Pulling Plugs for steelhead

Irishrover

Irishrover

Moderator
Most Featured
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
2,094
Location
Ocean
Ok I can use some help on this thread because I'm not an expert I just like to fish and I do like to pull plugs from time to time. Bigdog here goes.

I use wiggle warts and hot shot plugs. They come in different colors and sizes. Sometimes I tie straight to the plug and sometimes I'll use a swivel and leader then direct to the plug. I always check my plugs to make sure they are "tuned" correctly that is they don't pull to the left or right. They do however wiggle around. I put them out from the boat about 40' then use the oars against the current to slow the boat (like back bouncing) and let the plugs dive . You can watch your rod tip and if it is sort of vibrating then it's working. I move the boat back and forth accross the river and slowly move down river. This way you can cover the whole hole. I like this method because it's kind of like herding the fish down the hole. Also if you are the guy on the oars you can still fish. Another advantage of plug is they are great in cold weather situatations, that is you don't need to get you hand wet messing with bait. You put the plug out there and work your way down river. When you come to rappids and shallow water pull them out and go to you drift rod. That is of course unless you are on the oars.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
G

GraphiteZen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,140
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
You can also take off both the hooks and use them to dive a prawn:

Get a prawn skewer (a skewer is a thin metal rod with a point of one end and a hole through the side of the other), and pierce the prawn right through the eyes and straight (important) back through the body until the point comes out the back side right where the tail bends. Make sure it comes out BETWEEN the shell segments because once you tear a shell it will just continue to tear and in no time your prawn will be ruined and won't track straight seeing as your using the skewer to apply the prawn to your line.

Once you have the prawn on the skewer grab a hook with about 3 feet of line snelled to it and drop a medium sized bead on it. The bead is so that the eye of the hook doesn't rip up through the prawn when the pressure of the current hits it.

Take the end of your line and run about 3 inches through the hole on the end of the skewer and slowly pull the skewer back out of the prawn and bingo.

At this point you have a few options. You can put different colored beads or corkies in front of the shrimp, a bead with a Spin-n-Glow etc. You can even get a spinner blade and a clevis and run that for some flash so long as you have enough beads behind it or else the prawn will prevent the blade from spinning.

Then tie that line to the front-most hook set nearest the eye and try diving that into a tailout or pool. FISH ON!!
 
B

bigdog

1
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
1,243
Location
Portland, Oregon
Well hell now I feel kind of dum here, I found a couple of them PLUGS when I was on the watter once and started throwing them like a spinner. lol Now I know why I didn't like the way they worked because they aren't spinners lol. The only thing I kept thinking was that these things were junk lol.
 
F

Fishtopher

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
1,274
Location
Who knows?! Not me!
CJ, I cast and retrieve my plugs. Its harder, because the river shallows towards the shore, and if you are fishing a deep diving plug, ya gotta be careful, or you will snag and lose 5 bucks. But it can be done, and will catch fish.
 
B

bigdog

1
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
1,243
Location
Portland, Oregon
Yeah I really didn't like the way they felt on the pole. Just means I need to get a boat now lol
 
B

bir48die

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
32
Location
Beaverton
I used plugs exclusively this fall for Coho and they did very well casting in deep water. I have not had success casting them lately for Steelhead as I don't drift and haven't found the best water for it. I heard that Steelhead don't congregate in deep pools so don't expect the best of luck casting these.

However, I have read about using these for divers and I loved the post on hooking up the shrimp so thanks a ton for that!
 
N

ninja2010

1
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
877
Location
river right/left
I used plugs exclusively this fall for Coho and they did very well casting in deep water. I have not had success casting them lately for Steelhead as I don't drift and haven't found the best water for it. I heard that Steelhead don't congregate in deep pools so don't expect the best of luck casting these.

However, I have read about using these for divers and I loved the post on hooking up the shrimp so thanks a ton for that!

so would plugging work for chinook? i think they congregate in the deep...
 
