MAKING A BUCKTAIL JIG

OK, I assume you have the needed materials and I  will take you through step by step
#1- I assume you have either made your own jigs or have bought unpainted jigs.
#2 start with painting the jig in color of your choice. I start with white and move to Chartreause . You have 2 choices of of paint. Liquid epoxy paint which you can be applied with a brush and let dry.if possible after drying bake in a toaster oven for improved durability
OR I prefer a dry paint, I heat jig in toaster oven to 250 degrees and than dip into the dry paint of color of choice,put back in toaster oven for 15-20 seconds or until paint is smooth ,remove and dip again and repeat in oven until paint is smooth lower temperature to 175 and bake for 10 minutes
You can do 10-15 at a time in toaster oven
#3 you are ready to wrap hair , cut off hair from bucktail in small batches and begin to wrap using 4/0 or 5/0 thread. DON”T bunch up but put around jig in small batches evenly . Applying in batches is what allows the jig hair to breathe in the water when lightly jigging
Once you have the hook covered ,finished the wrap by continuning to wrap hair until all covered.You have 2 options for excess hair ,One is cut off excess hair and finish the wrap or 2 which is what I do is fold the hair back and keep wrapping until all hair is covered.
#4 once wrap is complete coat the wrap with a sealant .I like water based Seal Coat which only requires one coat and let dry. But any clear coat sealant will do the job

To enhance the drying and reduce runs of the coating I like to put back in the toaster oven with a temperature of 150 degrees for 10 minutes and this adds to the durability of the paint
You now have fish catching bucktail jigs at a cost of less than $1 per depending on size of jig

This jig unlike mass produced jigs by most manufaturers will have a real life breathing motion when lightly jigging

Good luck .IF you have any further questions feel free to ask

making your own bucktail jigs

If you are interested in saving money and making your own bucktail jigs over the winter I will be describing the process and you could make them for under $1 after an initial investement
What do you need to start as intial investment
#1 a fly tying vise or something to hold the jig
a simple one can be bought for $20
#2 bucktail hair ..bucktail hair is hollow and makes
best jigs . You can buy in varies colors for $5 or less
you can get 10-14 jigs per tail $5
#3 flying tying thread for saltwater jigs I like size D
Nylon , 100 yd spool good for over 40 jigs $3
# 4 assuming you aren’t melting your own jigs and
will buy complete with hook the average cost per
will be $.50
painted $.55
#5 you will need a wrap coating material to cover
the wrap . I like Seal Coat as it is one step and
holds up great with one coat , 4 oz jar is good for
250 plus lures $13
#6 narrow brush to apply $.10

#7 paint I like using dry paint and I dry it in a
toaster oven .I like Pro Tec powder paint appr $7
and good for 100 plus jigs . If you would rather use an epoxy paint you can find 1oz bottle for under $5

Total investment cost is under to get started $50

if you want to make from scratch you will need a
lead melting pot $40
hooks varying sizes at approx .08 per
an access to lead OR you can buy in
1 lb ingots for approx $3 per lb

You are now set to produce your own jigs. I will provide below some resources to find the needed supplies Search around for best prices

Terminal Tackle in NY
Barlows Tackle.com
Lure Parts on line ,com
Netcraft.com

or you local bait and tackle shop if open

Next few days I will describle the process for making a bucktail jig

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you tight lines on a regular basis

MERRY CHRISTMAS

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND MAY YOU HAVE TIGHT LINES CONSISTENTLY IN THE NEW YEAR AND MAYBE CATCH THAT FISH OF A LIFETIME

NOVEMBER 2014 RECAP

I was optimisitc going into November as 11 of the last 12 years has always produced the largest and most bass of the year and first 8 days were always the best days of the month for size and numbers .
Problem was the short and long range weather forecast was not good. I actually could not get out until 5th due to wind and rain. Got out on 5th and found a few bass . On 6th I got soaked by the rain but found one 32″er .8th I get to boat and it is covered with an ice coating but light winds so out I went and found 5
9th-10th found a couple but nothing to brag about
11th the forecast was turning lousy with high winds and dropping temperatures…Water temps dropped 8 degrees in 5 days.
Found couple of bass on 11th but weather forecast was horroble SO decided to pull boat and call it a year as the 10 day forecast had rain and high winds as result of nor’easter rolling up the coast
Not very happy I pulled boat
Total for month was 22 bass, other than 2012 when Sandy screwed everything up this was worse November in 12 years for numbers and size
total 22 bass
largest 32″
Av size 21.95″
Only 4 were caught on eels, the rest on White trolled bucktails with white twister tails …This was another strange thing in 2014 as in previous years Chartreuse and Red bucktails with similar Twister tails outproduced White. This year nothing on those 2 combinations only white

