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Thread: Does anyone fish J Plugs?

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    Default Does anyone fish J Plugs?

    Just inherited a tackle box full of J Plugs. Assorted sizes and colors. Anyone use these as part of their regular arsenal? How do they do with Kings? Optimum trolling speed? Leader lengths? Flasher? Dodger? Should I yank the treble hooks and run conventional J hooks?

    Seems like most people on here drag real herring, hoochies, or Coyote-type spoons. Maybe the J's are poo compared to those.

    I've read the official Luhr Jensen J-Plug guide already. Was just looking for an Alaska fisherman's perspective.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Love em for Kings and Silvers. HOWEVER, I never use the treble hooks that usually come with them. Horrible to get them treble's out of a net. Go with the J's.

    I used to have a small silver one that had a little rattle in it. It was the COHO slayer, best lure I've ever used.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    I used to have a small silver one that had a little rattle in it. It was the COHO slayer, best lure I've ever used.
    I got 8 small J plugs labeled "Silver Bullet". Doesn't seem to be a rattle in them though. Are you putting any gear up in front of your plugs? Or just straight up?

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Love J plugs. Make sure your swivel will slip thru the hole so if you break it off you can get it back, or tie directly to it. use to spend days in the fall walking the beaches in Michigan picking up J plugs. Silver Bullet, glow firetiger, basically the same colors you'd fish a spoon. You can troll them at any speed you'd fish your spoons.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    I got 8 small J plugs labeled "Silver Bullet". Doesn't seem to be a rattle in them though. Are you putting any gear up in front of your plugs? Or just straight up?
    Sometimes flasher, sometimes no. I would fish flashers for Kings more than silvers. reason being silver fishing, at least where I normally go, is fast-n-furious. No need to get that extra attractant down there. Kings are a different story.
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    Funny you should ask. Kgpcr just sent me a few to try out. He says they're killer for kings and I'm going to give them a try as soon as I can. I'll report if I can remember to.
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    According to the Hotspot flasher website, it looks like the bigger J-plugs create too much drag for a flasher setup. And likely I'd assume a dodger setup as well. Maybe a Konezone style flasher that just rotates symmetrically on axis would be a good lead for the larger J-plugs.

    From hotspot's website:
    Q.
    Can I use any lure with a Hot Spot Flasher?
    A.
    Any lure except 5" and larger shovel nose plugs. Plugs create so much drag they would inhibit the Hot Spot action. For lures that have an action of their own, such as an Apex, allow enough leader length that the lure's action is not inhibited by the flasher.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    According to the Hotspot flasher website, it looks like the bigger J-plugs create too much drag for a flasher setup. And likely I'd assume a dodger setup as well. Maybe a Konezone style flasher that just rotates symmetrically on axis would be a good lead for the larger J-plugs.

    From hotspot's website:
    Q.
    Can I use any lure with a Hot Spot Flasher?
    A.
    Any lure except 5" and larger shovel nose plugs. Plugs create so much drag they would inhibit the Hot Spot action. For lures that have an action of their own, such as an Apex, allow enough leader length that the lure's action is not inhibited by the flasher.
    Interesting. I'll be trying the size 4 (4 3/4" long) ones that I have with my Pro-Troll flashers and report on how they work.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    tlingit, thanks for the J hook info. Was worried for a bit. I detest the storing, equipping, and netting messes that come with treble hooks. I refuse to keep them onboard my boat.

    By the way, I did find a rattling J plug in my inventory. It's kind of different from a standard J plug though in that it's split into a front and back half. (see here)



    Muttley, will be interesting to hear how it goes. Just out of curiosity, are you a believer in scenting your lures with either a commercial product or herring slice?

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    When we ran J-Plugs we most often ran them without a flasher. You also want to get them back from your downrigger ball a bit. The further they are from the ball the more action you get out of them.

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    Haven't fished j-plugs, but I do know that tomics of similar size like to swim. I put them 40' or so back from the downrigger line with no flasher. I'm convinced that they shimmy and shake enough on their own that a flasher isn't needed.

