How to Rig the Gibb’s Hali Hawg

Adding a Gibb’s Hali Hawg grub to your halibut rig can make a big difference when you hit the water in search of flatties this spring. They swim, wiggle, glow, and give an added measure of attraction when you’re ringing the dinner bell on the ocean floor.

In this Gibb’s Delta video longtime Vancouver Island charter captain Trevor Zboyovsky from No Bananas Charters shows how to rig a Hali Hawg grub with two “J” hooks to hammer Pacific halibut. Hali Hawg grub’s are manufactured with a hole thru the center that makes rigging them on a halibut leader really simple and effective.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Luhr Jensen Tech Tip – Using the Jet Diver

Our good friend Carmen Macdonald at Luhr Jensen just produced a great video describing how to properly rig and use a Jet Diver. These divers are widely used in salmon and steelhead fisheries throughout the northwest, the Kenai River, and Alaska’s Nushagak River. If you’re serious about salmon and steelhead fishing you’ll at some point need to use one of these great divers.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Beau Mac Floats, More Options Then Ever

I have been a big fan of Beau Mac Floats for years. For me, I’m sold on the quality and the variety of floats now offered by Beau Mac.

I look for several things when I am looking for a quality float. First and foremost is durability. I don’t like fishing floats that can’t take a little abuse and stay intact over the course of a tough day of fishing.

When you take a lot of buddies fishing your float’s get abused because, well, that’s what your buddies do to your gear. This wouldn’t happen if they were simply cast into the water. It’s the amount of time my floats spend in trees, banged against rocks and the shoreline that tends to beat’em up a bit. And no, I’m not talking about me…

Another key point that I like about Beau Mac floats is the color or the color contrast that they have. The vibrant colors at the top end of their floats not only make it possible for you to see your float, but it’s also an indicator as to how deep your float should be floating on top of the water. This indicates that you have your float weighted properly.

With so many styles of floats and weight ratings on floats how do I decide which float to use and when? One thing is for certain, not all floats are created equal. Several floats may perhaps be marked 5/8ths oz. but they actually perform completely different when rigged exactly the same in your presentation.

Let’s take a look at some of the floats Beau Mac now offers and I’ll identify some practical applications for each type or style of float.

One of the more popular styles of float and one of my favorites for my go-to technique of float-doggin with a stick lead is an in-line sliding float. For a majority of the season, for both salmon and steelhead, I match a 5/8 ounce float with my stick lead which weighs on average about .42 ounce.

As a comparison this is very close in weight to a four bead slinky. Keep in mind that with this presentation we are dragging the weight. That is why you have a float that is rated much higher then the weight you are actually matching to the float.  At times for summer steelhead I have cut the stick lead in half and then I’ll match it with a smaller 3/8 ounce float. Beau Mac’s In-Line Slider float has a wide range of weights starting at 1/4 ounce going up in 1/4 oz. increments to 1 oz.

The new Beau Mac wood floats are an extremely nice float too. If you’re looking for durability, this is the one. The wood is extremely tough and it does not crack easily. The brass inserts on both the top and bottom prevent line from cutting into the float. The brass inserts also ensure that the float slides extremely well.

My ideal conditions for this float application is fishing any presentation vertically. The wood float works very well for jigs, but it also is well suited for fishing bait suspended. The torpedo design makes for a float that goes down on a fish take with little to no resistance and the weight of the float aids in cast-ability when fishing small jigs.

As with all floats match your float, jig and in-line weight so that the float rides correctly in the water. With a 5/8 ounce float fishing a 3/8 oz. jig you should use a 1/4 ounce Beau Mac in-line sinker to get the proper presentation.

Even though this is a 5/8 ounce float it’s not what I will use for float dogging. It’s labeled 5/8 ounce as is the foam 5/8 ounce that I use. However, the difference in buoyancy is just enough that the wood float will not stay up where I like them to be in the water column while dragging weight.

The new Beau Mac clear floats are a very good choice for multiple steelhead fishing applications. One thing to keep in mind is that these floats are marked in grams (gms). Here is a simple conversion to memorize: 20g = 0.70oz, 25g = 0.88oz, 30g = 1.05oz.

