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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work the N.shore beaches mostly, and as of last year hooked up with wader and fish the Niss. River. I never realy got into bucktails and lead heads, but am making it a point to learn this year.My questions are these, when to use a "Bucktail" VS. a lead head with a slugo or shad body, what are the major differences in all the different bucktail designs, shapes, (ie smiling bill, lima bean, round) and do those chrome ones realy work for fluke like the manufactuers say they do or is that a bogus claim?
Technique- How are these properly fished?
Not sure if I should be hitting botom or not (always get snaged!!!). Should it be suspended in current? What is the best or most practical way to use these things?What about colors too?
Also do I want to use a braided line like fireline for these or mono? Please help, any info would realy help me out here.

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291 Posts
I'm no expert but This is my 2 cents on bucktails.
I started using them this past summer.I fish the northshore around the riverhead area.What I do is
cast and start retrieving. Not to fast or slow.
Every 3 or 4 cranks of the reel I'll jerk the rod
back. I try not to let the bucktail hit the bottom.For me the trick is not to let the bucktail
hit the bottom because too many rocks and will definetly snag! Also I wont use a bucktail at lowtide or near low tide.Just asking for trouble.
I use fireline so it can get expensive.
I might still snag a bucktail but not like in the
begining when I first started.
I use 3/4oz - 1oz SPYRO BUCKTAILS and I do not
attach any pork grind.
I have used the lead heads with a rubber body
but one thing I didnt like is the aerodynamics
of the lure when you cast. The ones I used had
a tendency to flip to many times in the air and cut down on casting distance.
I never bothered to use bucktails before until
late in the season.Reason was because I would loose my bucktails. I saw another fisherman using bucktails and watched how he casted and fished the lure never let the bucktail hit the bottom.
At the time all I used was Poppers,swimming plugs
and kast masters. He mentioned I should try a Bucktail so I reached in my surfbag and pulled a bucktail and started casting. In less Than an 1hr
I hooked into 6 fish! Bass and Bluefish.
After that I'll never under estimate the Bucktail
lure.I fished hard with those other lures but when I switched over to the bucktail it was like Night and day.
Also if the water has too much seaweed I wont bother. Too much of a hassle cleaning off
the lure every time you reel in.
Those days I stay on top with a popper and at night strictly swimming plug!!!

IBEW local 1049

This message was edited by IBEW on 2-1-02 @ 7:26 PM

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32,144 Posts
Skippy - try the bucktails up in the mouth of the river from the Short Beach side. There's a nice sandbar over there that extends pretty far out into the boating channel. Strong current on both sides of the tide - may work well there. Wouldn't recommend it for the spot we have fished - as you say - will probably hang up on the bottom.

Regarding soft plastics with a lead head - they will work where we've fished. I've had pretty good luck with them. Bass Assisins & shad bodies work fine. Toss 'em out - real slow retrieve. Stop - lift rod a bit - couple more slow retrieves - stop - lift rod tip. Allow the turns to bring the lure to or near the surface. When you stop - it kinda sinks back down - when you lift the rod tip - it starts to head for the surface again - then you start turing the reel again. Imatates a wounded bait fish fairly well. Try them in the spot we've fished just before sunset then switch to the eels after the sun goes down.

Be prepared to lose them if there are blues present.

Was thinking of trying White's Pool either this weekend or next (on Sunday) - mail me if interested ([email protected]). Maybe we can get Sticks to join us.

This message was edited by wader on 2-5-02 @ 1:04 PM

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94 Posts
Hi Wader,

I think we've exchanged a message or two on this forum...I fished the mouth of the Niss. many times last year, from the Kings Park boat ramp side as well as Short Beach, but don't know any up-river spots. I tried the walk from the Niss. State Park parking lot (the Green trail), but that's about it. Would you be willing to share directions to White's Pool, or any other up-river spots from the Short Beach lot?

If the weather hold's I may head to LILCO, or maybe the Niss. this afternoon to try some early season fishing.

Maybe we'll hook up later in the season...

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264 Posts
Hi Jack
I hope this helps a little. Again this is JMHO, not gospel. Always use a trailer on a bucktail, sometimes the trailer makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes it's porkrind and sometimes it's curlytails. This past season I've seen days when the bigger fish were caught only on rind and the smaller ones were falling for the tails, then in the same session only a redtails on chartruse would catch. Bring lots of trailers, in all different colors. I carry a Van Stall eel bag on my belt, just with trailers. Four bottles of rind various curlys in assorted flavors, and a pair of fiskars stailess school size scissors. These are perfect for trimming rind down when going to a smaller size bucktail.
I don't care for the Spro bucktails from the beach. Ok for fluke from a boat, but I find the hooks are too weak. I've had them come back from a hang totally bent out of shape. A good size fish would crush that hook into a circle. Their design also makes them catch too much water in the places I fish. For a production bucktail I'd buy the Andrus Rip Splitters and jetty balls. They are tied with a heavy duty hook and just the right amount of hair. If you do not lose a few bucktails once in a while you are missing 90% of the fish. Thats the point of fishing a bucktail; getting it down to the fish on or near the bottom. If you're hanging up too much, go to the next size lighter until you feel your presentation is correct. Power Pro or firelne is also the way to go. You can feel every vibe around your bucktail and visulize how its action is covering the bottom. This is the key to successful bucktailing. Finding what works and then reproducing that action so you are consistently hooked up. Its often been said if veteran surfrat could pick only one lure to use it would always be a bucktail. I hope this helps, after over 30 years of using the thing there are still times when I'm missing and the guy next to me is banging every cast using the same setup. Of course there are also times when you seem to have that magic touch.
Tight Lines

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25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Shag, and eveyone else, pretty much the info I was looking for. Sorry I didn't get back to you in time Wader. Have you seen Sticks lately?
2 more months for baby #2!
Would like to hook up with you next time you go! Have tried the herring thing this winter but with no luck. Will email you soon!
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