After Many emails on the baittails here is a history on them and how they work ! Use this knowledge well guys!!
: For us guys from who commercially fished for bass, and weakfish, the Bait Tail, next to the diamond jig, is probably the best all around lure for the bight. And unlike the diamond jig, the bait tail will catch fish at night.
For the last 20-25 years or so, the most popular makers of these lures were Don Bingle, and Gary Goldberg & Bob Sparta, of S&G lures. Also Al Rhindfelder was the inventor of these. He died in a Canoe accident in Del. Their heads by far fished the best due to their well balanced design, and the way in which the rubber was cut. I have used Sekora baitails, and must say, that their rubber and the way it is cut, is not as good as Bingles or S&G. Period.
Their are some variations of the heads, but the basic design is still the same, with either a Mustad 34184/5 or 91750/ST hook inserted in the leadhead weighted from less then a half ounce upto 3 ounces. The tails were specially cut with either a long clothing shears, or a special tool that is made by craftsman and sold at Sears. (Blades must be extra sharp when cutting the rubber)..two things are critical with the making of the bait tail...one is the balance of the lure, and the second which is as, or more important, is the correct cutting of the tubing. Tubing has to be used that comes from straight rolls, not the curved stuffed that you seem packed...a tube must be cut that is straight, with as little as possible curling at the ends, and, where the end of the tube runs up to the base near the bottom of the hook...tubing comes in different sizes ranging from 3/16, 5/16, 3/8 and 1/2, with the smaller sizes the most popular. The best color by far was what we called devold' which was slightly darker then the natural color we see...the second best was a shade of green that worked incredible in the fall, especially when fishing in the river for bass (Battery and East River). Black, white, wines , dark red and purple also work but natural seems to outfish them all. Heads do not have to be painted, but can be, with either a white or yellow base, with black eyes with a red smile.
The bait tail is to be worked by casting it out and very slowly retrieving it along the bottom...it also can be fished straight up and down in a jigging motion, with a slow lift and drop. The bait tail works incredibly well for king mackeral, with a light trace of light coffee colored wire in sizes 2 through 4 when fishing it on top. Use heavier wire from #5-8 when bluefish are scattered around...Down in the Florida Keys, bait tails, work incredibly well fishing off the bridges for tarpon and snook. They can be cranked at mid level or on top, and work very well at night for all species. You can even cast a light bait tail out and skip it along the top for false albacore.
Question: Do you fish them with a strip of squid? What about when you target fluke, do you add squid and a spearing/killie or squid alone?
Balance is important
No Doc you cannot use a strip or any other bait on the hook. If you read my post on the way a bait tail works Balance is the most important fact here. By putting on any object you would throw off the center of Bal. causing the baittal to list back. When seen in the water the baittail should be on a 90% angle to the line it is tied to . That is why a good made bait tail will be weighted perfectly so the line is 90% from the main line. This has everything to do with the presentation and action of the baittail. good secrect. This lure is used in many diffrent actions!
I will list the fishing tactics below for diffrent spiecs I have caught with them.
1)Bass + Weak's, You must let the lure hit the bottom and slowly retrive dragging the bottom. once you are straight up and down re cast. If there are weeds in the water or grass put it away it is useless
2) Blues: Fast retrive or slow retrive work s with blues you need to keep trying till you find the right action.
3) Tarpon: this is a difficult Tech. It envolves keeping the lure ontop on the suface reeling real fast and (keeping it with the wave or current) It will not work uless you have the right direction.
4) Fluke yes I have caught some nice fluke on them just jigging up and down. In deeper water a slow lift and drop works well and in sallow water more of a quick jig.
5). Bontia and albies: Hit bottom or skim surface and crack that baby as fast as you can!
6: Seabass: slow jig on the bottom off the bottom will work on seabass. remember try and matchthe head of the baittail to the size of the bait in the area!
Well my fingers are tired for now hope this helps Good luck catch them up!
(This post edited by togmaster on 09/13/2004)