Article - Getting all your plugs in a row

2/15/2014 12:00 PM

Getting all your plugs in a row

Years ago I arranged for Buzz Ramsey, noted fishing expert, to speak at a chapter meeting. Buzz is knowledgeable about all methods of salmon and steelhead fishing but is the supreme expert on plugs, having helped to refine the famous Luhr Jensen “Hot Shot” as well as other plugs they offered. Now of course, he’s with Yakima Baits, doing the same work for their fine products.

Someone in the crowd asked him how far out from the boat he ran the plugs “Sixty feet” was his answer. “Any difference in clear or muddy water?” “Nope “ he replied. He expanded on this a bit. “You get a sense where your plugs are when you always have them out the same distance. You’ll fish them more accurately around rocks and avoid snags better. That’s why I stick with sixty feet. You could use a bit shorter or longer. The important thing is that the plugs care all out the same distance, and you have a sense of where that is.”

This made sense to me, and I tried various ways of achieving the sixty foot distance. One friend of mine counted the line “trips” as it went back and forth on the spool as it was going out. Easy to miss a “trip” and different reels required different numbers of trips. I took to marking the lines themselves. This proved easier for me to keep track of.

Here’s what I do now. I tie a bright colored Dacron “stopper” knot on the monofilament line I use on the plug rods at 65 feet. That’s the same knot we all use to make an adjustable depth stopper knot when we’re bobber fishing .When the lines go out I have everyone put that knot just past the rod tip. That way I can see if all the plugs are out the same distance (or if one of my friends was asleep at the switch…again…). If we lose line somehow in a tangle up or something, I just slide the knot back the correct distance, tie on a new Hotshot snap and we’re ready to go. How do I know where to reset that knot? Easy- I just match it up with my launch rope. Its sixty five feet long. Why sixty five feet? Because the distance from my garage door to the sidewalk is sixty five feet. If I am at home prepping the boat, I just put a sinker on the end of the plug line and drop it at the sidewalk, see where the Dacron knot is, and adjust as needed.

Choose some easy to measure distance and use this simple method to put your plugs out the same distance. Three plugs in a line coming at a fish make for more bites than individual plugs passing by. Fish hit plugs mostly because they annoy them. Be more annoying.

Larry Palmer