F

FishSchooler

Active member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
1,779
Location
Oregon
Well hell now I feel kind of dum here, I found a couple of them PLUGS when I was on the watter once and started throwing them like a spinner. lol Now I know why I didn't like the way they worked because they aren't spinners lol. The only thing I kept thinking was that these things were junk lol.

Did you find them when I met you and chris on the banks? Was one of them blue and silver with a red lip?

Ninja-plugging is popular for nooks as well... but thats all I know...

Having an "untuned" plug can be good for some cases. If you see some cover (like big boulders), you can cast an "untuned" plug right over it, and it will bend around them.

Another cool technique I learned from somewhere:

If you dont have a boat or are fishing in a boat restricted area and you want to "troll plugs" use a side planer from the bank. Just put the side planer on the line with the plug. And then just let it out into the river. The planer will keep it out, elimating the need for casting, and the plug will dive. Then just reel or let out line to get it where you need it. Its like back trolling if you walk downriver.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

Moderator
Most Featured
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
2,094
Location
Ocean
so would plugging work for chinook? i think they congregate in the deep...


Ninja, they work very well for chinook. Lots of folks use flat fish and quick fish wrapped with a sardine or herring. With a drift boat you can work the hole pretty good with a magnum wiggle wort. You can also do as Zen suggested and use them as diver with bait for chinook. You can also plunk with plugs. Or anchor up and plunk with them. Lots of way to fish them.
 
N

ninja2010

1
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
877
Location
river right/left
Ninja, they work very well for chinook. Lots of folks use flat fish and quick fish wrapped with a sardine or herring. With a drift boat you can work the hole pretty good with a magnum wiggle wort. You can also do as Zen suggested and use them as diver with bait for chinook. You can also plunk with plugs. Or anchor up and plunk with them. Lots of way to fish them.

perfect. i'm gonna try them out when the nooks are in. thanks, ir.
 
G

GraphiteZen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,140
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
Bigdog you can always wade out above a deeper fast moving section and let out a diver and prawn down into it. If you do though, don't get lazy and lighten your grip on the rod. When a steelie or salmon hits a diver and bait it is VIOLENT!! It literally will pull the rod out of your hands if your not paying attention.
 
G

GraphiteZen

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,140
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
Another cool technique I learned from somewhere:

If you dont have a boat or are fishing in a boat restricted area and you want to "troll plugs" use a side planer from the bank. Just put the side planer on the line with the plug. And then just let it out into the river. The planer will keep it out, elimating the need for casting, and the plug will dive. Then just reel or let out line to get it where you need it. Its like back trolling if you walk downriver.

That's a pretty darn good idea!
 
S

Snagged

New member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
14
Location
Tigard, OR
Heres a few of my favorite plugs.
026.jpg

I also have some hotshots, K11x's and a bunch of Brad's wigglers I sometimes use. But mostly I stick to the Tadpolly's for winter steelhead. If there's Springers in the river I will run K11x's more so than Tad because you can catch either springer or steelhead on them. If I'm only targeting nooks I run Kwickfish from size 13-16 depending on the water. Wrapped with a special secret sauce soaked sardine. When running plugs I think it is important have all the plugs out the same distance so the fish can't get around them. I have read that often times fish will see one plug only to move over and see another plug and hammer it. A wall of death is what I shoot for. I also wash all my plugs before use and always ensure they are tuned. Never buy just one plug. If your going to buy a pattern buy two. NOt all plugs are created equal and I think it has very little to do with the paint other than matching conditions. Some plugs are just way more fishey than others. You can have two identical plugs and one will out fish the other. I have weighed them, assessed their rattle, closely inspected their craftsmanship and can find NO reason why one plug outfishes another. Only the fish know.
 
