Large Pencil that has a slight sink to it. Great for early morning blitzes. I like Mike's Ditch Witch & IMO it's the best pencil going. Larger size Pencils have been around a long time but for whatever reason young fishermen think that they are coming into Vogue just now. The truth is they are just discovering them in the last few years lol.

 

One Ditch Witch plug will hold up to thousands of blue fish & Stripers. Just use a good heavy fluorocarbon and make sure your knots are MONEY (secure). Braid to Swivel = Double Uni (If tied properly, there should be zero issues. one mistake people make here is they don't leave a tiny tag just in case there's any slip, which again if you tie the knot properly there shouldn't be any slip).Leader to plug = a well tied knot. There are a couple of choices here. And improved clinch knot tied properly will work fine. A double Uni will also work fine. Some people like a loop knot for certain plugs and if you tie that right that will work fine also.

 

The reason I'm talking about knots here while mentioning Mike's pencils is because he want to do everything in your control not to lose one. The bottom line here is that he speaketh loudest is most easily heard. The Ditch Witch puts a spell on Stripers who are looking for larger baits. So we will go ahead and call this one a must carry Fall lure. 

 

PXL_20201017_132956919.jpg.79d7d6f163250f910958234bc609735b.jpg

 

Smaller pencils can also be needed at times in the fall so you'll want to have with least one in your bag. Mike's, Guppy & AfterHours are three excellent choices for these mid-sized Pencils here but there are many others out there. Here is a picture of Mike's 6" with my flag tail that I installed after the original one was eventually crumpled by Bluefish. The teeth marks are visible on this plug if you look close but his bullet-like finish really prolongs the life of the plug. A lot of plugs out there just don't have the fit and finish that are present in his plugs and the other ones I'm recommending. however most custom-made plugs are very, very good in this department.

PXL_20201005_170212263.jpg.f71e54ed2afc603798a12a1c5ca84a19.jpg

 

If you've ever encountered a Peanut Bunker, Silver-Sides ides or Sand Eel blitz, it can be very frustrating. The late Stan Gibbs created an incredible answer to this conundrum.

 

His tiny Pencil Is perfect for not only Silver-Sides but also for Sand Eels. For this reason in the fall I have one in Olive (over silver) and one in Chartreuse on me at all times. I won't even leave the house without my micro tackle. 

PXL_20201017_153232259.jpg.80cb5dba9d3b9971c56110f118166f4e.jpg

 

These pencils will sometimes work in Peanut Bunker blitzes but Gibbs actually used a micro floating Little Neck with great success for these situations.

 

PXL_20201003_214606565.jpg.92315e515ca5864d10929615c155764a.jpg

 

Another very special fall Pencil Is the After-Hours Rascal Jr. Every time I change the hooks out on this rock-star plug I chuckle to myself. basically the rascal is a double-wide plug and it also comes in a senior model also which is a lot bigger. No question it takes some extra energy to move this Pencil properly, but if you have a rod with a fairly soft tip you are in business. 

 

The older Rascal Juniors featured only a rear treble hook but they have been improved, as you can see and now they feature a swiveling belly mount as well as a fixed position rear mount. 

 

PXL_20201017_154325291.jpg.b2f620a69f003df3f24d4be6b91deb72.jpgPXL_20201017_154337577.jpg.558342a8c23690fb11af3e987ee15292.jpgPXL_20201017_154414387.jpg.9e8232a0b55f11acdb6640400e1d5f7a.jpg

 

Pencil Poppers can get very complicated very quickly but you can simplify things by carrying something large, something medium-sized, something smaller and then something micro. then you can add in a couple different color options and before you know it you'll be lugging six to eight pencils in your plug bag - which is crazy, bit worth it. Most people don't have plug bags big enough to do this so you may need to pair this down based on whatever your strategy is going to be. Me? I carry things bro. It's not that hard to do. Get a comfortable backpack or get a big plug bag one or the other. You can also set yourself up with a belt that has tubes. Aqua Skins Hunter Elite surf equipment is all I use in conjunction with my water-resistant Patagonia & Simms backpacks. If it's pouring rain I go to the Simms, otherwise I use the Patagonia.

