When this jumbo Oregon native (the steelhead, not the dude!) smashed Ken “Smitty” Smith’s plug, his first thought was “springer.” But then the thick buck jumped and the fight was on!
Smitty was running 10-pound so you can imagine what kind of craziness ensued, but in the end, he was able to subdue the beast. Ken figures that he got a huge helping hand from his dad, who recently passed on and was surely watching the action from above.
As our first entry of the March Hawg of the Month, Smitty will have a chance to win some schwag from the Pautzke Bait Co. If he advances, Ken will get to compete in the Hawg Bowl Playoffs at the end of the year and maybe, just maybe win a trip with Bill Swann of Swanny’s Guided Fishing. Click to ENTER
Now that side-drifting’s all the rage for steelhead, pulling plugs is rapidly becoming a lost art. Not too many years ago, most steelheaders who fished from boats backtrolled wigglers like Hot Shots and Wiggle Warts. Then, side-drifting eggs got popular – thanks in part, to some schmuck who wrote an entire book on the subject – and a lot of anglers…well…pulled the plug on plug pulling.
There’s no denying that drifting eggs will almost always produce more steelhead than any other method, but pulling plugs does have its moments. They can be a real day saver in high, off-colored conditions but also often yield spectacular results when things are low and clear as well.
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In tight quarters, you can sometimes put a plug into a spot that no bait drifter could reach – and, generally speaking, plugs also give you your best shot at a really, really big fish. In addition, plugging is a cool way to get people who maybe can’t wade or cast all that well – kids or older folks – into some steelies.
But all of that’s really just a bonus. Click here to read more…
JD, I have a quick question about fishing with Kwikfish for salmon. I heard or read somewhere that instead of doing a sardine wrap you can put some self-stick Velcro on the bottom of the plug and then smother it in gel sent. How well does that work? And, do you think a sardine wrap really works since the fish are on the move anyway? By the way, loved your steelhead book!
Hey Rob! There have been several methods devised over the years to avoid having to wrap plugs with sardine or herring fillets…some guys have done the Velcro thing, while others have glued sponges or stuck scent pads to the bottoms of their plugs and then doused everything in some sort of scent. Then there was Pro Cure’s Bait Butter, which was a scent concoction with a peanut butter consistency that you could just lather your lure in. All of the above worked, but…Click here to read more…
Though there are plenty of good steelhead plugs on the market today, three of the all-time best ones have long since been discontinued. It always seems to work out that way, doesn’t it? Well, that doesn’t mean, however, that they’re not still out there…somewhere. While most Willy’s Worms, old-style Bagley’s Crawfish and STORM Pee Wee Warts have mostly been hunted to extinction on eBay, a few still pop up now and then. But truly your best bet to score a few of these old Hall of Famers is to scour the aisles of out-of-the way tackle shops and liquor stores, where you may just find a few dusty and faded packages hanging on pegs or in the bargain bin.
Here’s a closer look at these three steelie slayers:
Click here to read more…
Not 24 hours after telling one of the guys on my boat that I rarely catch stripers on salmon plugs…PRESTO!…A striper climbs all over a backtrolled chrome and chartreuse number we were trying to put in the face of a king.
Still, it’s a rare occurrence…maybe once a year or so. You’d think it would happen more often when you consider the fact that a plug looks (and smells) a lot like a small fish…something, in theory, that an opportunistic striper would find hard to resist. But in fact, I’ve caught far more linesiders on back-bounced eggs. Go figure…