Guest post from maker of Afterhours lures "Plug retrieves"

Today’s post comes from a guest contributor,  Don Guimelli from Afterhours Custom Lures. Many of you know Don as a great of a guy and excellent lure builder. Enjoy

Plug retrieves

   People are always coming up to me at the shows and asking how I retrieve this plug or that plug. My answer is always the same, vary your retrieve during each and every cast until you discover which the fish likes best. First and foremost, people ask me how slowly I fish a needlefish-. They’re usually surprised when I tell them that I fish a needle slowly less than half the time. I’ll cast a needle out there and let it get to a certain point in the water column then I’ll slowly pump the needle and gather the line. Then I’ll swim it a little faster with deliberate pauses, stop go, stop go. and finally I’ll whip it  like Stevie McKenna does when fishing the sluggo. All this in one cast. This will tell me which retrieve the fish prefer. I believe that when you speed up a plug during a retrieve you will induce reactionary or instinctive strikes.
   I use the same principles when fishing all of my plugs. When fishing a sub-surface metal lip swimmer I believe that you can fool any fish following it to savagely strike thru manipulation. First you want to get the plug down to the depth you think is most productive. Swim the plug at normal speed and then speed it up quickly and then stop it dead in its track-. The plug will slowly raise in the water, add a few subtle twitches and then speed it up again. If a fish is following it will instinctively whack it. We all love fishing pencils on the surface when there are big ‘ole girls around. Again, varying your retrieve will catch you more fish than the standard “pump your rod at the same pace no matter what “. Cast it out, speed it up , slow it down, let it stop all in the same cast and you will catch more fish. Another thing that I’ve noticed, a lot of pencil fishing guys do is they speed up when they miss a fish. I don’t know if it’s all the excitement or what but I feel that in most instances they pull the plug away from the fish. One of the reasons I love sinking pencils is that after a fish strikes and misses I stop the retrieve and feed it to the fish-. More times than not she will inhale it underwater.
   This is just my .02 after a lifetime of fishing and if it helps anyone to have more fun I’ll be very pleased. Remember what the late great Lee Wulff one said ” a gamefish (which I believe striped bass should be) are too valuable to be caught only once”.

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8 comments on “Guest post from maker of Afterhours lures "Plug retrieves"

  1. cory nguyen

    awesome info, and great issue i read the whole thing in a day. i think i can feel my own pulse i must have been dead for the last few months. And in a couple days when the plugs get here, i will be destined to plugoholics. thanks guys i needed this.

  2. Matt

    Don your plugs are great! If anyone wants an introduction to Don plugs grab a stubby and junior needle two of the best plugs in my bag.


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