So 2014 is over ,than to end this year on bad note when I got boat back in driveway after getting it winterized the front cross member of trailer broke. Now waiting for insurance adjuster to tell me whether insurance covers the damage . THAN I have to get boat off trailer on blocks in such a way so I can get it back on after getting trailer fix
One thing for sure November is always full of surprises

HAVE A GREAT WINTER,MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

I will be posting some of my tips off and on this winter so stay tuned. 2015 will see a 25% reduction in striped bass regulations but we probably won’t know officially until Early Spring as NJ Legislature must pass a bill that meets ASMFC guidelines..Summer Flounder at this point looks to be similar to 2014 and regionalzation will remain.HOWEVER there is a slight chance NJ could be split with north half of State staying in NY region and Southern half going into Delaware region. I give this a 25% chance in 2015 we shall see

OCTOBER 2014 RECAP

Going into October I was very optimistic as October has been my best month for past 8 years . Key date this month is Oct 10th as the bass had come on strong around that date give ot take a couple of days either way for past 8 years
Month started out with water temp at 69-70.
FLUKE bite was hot but size generally down and they were in the shallow bays for the most part sucking up the bait that was thick
Total FLUKE for month 89 but largest was 19″ and average size 14.17″

BASS — Oct 10 th came and went without a strong bite .Surface poppers early in morning worked most of the ,month and once sun came up it was trolled bucktails. Bass appeared to still be resident fish and not the normal migrating fish I was seeing the last several years in October
Live eels produced a couple but nothing to get excited about .Best catch of the month was a 30″ bass on a surface popper. Normal spots were not producing and I did a lot of searching to find the few I caught
Total BASS 24 average size 18.93 Largest 30″
My Oct average caught and tagged in Oct the past 8 years was 90 plus but not this year

BLUEFISH —They were still hanging around through first half of the month but no decent size .All caught while searching for bass
Total BLUEFISH 8 av size 13.89″ Largest 16.5″
2014 did turn out to produce the most bluefish I’ve tagged in several years

Sea Bass which I usually tag 100 plus every Oct were scarce and what was caught was small ,under 8″ I only b tag 8″ or above
October 2014 will go down as a very frustrating month and so far the normal bass migration inside has not started .
Water temp at end of month was 59 and it was a fairly windy month
There was a much better bite to my south as guys I talked to down there had them almost every day. I made the trip down twice and both days were the 2 best for size I had all month. I’m wondering if the sand that seems to be filling in Corson inlet from toll bridge out is affecting this years bass run????

SEPT 2014 RECAP

I always look forward to Sept arriving,less boat traffic and usually starts the Fall run. This year Sept started rough with lots of wind almost everyday and as the month went on the Fall was not shaping up as years past. Couple of things caused me to wonder what was going on #1 Sea Bass remained very small unlike past years when by Sept 10-13″ seabass was normal #2 no kingfish. every year for past 9 I had a good run of Kingfish on small bucktails not this year. The water was cyrstal clear like it has been most of the year. Sept has me changing my techinques and I spend a lot of time looking for new places for fish to hide. Bottom line it turned out to be an interesting but not all that rewarding month
FLUKE were hanging around in significant numbers ,Total of 101 were caught in the month and MOST ,well over 80%, were caught in water less than 5ft deep. They were feeding on small shiners on flats LARGEST was 23″ but majority under 18″ and the average was 14.5″..Light bucktails 1/4-1/2 oz in white and pink tipped with a Gulp minnow in similar color was most consistent bait

BASS–Bass was an early morning bite on surface plugs for most part. Smacki Jr was the surface lure of choice worked slow.. Total bass was 11 and largest was 23″ with an average of 18.5 …Interesting note to make here is the typical spots for Sept Bass did not produce,why I have no idea BUT did find a couple of new spots for future reference. There also was a significant lack of mullet and peanut bunker ,oh there were a few but nothing like years past in Sept

Bluefish —Bluefish remained in the area the entire month and while I tried to avoid them I still ended up with 26,largest was 23″ and average size ended up being 14.75″

As I closed out the month I began ro wonder why this Fall was not shaping up as previous 9 years and was not coming up with any answers.
No major storms but as I mention in beginning lots of wind
MISC–I did catch ,land and tag 2 sharks over 4ft and one Starglazer was caught
EVERYTHING caught in Sept was tagged and released to fight another day

AUGUST 2014 RECAP

August is not my favorite month to fish and I only fished 14 days. However it is a good month to search out different areas that potentially hold fish. Water most of the month was cyrstal clear, few mullet showing up along with a few peanut bunker
FLUKE as usual were on small side and I didn’t spend a lot of time fishing for them. Did catch ,tag and release 15 plus one legal fluke of 19″. Most of the fluke were found in small creeks leading out of shallow bays as the shallow bays were loaded with bait . In August I put my “bucktail willie rig” away and go to a single bucktail with Gulp.Reason being the waters get invaded with small aggressive sea bass and you will spend more time baiting hooks than fishing. White continued to outproduce all other colors,white gulp shimp with white bucktail was hot

BASS— August produces short resident bass usually very early in morning or after dark. 14 bass were caught ,tagged and released with largest AT 24″ . 6 caught on poppers and 8 on trolled bucktails ,once again WHITE was the color

BLUEFISH– they were everywhere and really a problem when looking for bass, Total caught ,tagged and released 21 with largest at 19″.. They hit about everything I threw or trolled .

