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When using a bucktail in the back bays for weaks or stripers do you always pick a weight that will bounce the bottom? Are there times that it is better to have the bucktail up off the bottom? Do you use the same technique for weakies and stripers? Do you use a bucktail and a finess the same way. When I use a bucktail or finess I will make a long cast let the bucktail or finess sink a few seconds to the bottom then bounce my rod tip twice reel about 3 revolutions and bounce the rod tip again until it's close to the boat. Some times If I am drifting in a deep channel I will jig the bucktail or finess up and down off the bottom right under the boat. Are these proper techniques??
 

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Hey DRIFTER.

Sounds like you are doing everything right with the bucktail. In fact the only thing wrong you can do with a bucktail is not put it in the water. The bucktail may be the all around perfect weapon for a fisherman. Hook, weight and dazzle all in one neat package.

Take a look in any tackle shop and a good portion of a wall can be filled with as many sizes as colors. Some tackle box designer gave me a box with many compartments and mine are filled with bucktails. Some as small as 1/16 of an ounce up to the bunker buster 3 ouncer.

Sometimes it's more important what size you use rather than how you use it. I make sure every size I have will have at least one of each leadered up. Snap swivel makes the change quick and easy. I'll start in the middle size then if nothing seems to be happening I will do some changes usually to a smaller size. As many size bucktails that I have I also have as many size softies to dangle on the end. It's amazing how a one ounce bucktail with a three inch softie won't draw any interest while a 1/8 ouncer with a one inch grub will work fish into a frenzy. Next day it's the other way around. I think all fish are females.

I always figure the water is in three layers. Top, middle and bottom. When the fish are up top you can see it real easy. They are usually up there to work schools of baitfish over. Bucktails worked hard and fast will do the trick most of the time. Baitfish will be in panic mode and swimming fast. Predators are geared up to give the chase and many times it's speed that will trigger a response. If I don't have surface tackle (plugs or poppers) it's hard and fast retrieve for my best results. Lighter bucktails work best for me because they simple sink slower. Thats when a full spool of line makes for longer and more productive casting.

When fish are in the middle layer it's the most difficult fishing. Fish in the middle are usually traveling. I don't bother targeting these fish because they are hard to follow and aren't on the feed anyway.

Bottom fishing is the most perfect way to use the bucktail. Any fish like stripers and weakies are down there for one thing. FOOD. The bottom is loaded with shrimp, crabs and small fish. To dance a bucktail along the bottom is like saying come and get it to everything around.

The way I fish the bottom and it doesn't mean it's the best way but it works for me. I select a section of water and make my cast. I let the bucktail hit the bottom and then retrieve as fast as possible. I'll do this about five times covering the section of water I'm fishing. Most times this method doesn't draw one strike but it served a purpose. It let most of the predators around get a glimpse of what I'm throwing. Now I begin to work the bucktail. Same area only slow. Now the fish are seeing it and it's not just flying by them. Now it's an inviting target and it's something they just watched fly by. With a long rod (7 feet pluss) I can get great action by slowly lifting and retrieving. A long rod gives you a great advantage in jigging the bucktail. I try everytjhing from long slow lifting to a retrieve that just keeps it off the bottom. Thats where the predators are focusing their attention. Thats where I want the hook.

Again sometimes size means everything. Back to middle size then try the smaller ones. I also have a bunch of bucktail that I trim. I cut the hairs off about an eigth of an inch past the hook. This way I can use smaller softies without covering them up with the long hairs. Many times this has proved the most effective method for me. Still enough hair to attract attention but not enough to hide the wiggle.

Like I said in the beginning. Sounds like you are doing everything right. From casting and jigging to vertical jigging. If you try them all then you can figure anything on the feed will at least take a look and thats half the problem solved.
 

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CHUNKING gave you an excellent lesson and everything he told you works
Key is trying different approaches until you find one that works
Location is another key,when fishing in back waters I like to get a bucktail right up under the bank,let it drop and work it back trying to stay CLOSE to bottom,not neccesaily on the bottom for bass and weakies. usually a slow retrieve wroks best for bass and weakies
Bluefish on the other hand would rather have it a little faster and blues "usually" are a little off the bottom, middle is more like it
Fluke I keep close to bottom in a drift and when I feel a bite I drop back than set hook
If working for fluke in shallow water ,straight up and down jig has been real productive
I rarely go over 1/2 oz and 80% of the time it is 3/8's with braided line
Trolling bucktails also is productive up close to sod banks or along channel drop offs. When Trolling I usually will go to 5/8-3/4 oz
Never pass up the mouth of a small creek on outgoing tides ,cast up the mouth and bring jig out with tide
Color can be a key sometimes, I always start with white ,but if I believe fish are there and not biting I will switch around from Chartreuase to pink to at times brown has produced
Experiment -Experiment -experiment and just because you caught fish one way and with one color don't expect same thing to work next day
It is always changing
good luck
 

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Fred & Willie, Excellent Advise,,,

Another Great Thread To Print Out And Keep
For Reference....

Thanks You Very Much.....

[ 01-13-2005, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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The new thing,to my knowledge, has been "halogram",real shiny, bucktails. I fish my halogen light heavy in the spring-fall and tried these sort of bucktails. I personally do not think they are productive. The plain bucktails seem to work the best for me.
 

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All I'm using down here is 3/8's oz homemade bucktails tipped with small piece of shrimp
Brown with little white hair is working best followed by pink
 
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