    As for j-hooks on plugs, I like them large enough that the plug body won't hang in the hook gap. Mustad stainless 95170 is what I use.

    I think j-plugs work at "normal" troll speeds of ~2mph and can be trolled beside most other conventional king rigs. Tomics like to go faster, 3+ mph water speed. I like tomics for prospecting as you can really cover water.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    Muttley, will be interesting to hear how it goes. Just out of curiosity, are you a believer in scenting your lures with either a commercial product or herring slice?
    Funny you would say that because that's exactly what I plan on doing. Figured I'd try a few different methods. I'm a big fan of the old "Kenai herring wrap" where you just slice off a little fillet of a herring or sardine and wrap it on the underbelly of the plug. Learned that trick many years ago fishing Kwikfish on the Kenai. Or I'll just try soaking them in herring oil for a while and use them that way.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Years back I used J-plugs to catch many a King in Lake Michigan. Chrome or chrome/red-head and bone white(no longer made) were my go to colors. Granted baitfish in Lake Michigan consisted of mainly either smelt or alewives.

    I would fish J-plugs on 4 downriggers and have 1 highline which consisted of a 1 oz salt water Krocodile spoon.

    Always the same setup, always caught Kings.

    Ohhhhh I miss that!!!
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    This brings up an interesting point. I use flashers not give my bait more movement, but to give more attractant in the water. Sounds like others have a different take?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    This brings up an interesting point. I use flashers not give my bait more movement, but to give more attractant in the water. Sounds like others have a different take?
    One of the big reasons to use a "flasher" is to give your bait movement as the flasher moves around. If you only want it as an attractor you might want to switch to a "dodger" instead. Unfortunately there is a matter of semantics going on here. "Flashers" are the ones that have pretty big angles in the front and back to give them a good spinning motion like a fish chasing bait which in turn moves your bait or lure around quite a bit, while "dodgers" essentially just wobble back and forth a bit to give some attraction while you use a plug, or a cut plug herring that gives itself the movement. It's kind of confusing.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    This brings up an interesting point. I use flashers not give my bait more movement, but to give more attractant in the water. Sounds like others have a different take?
    For sure. And to be more specific, not just the visual attractant of the flasher, but the "thump thump thump" vibration in the water the flasher causes. It looks like there's a good chance that thump thump is going to be hosed when dragging a J-plug. So unless Muttley posts an alternate setup, my plan as of now is to run my J plugs one of 3 ways.

    1) With an agitator flasher in front like this or this.
    2) Using a standalone flasher off my cannonball with my J-plug/mainline clipped on a separate line clip release further up the downrigger cable.
    3) Standalone. Just the J-plug by itself.

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    I use J-plugs almost exclusively for silvers, the same as I did in Michigan. Always look to get my speed at the cannonball to about 1.5 mph never with a flasher of any sort. Fished them along with whole herring and the plugs out-produced the herring 4-1. Always use treble hooks and have never had any issues or damage with the net. Also use the Magnum Pro-kings with good sucess, but my go to trolling bait is a Silver Streak spoon. I have a couple hundred of them and start with 4 downriggers with 4 different colors and depths till I find what they want on that day then switch them all to the same or similar color. Silver streaks are a little more forgiving to trolling closer to 2.5 mph allowing to cover more water.
    Paul

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    Bearclaw, those Silver Streak's look very similar to Coyotes or Diamond Kings. What size you run?

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    I run J-plugs for Kings plain (no flasher, etc). 50-100ft back off the downrigger. Make sure it's tracking straight before dropping down...if it's not tracking just take your pliers and tune it.... a little tweak where you tie on.

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    I've never fished Alaska so my info may or may not be helpful but we've fished them a lot on Ontario and the Georgian Bay with good results. A couple of points, first of all, I always ran them clean and often ran them much closer to the ball than people are suggesting on this thread. I think they have a wild action with fairly short leads. Secondly, I prefer the Lymans to the J-plugs by far but your mileage may vary.

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