 

Unfortunately we're still stuck in the pencil proper category for a few more seconds here. First we have to look at a design that Atom made famous with their Striper Swiper series. I'm actually completely done arguing against this plug & I'm sick and tired of seeing people catch fish with it during a blitz lol. I mean it!  This style of "backwards pencil for whatever reason is just terrific. 

 

PXL_20201017_153300877.jpg.bfaa003b4c112812ff00cd1e0c0e7dbd.jpg

 

Other plug manufacturers make the basic design as well, though very few offer it in smaller sizes )which allows you to cover more options). 

 

Mike's Custom Plugs offers a superior equivalent to the Atom and for whatever reason this is a very well-kept secret because I hardly ever see them around or being used during blitzes. This style of surface popper Is a classic and many old-timers use only this for the surface blitzes. Literally nothing else is in their bag. For this reason I commissioned Mike to make me a Block Island Green one & several hundred fish later it's still in great shape. I use this almost exclusively when it's Stripers that are blitzing & they can't F&$#+&@ resist it. Notice the ridiculous contrast he built into it. Wowww. 

 

PXL_20201017_145839085.jpg.41c271c4fc42b2e5b633ba3aa6d548da.jpgPXL_20201017_145852230.jpg.71964bc41428a092619af92831eaca7d.jpg

 

We talked a little bit above about Super Strike Sinking Little Necks and also we looked at the Stan Gibbs micro Floating Little Neck. Then we got into Mike's Ditch Witch which I have said is my favorite single Pencil. All of these Plugs, whether they are Inverted Pencils, Double-Wides, Stripe-Swiper or Little- Neck "varietals" - in the Pencil family.

 

So let's close the Pencil conversation with the Giant Loud-Mouth, which is an exaggerated Little Neck. For people that want yet another secret weapon - get in touch with AfterHours on this one as well. This is a serious attention-getter for when big bait is getting pounded and it's also quite useful on blustery days where you can see fish blitzing but you can't get their attention. 

 

PXL_20201017_160445123.jpg.a120488a1d9689d2c31d9eb9dc892062.jpgPXL_20201017_160452765.jpg.b4016a5f20e049ca7a8fb8bfab3c9cd5.jpg

 

- Crippled Herring 3/4 oz. Obviously not a plug but you should be fishing with this lure all fall along you'll probably catch more fish in this than any other lure. 

 

- Deadly Dick - again not a plug but pretty much just a must have Metal for the fall. Great for windy days or slightly broken water. 

 

- obviously not plugs but White Bucktails 3/4 oz to 2 1/2 oz & bag of White Grubs - Deadly. I like to tie my own on jig heads that I pour myself but some of the lower builders do a really nice job on bucktails and you're better off ordering a few from somebody who's great at this art. Dan Tinman or Gary Andrus would be where you would look.

 

- X Rap Bunker in all 3 sizes. Excellent for when the water is a little bit more clear the x-wrap will flutter and vibrate like crazy and draw strikes as you work near structure. Must have. Will call Blue Fish or stripers & both will spring into action and pound the X-Rap. I haven't seen a bunker pattern yet that has better vibration or better pearlescent belly flash which are two huge characteristics of a panicking bunker. Their pearlescent bellies are amazingly reflective.

 

PXL_20201003_220616729.jpg.83efba24ce5d835690735fcde5b39abd.jpg

 

A cool trick is in stained water use the clown X Rap. It features a Bloody red-head with a chartreuse body and that same highly reflective belly. Douse it in bunker oil also when the water is stained. You can get a can of bunker oil at any bait and tackle shop and any tackle shop that doesn't have bunker oil is one you probably shouldn't bother shopping at. Simply put a small amount of it in a little travel squirt bottle that has a reliable screw top lid. The last thing you want is bunker oil leaking all over your junk lol. Note below I've added a Flag Tail because that's a nice holding point for the bunker oil and also it gives your Ex-Rap a little extra kick.

 

PXL_20201017_133540754.jpg.bcf161a465cfb514fc2c687b8ad9a0a8.jpg

 

Rapala also makes their own spook and I think it's a great fall blitz lure that doubles as a pretty good topwater searching pattern as well. It's deadly in Back bays and in areas where you're fishing skinny water. Pictured here is one that I use for blitzes. 

