pennfishing82

Bucktails. To trailer or not to trailer

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The only time I don't use a trailer is if I'm trying to imitate the profile of smaller bait (peanut bunker) and even then it needs to be dire for me to remove my rind. 

Edited by liambrouillette

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It all depends on the situation.

 

I don't fish from the beach very much, but if I throw a bucktail from shore, it will have a trailer.

 

Boat fishing for weakfish in Great South Bay, I find that a trailer makes a big difference.  Boat fishing for bass in Long Island Sound, I find that I catch far fewer fish with a trailer than on a naked bucktail.

 

Drop speed is part of the equation, the amount of bait present is part of it, water temperature may even play a role, as you can fish a bucktail with trailer slower than the same lure without.

 

In the end, you play around, thinking of what a trailer adds to a lure, trying to see if it works, trying another trailer or a naked bucktail if it doesn't pan out.  As in most things in fishing, there are no hard and fast rules.

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1 hour ago, pennfishing82 said:

All other lures are niche lures. You can only use surface plugs on the surface. You can only use tin lures probably on the bottom and can only be retrieved slowly or they will spin. 

Careful with overgeneraling things or you may be cheating yourself.  As CWitic said there are no absolutes in fishing.  Plenty of people skip tins across the surface for albies, macs and tuna.  I've know of situations where bass ignored a slow needle, but pounded a fast needle.  Experiment and find what works for you.  I think all people who have put there time in have run into situations that were contrary to their long held beliefs.  The fast needle retrieve got me....

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On 8/31/2021 at 2:09 AM, pennfishing82 said:

Are bucktails still effective without a trailer, or will a trailer make a big difference? If so, what type of trailer? Pork rind, gulp, fat cow, zoom??

 

I fish all my bucktails without a trailer and I do just fine. As long as the bucktail has nice hair, your good. If your bucktail has crappy hair like a SPRO, then get rid of them and get bucktails with nice hair. :)

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21 hours ago, pennfishing82 said:

Guess I can buy some squid at the supermarket. It's usually cheap

Always have squid in the freezer!!   Try to find the bigger tubes. They make great strips. Thicker.   Plus the head/tentacles work great on bait rig. 

21 hours ago, Brothers said:

I’ll bite. 
 

I’m throwing bucktails 90% of the time when I fish, been pouring lead and tying  them for a couple years now. I never throw a trailer on, Iv tried in the past but just have confidence without the trailer. 
 

each their own. 
 

 

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What hooks are those?  I like that big eye!

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Trailers are good for making the profile longer than bucktail hair is. Another way is to get creative with your tying material as shown above. I like to tie in a bit of flash like pink or green holo to add length and color to the jig.

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38 mins ago, TheSuperApe said:

Trailers are good for making the profile longer than bucktail hair is. Another way is to get creative with your tying material as shown above. I like to tie in a bit of flash like pink or green holo to add length and color to the jig.

I think longer hackles or rabbit strip tied in before the hook bend lengthens the profile and is essentiay mimicking a trailer, especially the rabbit strip.

Edited by MikeK

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12 mins ago, MikeK said:

I think longer hackles or rabbit strip tied in before the hook bend lengthens the profile and is essentiay mimicking a trailer, especially the rabbit strip.

I definitely intend to experiment with new materials for jigs intended to be fished without trailers. The rabbit zonker strip posted earlier looks nice. For speckled trout fishing I find if I need a trailer a live shrimp works wonderfully, but then whats the point of tying the pretty jig. 

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On 8/31/2021 at 7:13 AM, MikeK said:

ALWAYS TRAILER.  This shouldn't be up for debate.  Sure people will say they have caught without, but a bucktail with a trailer will get bit more 99% of the time.  The trailer is what brings and otherwise boring bait to life.  

+ 1 on this ^^^^^^^^ I don't leave home without it.