The clear floats come in several sizes. I have had great success using the 25 gram float for float doggin and the 20 gram is great for fishing jigs. I will definitely use the 30 gram for fall salmon, fishing bait suspended under a float.

These clear floats are a great choice for low clear conditions or even moderately clear conditions anytime. They are extremely tough and I haven’t had any issues with the floats separating and filling with water. I think if you check these out you’ll also be impressed with the retail price.

Beau Mac also offers a great selection in their torpedo float design. There are several sizes and weights to choose from. I have used the torpedo floats for both float doggin and fishing jigs. I find the in-line slider to be a much more durable float for float doggin and really like the torpedo design for jigs or fishing bait suspended. The narrow taper allows for even the lightest biters to take your offering without feeling the resistance of the float. They are also extremely easy to retrieve as they do not create a lot of drag on the water. The shorter  and more round taper style is also a good choice on lakes for trout or spiny-ray fisheries.

Beau Mac offers the complete system for float fishing. You have a couple of options when it comes to Beau Mac bobber stops. The dacron thread stoppers work great on braid and they also work well as a line marker on your plug rods for knowing the distance of line you have out. Simply measure an equal distance of line on your reels for your plug rods and slide on and secure a bobber stop. You can even use multiple colors perhaps marking with a bright green stopper at 30 feet and a bright pink at 40 feet.

When I rig up my rods with a top shot of mono for float doggin, I will always run my bobber stops on the monofilament. This is where the rubber stoppers come in and work very well. You only need to remember a couple things when choosing which stopper to use. The dacron stops don’t work well on mono, so use the rubber stops if your using monofilament or flourocarbon. The rubber stops don’t work well on braid, so use the dacron stops on braid.

There ya go…..Hopefully some of this info helps you decide on which style of float to use specific to the application or technique you are trying to master.

Beau Mac is a great local tackle company that’s been around for decades and best of all they make gear specific to our fishing needs here in the Pacific Northwest. Their floats work for me and I’m sure you’ll find them to your satisfaction too.

See ya on the water!

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
Theoutdoorline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Pink Rubber Worms for Steelhead

The 2012-2013 Steelhead season has, as we’ve discussed on “The Outdoor Line”, shaped up to be a big fish year. Both hatchery fish and natives alike have made more than one fisherman perform a double take because of their eye-poppin’ size.

Check out some of the mondo steelhead we’ve taken time to post up in our “Heavy Metal 2013” photo album over in the Outdoor Line fishing forums. These are just some of the big fish we’ve been exposed to via friends and followers of show.

Without a doubt, it’s been impressive thus far. The exciting thing is we are actually now on the door-step the time when a good number of our large, and I mean LARGE, native steelhead enter our rivers.

On some of our favorite rivers some sections are regulated “artificial lure” only, which means no bait. On other rivers it just makes sense to use certain artificial lures because they flat out work.

One choice that many anglers seem to be drawn to is the well-respected “Pink Worm”, or Count Wormula as Endsley likes to call it. The rubber worm for steelhead has been proven time and time again and for good reason.Big steelhead love the worm!

When most anglers think about fishing a soft plastic worm the first thing they try to figure out is how? “How do I rig it or even more-so, how do I fish it”?  Well, here are a few simple options to give you some things to think about.

The first thing to understand is that “not all worms are created equal”. To be more specific, some float, some do not. Some are actually considered neutrally buoyant. They also come in several sizes lke 3 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch, and even 6″ worms are common. Also, pick a color, any color or even multiple colors. Lastly, what kind of tail do you prefer? Straight, paddle, curly…I think you get the point. As you stand in the isle at your favorite tackle distributor take some time, read the package, and if all else fails ask for help.

Now that you have your worms selected lets take a look at “How-to-Rig”. One of the easiest ways to present a worm is to simply drift fish it. You have a choice, worms that float or at a minimum are neutrally buoyant. You’ll definitely want to run a neutrally bouyant worm with a corky or cheater on your leader to give it some floatation. You can also put one on with your buoyant worms as well for more color, but it’s not necessary for buoyancy.