 

PXL_20201017_150015351.jpg.c0c675e939ccb03156a6a85e27086b4a.jpg

 

- Ice 7" Sluggos w/ 7/0 or 9/0 straight shank offset worm hooks. Pretty much striper candy &! by far and away the preferred soft plastics. Try to make them go side to side when you retrieve them but they can be fished other ways as well.

 

- Storm or tsunami Bunker Paddle Tail Minnows. You could probably fish all fall with just a paddle tail and I've seen kids do it too & catch quite a few keepers.

 

- Mambo Minnow - terrific swimming plug similar to a Bomber or an SP minnow but the advantage is the right flutter. The trade-off is it's a little lighter so it's really better for the calm days that you'll encounter. In the fall most guys like to switch to the brighter colors. as always we're swapping out the unneeded treble hooks when we have fixed belly mounts and we're adding flag tails when it makes sense to do so. in this case with the tight flutter of the Mambo, the flag bounces all over the place and gives the plug a whole new dimension while at the same time the virtually weightless flag does absolutely nothing in terms of imparting action impairing drag.

 

PXL_20201017_134015444.jpg.8fc69df0efd6cbf8c58bbfdf8c2b0894.jpgPXL_20201017_133544951.jpg.e035d54b069fae9ca4d51e185dbe6158.jpg

 

The SP Minnow is in a family of lures that may all seem to look alike but actually several of them have very different action and are better fished under certain circumstances. Let's dig into that just a minute here so we can be crystal clear on the topic and speaking of Crystal, let's Cover the Yozuri Crystal Minnow first. The larger minnow on the top in this photo is one that I like as a searching pattern in slightly stained water or for when skies are overcast. You get a tremendous amount of prismatic light bouncing properties and an extremely tight vibration which makes this another great searching pattern to drag around structure or to cover a beach. a lot of times with this type of lure the smaller sizes will actually work better unless you're in really deep water or in spots where big bass might be hiding. The Crystal Mino is really a go-to searching pattern. Unfortunately they're not species specific. this would be the lure if you were a traveling man however because they'll work anywhere. 

 

PXL_20201003_215511071.jpg.d60722a1936f676781b878c3377c08b6.jpg

 

Next up is the vaunted Bomber and you actually have to carry one for situations where you are fishing from the beach and most other lures like we're looking at here either begin to collect seaweed or whatever else -or- you need a much slower retrieve. Most anglers fish everything too fast actually and that's a big reason they don't catch anything. not to say that fast fluttering retrieves at times aren't deadly because can be. The particular model of Bomber You are looking for is the A-Salt Long-A. 

 

The bomber runs fairly shallow for a larger profile bait. Not a shallow as the Mambo or the Cotton Cordell redfin. In the fall it makes good sense to carry a very realistic-looking bomber that you can bring in with a slow retrieve. Simply get it thumping and move it through the water. It has a nice kick and for whatever reason it really does the trick. Probably more stripers have been caught during fall runs on the bomber than any other man-made lure. It's falling out of Vogue a little bit these days but not amongst sharpies, who wouldn't be caught dead without at least one Bomber on them. 

 

PXL_20201017_134101568.jpg.58960961895c7bcd265395e701f442a7.jpg

 

The larger Long Slalt-A size Bomber is made for imitating larger bait. It's actually best for Spring Herring but it will work when you have big bunker around also.

 

Bombers are made in a smaller variety as well.Several of my friends and I swear by the  5" " A- Salt and in particular we love it in mother of pearl which is a Wonder bread looking finish. Here Is a picture with the Long A on top and the A-Salt on the bottom. 

 

PXL_20201017_144920563.jpg.07aeb2cf16759789ac92edff9a54239c.jpg

 

Bomber also makes the "Wind Cheater" which is a little bit stubbier, heavier version of the Long A. Is it worth it carrying one of these when you are also carrying an SP Minnow? That's a decision you'll have to make but I like the WindCheater for fairly broken water, in situations where there's wind at my face and I just want a slow retrieve in the wash. For this reason I like the chartreuse color palette on this lure.