L

luv2fish

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
271
Location
Portland
I had a fish on last week at meldrum...and it was on plug...i used it as slider....a # 11 kwik fish...chrome with blue lip...i really donno what happened....but the lower hook was gone.....i switched the trebel's with siwash for better hook up but looks like it worked the other way round...anyhoo's yeah if a plug is done right and works good...often times i don't have to use any wrap ...just a drip or two of sardine scent...

Ps: Snagged----all those plugs ( the colour selection ) are my fav..and definitely catchers... Rite on.
 
Troutski

Troutski

Moderator
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
1,983
Location
Springfield, Oregon
2nd up from the left..

2nd up from the left..

Is that 2nd one up from the left a black with silver glitter?

Chuck
 
F

fitterdent

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
24
so would plugging work for chinook? i think they congregate in the deep...

i caught 3 chinook out of the columbia this summer using wiggle warts. i also use them for bass. they are great bass crankbaits.
 
C

Catch 22

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
35
Location
The real O.C.
That Black w/ silver glitter is commonly referred to as a Michael Jackson. And no it doesn't just go after the young fish!! :shock:

For the record, I don't do much plug pulling anymore. It is very effective. I just like other methods anymore.

Snagged said it pretty well. I have never figured out why some plugs fish better than others. Just keep experimenting. The guide that mentored me when I got started told me to always keep at least one "proven" plug out and another new one. You'd be surprised how many times the proven plug was the one that got hit.

As for moving side to side through the hole, I disagree. I liked to choose a slot or lane and run it. Most of the time, i would then row up and choose a different one if I was unsuccessful.

If you can find some old Hot n Tots, you would have yourself the best diver for running bait on the Clack or Sandy. Remove the hooks and use the eye from the belly hook to run your leader from. Brads makes them still I believe and just calls them divers. But the originals were the best.

The most important thing is to keep them all the same distance out. The old standard is counting pulls of line. I liked to use bobber stops as markers so we could freespool line out fast and know where to stop.

Having plug rod(s) with duosnaps tied on helps changing out plugs and divers quickly and makes you very versatile. I run tuffline on plug rods.

Lastly, if running diver/bait, when the rod is getting pounded, DON'T touch it. Leave it in the rod holder until it goes down and stays down. It should be buried before you pick it up and set the hook. This is very hard to learn. But you don't want to strip it out of their mouth. If they're hitting it they will swallow it. You'll have to trust me on this if you've never experienced this. It is sooo hard to watch that rod get attacked and not set it.

Wiggle warts in blue pirate and green pirate are time proven favorites on the clack. Others can be produtive as well when everything else fails but they are a good place to start.

Hope I've helped someone out there. Hey It's free advice! You got your money's worth!

Jason
 
F

FishSchooler

Active member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
1,779
Location
Oregon
Theres a good slot right in front of inbetween the concrete things in the clack at riverside to run a plug through.... Ninja I need that pic again! ;) Show em
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

Moderator
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
4,705
Location
Less than 50 feet from the Santiam River! :)
Sportsman's here I come...

Sportsman's here I come...

Oh boy,now I need to go buy a few "plug rods"? :confused: At one time, I was strictly a trout fisher folk. Then my son talked me into diversifying. "Gotta get into steelheading",he says. :shock: So, I buy a truck load of new toys to catch steelhead. :D I got VERY lucky (skill had nothing to do with it) and caught my first steel on a jig with a white plastic worm tail. :clap: I tend to buy fish toys like most women buy shoes. :dance: I have kwik fish,wiggle worts,jigs,pink worms,grubs,flies,darters,divers,buzz bombs,spinner baits and about seven other tackle boxes. I have fourteen different rods. NOW I need a "plug rod"? Is that a special kind of rod or can I just dedicate a couple to plugs? Oh well, back to Sportsman's...:shock: :confused: ;) :) :D :D :dance:
Barb
 

Similar threads

jamisonace
Replies
8
Views
331
jamisonace
jamisonace
The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
310
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Replies
0
Views
151
The Guides Forecast
The Guides Forecast
Top Bottom