WEAKFISH—- I looked every morning for weakfish as when weakfish were abundant few years ago August was a hot month. HOWEVER all I could catch,tag and release were 3. Did have 3 others almost in the boat but lost them after seeing…. The interesting thing here again was White was the bait of choice, I tried numerous other color combinations but white was the bait of choice… Water clarity has to have something to do with this as I continue to see the clearest water I have seen in Summer

Clearly 2014 has been a strange year and after reviewing 30 years of logs I cannot find another year similar and with water so clear. Also fish were being found in different locations than the past,this indicates some bottom changes taking place. You need tobe flexible and willing to check out new places for nice rewards

2014 JULY RECAP

July was a disappointing month and nothing like past 4 July’s … The past 4 years had legal size bass being caught first 2 weeks of Month and in good numbers .Not this year
Hurricane Arthur went by little offshore beginning of the month

38 STRIPED BASS were caught with largest 25″ and average size of 19.39″ 17 on surface poppers early AM and balance on trolled buctails with twister tail .White out produced every other combination. Clearly a down month as compared to previous years,very disappointing

16 -BLUEFISH were caught primarily while trying for bass.largest was 25″ but average size was only 16.68″…. Bluefish most plentiful in 5 years

75 -FLUKE were caught in the month and largest 18.5″ and average size of 13.09″ . This was a typical July with the influx of very small and aggressive Fluke.. Most of the larger Fluke that arrived in April are now moving to ocean lumps . Most of fluke caught are now being found near and in shallow bays . The shallow bays and sunds are full of bait

WEAKFISH– found weakfish on 2 days after 7 days of looking largest 24″ and average size was 22.56″ Total was only 5 … There were more being caught further south but bite was in darkness,,, They clearly didn’t take up residence in my area but a good sign for future

To keep things interesting in July I landed 2 Butterfly Rays well over 50 lbs. Also landed 2 large sharks of 5 ft in shallow water

One thing that is becoming very clear is the best color has been WHITE, in years past Chartruese was best color in July for everything not this year. I suspect the water clarity had a lot to do with White . Following the Hurricane going by beginning of month the water got real clear and you could see 3-4 down, Very unusual for July

JULY 2014 WAS INTERESTING but NOT AS PRODUCTIVE AS JULY’S IN PAST

JUNE 2014 RECAP

jUNE was a disappointing month,overall size was down on most species from years past
Month started out with water temps of 70 and increased to 74 by month end
FLUKE– total caught tagged and released was80, largest 3 at 24″, but overall average size was down at 14.38″. Was tough to find a legal size fish second half of the month as influx of small fish arrived mid-month.
The bucktail wille 2 hook rig with bucktail on short leader and long leader with 5/0 gold hook was the rig of choice for fluke in June. Bucktail had a Gulp Shrimp on it and 5/0 hook had a Gulp minnow in pearl,or pink . occasionally a strip of fresh bluefish. Bucktail jig , was as light as possible, rarely over 5/8 oz so as not to drag bottom,the fluke generally come up to get the bait . Color of bucktail was interesting.I usually start out with white and that generally is most consistent but there were days in June where nothing hit white but hit pink or green… i have yet to figure why ??

BASS— Total 19 caught , largest 26″, average size 19.96″ Bass thinned out as water warmed up but those that took up residence were caught on surface poppers in early morning .

Bluefish — Blues were still hanging around in June and I tried to avoid them .Total caught ,tagged and released 13 largest 20″ average size 17.85″.. Most of these were caught on poppers when looking for bass but a couple bothered me when searching for weakfish but they were thinning out…

Weakfish —I spent several hours looking for weakfish, there was a bite south of me before sunrise several mornings but I never made it down that far for varies reasons.. I did catch ,tag and released one weakfish 24″ and lost 2 others at the boat .While this is an improvement over past few years .going back 1o years June would produce 8-12 every morning . Maybe they will continue to build As I said June was a disappointing month as it had been the best month of the year the past 4 years. I think increased water temps may have had something to do with the results
21 days on the water in June
July recap next