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4 hours ago, TheSuperApe said:

I definitely intend to experiment with new materials for jigs intended to be fished without trailers. The rabbit zonker strip posted earlier looks nice. For speckled trout fishing I find if I need a trailer a live shrimp works wonderfully, but then whats the point of tying the pretty jig. 

That's why I stick with andrus and slap some pork skin on it.  No need to buy/tie expensive bucktails.  If it ain't broke....

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99% of the time trailer is more successful. Which trailer depends on the bait and the conditions...porkrind, gulp, even feathers all have their specific moments.

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Whether or not you use a trailer depends on the kind of water you are fishing and the bait present. Also some bucktails have a lot of hair and others don't and that impacts what you are doing immensely.

 

Most people who get really serious about bucktails either by very well made ones or more than likely start making their own eventually.

 

What matters most is probably the amount of hair on the jig. Bucktails with a lot of hair will sink slowly and bucktails without a lot of hair will tend to get down quicker. Bucktails with pointed jig heads obviously get down the quickest in so they are very good in heavy current. 

 

Probably the single most popular style of jig head is what's called a smiling Jack and that style of jig is what a lot of serious bucktail guys use. 

 

With one single smiling Jack jig head in a variety of weights you can cover almost any kind of water. The decision to use a trailer is generally made when you want more action on the tail of the jig or especially when you have bigger bait around and you want to increase the profile of your bucktail to match the naturals. Trailers will impart a lot of life like action to a bucktail and based on the length of the trailer you can create a little bit of extra drag which allows you to fish shallower waters with bigger baits.

 

Bucktails that hug the bottom and swim evenly and steadily will crush fish. A lot of guys over jig bucktails when fishing from a boat but when you watch the commercial fishermen, they just get the jig to the bottom and drift. Bam-Bam-Bam, all day long. When the boat is full they head to the bank.

 

That doesn't mean you should not impart action to a jig when you are shore fishing. The goal is to make your bucktail become alive and so lots of little stops and starts and twitches will help you cover water and make your presentation look a little more lifelike. 

 

Surf casters by far and away use pork rinds over most other types of trailers, for when they want more action or when they want a bigger profile or more drag so they can slow their presentation down even more. 

 

Adding feathers to the hair fibers when tying bucktails is also a very good idea because it gives your bucktail a bigger profile and some natural wiggle. 

 

Lastly the weight of your Bucktail matters tremendously and more than likely you will be switching from one Bucktail to the other as you try to determine where you want to be and how quickly you want to get down. 

 

If you are new to fishing bucktails you should deliberately target areas with Sandy bottoms that way you can get used to getting near the bottom without getting hung up and without losing your Bucktail. 

 

Boulder fields are also nice areas to fish bucktails but you have to be a little bit more experienced in order not to get hung up.

 

Generally you should just start with an all white Bucktail. If you fish a lot during the day you may want to add chartreuse as a color option and if you fish at night, red wine would be the next color I would add to your bag. From there you can try black and black and purple and all kinds of other wacky colors. Again, start with all white. 

 

The most important single factor is the weight of your jig head. You can go as light as 3/8 or 1/2 oz, then you should definitely have 3/4 oz, 1oz & 1 1/2 oz, then 2 oz, 2 1/2 oz and 3 oz.

 

The fuller the hair the slower the Bucktail sinks and the easier it is to work the Bucktail near the surface. If possible try to find beaches with sharp drop offs and practice getting a good cast and then getting down under the waves. Fish love to cruise behind that first breaker wall & surprisingly close to the beach. 

 

Armed with a little selection of bucktails and a few pork rinds you can handle just about any situation.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, surfrat59 said:

99% of the time trailer is more successful. Which trailer depends on the bait and the conditions...porkrind, gulp, even feathers all have their specific moments.

I agree here. You can add plastics to the list too.  I am a bit miffed at all the posts supporting no trailers. I can’t think of one time over decades where I experienced no trailer to be any sort of ticket to catching over a bt with a trailer. To each his own I guess. 

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