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Heron

Todays Frankenbait. The Horizontal Craw Jig.

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Its always fun and rewarding to catch fish with something youve concocted from the darkest depths of your creative imagination.    Today I caught a decent fish on something that honestly has evolved to become something of a necessity.  

 

When fishing from shore, depending what you are faced with, sometimes fishing with a jig can be challenging, or at times, problematic.  Hangups can happen more often, especially when you may want to make a long cast with the jig, and slowly crawl/stitch the jig back across the bottom.  So I wanted to be able to present a craw w/skirt, in a manner that highly minimize hangups, even across the gnarliest of rocks, tangles, or other hungry subsurface bait-gobbling objects.  And of course, working a jig uphill, can bring with it, its own set of problems.

 

But this jig is specialized and meant only to be crawled,  not hopped or twitched.  And only with a relatively shallow line angle to the bottom.   Im sure most anglers dont have much use for this, but from shore, I most certainly do. 

 

Its a simple setup though.   Basically, all it is, is a craw rigged to a weighted swimbait hook (what you guys would call a rage rig), with the addition of a skirt threaded onto the screw lock.

 

What happens is that the swimbait hook functions much like a sled, and when a plastic craw is skin-hooked, then there is no other hardware exposed to the bottom for it to get stuck onto any structure or cover. This allows me to make a long cast from shore, across say a shallow flat, with plenty of rocky hangups, and just reliably crawl the jig up, over, and around anything in its path, without hangups.....yet.  And so what we had today, were fish hanging around this shallow area, taking notice of this slow crawl, and slurping the bait up.

 

It worked out well, Im happy with it. 

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Sounds interesting. I bank fish and a bait like this could hold a spot in my box for fishing tight to the bank in snaggy areas. What size craw and hook did you use?

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Sounds interesting. I bank fish and a bait like this could hold a spot in my box for fishing tight to the bank in snaggy areas. What size craw and hook did you use?

Right now im using a Rage craw & Rage lobster, but any 4+ inch craw should do fine.  Hook is a 4/0, 1/8th oz Gamakatsu swimbait hook with a screw lock.  Have to pop the screw lock off and thread the skirt onto the back side of it.   It takes a little finger muscle to get it back on. 

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I do something very similar when fishing from the bank. I just peg a punch skirt before the swim bait hook. I've done okay on that setup, but I typically just use the punch skirt and a Texas rig. It has the profile of a jig while still being weedless.

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I do something very similar when fishing from the bank. I just peg a punch skirt before the swim bait hook. I've done okay on that setup, but I typically just use the punch skirt and a Texas rig. It has the profile of a jig while still being weedless.

Yeah that's what I used when I first started tinkering with this idea, but I was still getting hangups with that set up.   Much of my hangups are caused not by the hook, but also from the jig head, or bullet weight in the front.  I found that if you can remove the weight from the front, then hangups are dramatically reduced.  But of course, that has a big impact on presentation.  Which is why this is only just for specialized situations.

 

I opted for the skirted swimbait hook set up, because if all Im doing is a slow drag along the bottom, then this puts the center of weight at the center of the bait, making it well balanced, and slides nicely through hangups.   I also like it better than pegging a skirt, slip weight, etc., because it is a complete, slf contained unit, with a more compact profile.

 

but of course, that's all just personal preference.  Im sure the fish don't care either way.

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