You’ll want to use a long needle or a worm/bait threader to pull your pre-tied leader  through the worm. You want to start a few inches from the tail and thread the worm onto the needle all the way through to the top. Placing a good plastic or glass bead down the leader on top of the hook, helps prevent the hook from being pulled into the worm and tearing it. You can also use something called a sequin. Sequins are those reflective do-dads used in costumes and found at most craft stores. These are actually a great choice as well.

This rig works great for drift fishing; however my favorite method for my worms rigged in this manner is “float dogging”. Of course I’ll run it with my stick lead and the only change I am making is to use an artificial lure vs. bait like I normally do. One thing to keep in mind, you’ll want to run an 18″ to 20″ leader so as to keep your buoyant worm down in the strike zone.

Here is another option and in my opinion the easiest way to rig a worm. If you can tie a leader on under a float, then you are 3/4ths of the way there.

I usually go with a 2 foot or 3 foot leader tied to a size 1 hook. This presentation works best with 3 inch worms and usually no larger than 4 inch. Place just a few split-shot on your leader to get it down under the float a bit faster and your leader is ready. Simply hang the worm on the hook at about the mid-way point, and your set. This is known as “whacky style”.

It can be flat-out deadly and I’ll fish this in most areas where I would also fish a jig. It’s a great way to present a worm suspended and creep it along structure, such as wood. I also like the fact that if I want to change out to a different color or style, it doesn’t get much easier. Remember that a buoyant worm isn’t necessary, as we want to make sure the worm is suspended under the float.

Similar to the wacky style and also fished under a float, is an inverted presentation. You have a couple options. Buoyant worms can be fished with a bullet sinker on a bead on top of the hook. Using the bait threader, this time you slide the worm on from the top first and only go about 1/3 of the way through. At this point you want to push the needle out through the side. As you thread this worm onto the leader, the leader will come out the side, allowing the worm to bend over and create a lot of movement when hanging upside-down.

If you use a non-buoyant or neutral buoyant worm, you can add a few split shot to the leader, again to get it down under the float. These also fish very well in water ideal for jigs.

“Got jig heads”? Yep, just that simple…. put a 2 inch or 3 inch worm on a jig head, suspend it under a float, and you are fishing a pink worm. Don’t be afraid to use these little guys to dress up some of your big steelhead jigs, as well. If you are looking for a big profile with a lot of action this just might be your ticket.

As my buddy “William” has been quoted in saying, many, many times…..”What isn’t tried won’t work”.

All I know is that several years ago I rigged a pink worm on a leader, with a series of beads and a Spin-n-Glo. My intention was to fish it on a bait diver. The first time I did this I was in a buddy’s boat. He put out a plug, I put out my worm and bait diver. In about 3 or 4 minutes we had a violent take down, and it wasn’t on the plug. I grabbed the rod, put a little pressure to it and POW….. the fish was gone. I reeled in and brought back my bait diver and half of the 5′ to 6′ leader. I could tell I must of had a nick or a knot or some defect that caused the leader to break.

The bottom line is that it worked and it worked well. I will use it on occasion when the conditions are right. You fish it as you would a plug. I rig the worm so as to increase the action. Again, using the bait threader I start a few inches from the bottom. Threading up towards the top and pop the needle out about an inch from the end. This little end of worm pointing slightly down below the beads and Spin-n-Glo actually act like a bit of a rudder in the water and creates additional movement on the worm. You are basically backing this crazy moving worm down right at the fish on a 5 foot to 6 foot leader. This particular rig is a little more involved but it can work very well.

There ya go, a number of choices and options on how to rig and fish a pink rubber worm in hopes of banging a huge wild steelhead this spring. There is still plenty of winter-run season left. Go get yourself some worms, get them rigged up, and go out a catch a big chrome nate. Just make sure you send us a picture of that “Heavy Metal Monster” here on our FORUMS page, under “Fish Reports“. Or feel free to post it up on the Outdoor Line Facebook  page.

Good steelhead fishing to you!

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com