 

PXL_20201017_150523741.jpg.2968dc6da4d1e8786d3cea313027b910.jpg

 

The Red Fin Shad which is made by Cotton Cordell is another lure that is in this class. The Red-Fin features a little bit of a wider swimming motion which really imitates bait fish very well. I love the Redfin Shad in the open water. Below I have the bone Red Fin but my favorite color is actually Smokey Joe, which is basically the same thing it just has a dark grey dorsal area. The plug doesn't cast especially well on most surf rods. However if you are fishing from shore hopefully you are using a rod that's rated 3/4 of an ounce on up to 3 oz. Rod's in that rating will actually throw this lure fairly well. A lot of people like to load the RedFin with substances that don't evaporate, such as mineral spirits. mainly they do this because their rods are rated a little heavy and they don't cast this lure particularly well.

PXL_20201017_143842050.jpg.605ef8f0ea22f8db99d14959efac4294.jpg

 

There are a lot of other plugs that are basically in this same class and some of them are pretty good. But these Bomber style lures have a place because they build confidence and they really are go to plugs all season long but especially in the fall. Some of them come in different sizes also so depending on the lure, you can cover some different sized bait fish with it. Some of these lures don't cast all that well and for that reason I recommended sizes and patterns to save you some money as you're getting into this type of lure.

 

If you want to take your game to the next level & also really simplify life...

 

-Charlie Graves Tins would be the direction to go once you learn how to tie a loop knot. I've written a lot about these in the Metals & Tins thread here. For an in-depth look at these just head there and you'll see everything you need to know. 

 

The fish most often will see a Tim from below. For this reason they really don't see the top of the Tin. What they see is the Belly. Each one of the Graves Tins has a different shaped Belly for this reason. They imitate different sized bait fish. 

 

What's nice with the Graves tins is that they are all basically within the 1 1/2 to 2 oz range -- keep in mind we are talking about his pure tin varietals not his white metal ones which are definitely heavier. This weight range is ideal for surf fishing and with all of the different sizes and shapes available considering the way these tins wobble and shine (especially if you keep them polished), Charlie Graves Tins are a lights out solution for 95% of the bait fish are going to encounter in the Northeast. Windy days are completely negated by these types of lures and they work perfectly wonderfully on calmer days due to their profile, their light bouncing characteristics & their amazing wobbling swimming action. Rightdown to the last details, which consist of rear top mounted mini keels & feather tails for superior kick and lifelike action.

 

They actually fish best on a slow steady retrieve and the keel keeps the Tin running fairly straight. Meanwhile the belly has a multi-sheen to it which, If it were a boat would make people see sick in about 2 seconds. Think of the Tin's belly as the lure's hull. 

 

The Graves hulls are very unstable and Not only do they cause Tins to wobble like crazy but this wobble translates into the tail which creates wiggle. The overall effect is an extremely lifelike action. 

 

This time of year the Bunker Tin is great but I also constantly throw the 1-W & the 8M when I know I have peanut bunker or the slightly bigger juvenile bunker around. Most days under these conditions these lures are about all I throw. This year Ive caught Albie's, Bonito, Spanish Mack's, Blues & Stripers on the Graves Tins, same as every year!

 

If I know that I have Sand Eels present then I go right to the D-5. If the Sand Eels are very thick & down deep I might even use a Point Jude Po-jee as part of this rotation & just bounce it along the sandy bottom. 

 

The standard rotation you can use throughout the bulk of the year, including the fall - would be to lead off with J-7 and the reason for this is that silver sides are around all the time and this is the perfect tin to imitate them well at the same time this 10 will cover small Bunker also.

 

Work that through various cuts then you move to the J-8 if you're not hooking up. Keep working & then move to the D-5 & finally on to the 8-M if needed. This is called a rotation. It's really the only rotation you need for most conditions you will face. 

 

You can also deliver Bucktail Teasers, Red Gill Rascals or for the cheaters - Gulp Paddle Tails LOL.

 

Lastly, a day saver involves carrying a couple of Hogy Epoxy Minnows in case they are on silver sides & the water is extremely clear or much calmer than usual. Carry one that looks very realistic and one that is more of an attractor (my favorite is electric yellow over pearl).

 

 

 

Thanks a ton for all that information! You really outdid yourself on that one! I appreciate you writing all of that just to help me out :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.