mop jiggin' variations

SPOONMINNOW

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Been there done that with the wife expressing similar unfounded(?) epithets on a daily basis with me stuck at home waiting for spring. All I can say is thank God for a basement workshop and TV headphones with the only thing heard upstairs is, yes dear, yes dear, by all means dear......

I'd like to see the prototype of your float & mop though I have wondered about using a balsa shallow diver with 3' leader and one of my finesse lures - especially the spoon minnow. New ideas are always welcome. I almost feel sorry for fish caught that couldn't help themselves after realizing too late they could not have avoided the penalty for their blind aggression. (Too bad there's no such instrument for wives! Oh well, where would we be without them... hmmm.... let me count the ways.)
 

jiggerjohn

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Frank, Heck, I coulda included a float rig in your package ,but my ever efficient better half took it down for mailing already ( those wives are great for lotsa things, especially when we can't get around!! But headphones sure are useful sometimes!). But here's a word picture - tie onto your line a duolock snap with a simple palomar knot, but leave a 30" tag line end. Use the snap to attach the single ring of the precut surface plug's back end (think of the rear end of a jointed Creek Chub Pikie minnow - Tho any cedar surface plug will work . Snap on to the thinner tail end, usually already with a rear eye in place, hook removed. Or you can buy cheap oblong wooden casting floats in bright colors with a single ring attachment). Tie the end of the tagline to your jig and Spoonminnow. The OBLONG ,pointy plug-float will slide smoothly over the waters surface, coming back flat and with hardly any resistance, UNTIL a wary fish SIPS in your lure, then the wider back end of the float just casually "asses up" !! From many experiments this past Spring, a fish has lure and hook in mouth, gently hanging on (tho you don't have all day before he lets go !) The first time you see this, your mouth will drop open, but don't forget to set the hook during your fascination!! Only problem I had when doing this, once in hopes of getting nice trout with your smaller spoonminno, was that ravenous largemouth bass and chunk bluegill loved the spoonie more !!
 

SPOONMINNOW

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So what you're saying J J is that the sensitivity of the rig to a light strike will be indicated - not by the float submerging - but simply one end pointing to the sky when the lure is struck. A photo or drawing would help showing hardware attachments.
I'm having a difficult time visualizing the rig and concerned about the buoyancy of the wood plug where light striking fish may pull the float down only so far before letting go vs. the type float I use which is buoyancy neutral. I'm thinking the same concept: first slight dip - initial strike; second dip maybe - a bit stronger, set the hook.
PgWMaUo.jpg
I'm also think'n that besides the ever moving flutter of the Spoon Minnow's thin tail, the use of my mini-stick with pointed ends that quiver with the least imparted action or a float's subtle bobbing due to slight surface ripples:
JeVlYOU.jpg
But then I'm guessing that most of the designs in my arsenal (man do I hate using that corny word!!!), would demonstrate subtle actions that p.o fish just minding their own business waiting for an easy meal.
 
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jiggerjohn

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Hey Frank, the styro float that you show will work in the manner I describe, if you only snap it onto the line on only one end. However, I find my cedar wood models seem to have a better leverage on the water's surface to angle upward during a non aggressive take. This is not a sharp movement, and I've learned to never rely on any type of float to "go under" ,whether a standard bobber,water bubble, or a wooden oblonger .Sometimes trout will rip one under with their very fast swoop and grab, but don't even count on that. Just during a slow stop-n-go retreive, watch for a flat swimming float to "give you the finger", then lift back into him !! By the way, your wacky rigged mini stick is perfect for this subtle detection method !
 

SPOONMINNOW

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"your wacky rigged mini stick is perfect for this subtle detection method !"
Haven't tried it with a float but rest assured it will be seen by fish this coming year.
The float does stand straight up even with a slow boat drift and ripples the water caused by even the slightest of strikes from a fish in the mode: do I or don't I want that little bugger?

The next strike pulls it down ever so slightly, signaling it's time for me to drag the lure away also ever-so-slightly. Funny though, if the fish doesn't commit to a full-fledged strike the first cast, arcing the float & lure high in the air allowing it to splash where the hit happened, it seems to excite one or more fish that weren't sure the first time, but have no doubt on the second cast when they sense the lure dying a second time via the slow drop. Guess you could call it a splash & croak presentation. LOL
 

jiggerjohn

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Frank, That styro float can work ,if ya remove the weight on the end which causes it to sit upright. Tho then it becomes a bit light to cast. This is why I like wood. Hmmm, seein' how I desire to get it to "perk up". maybe I'll call this "Woodie fishing" !
 

Hawnjigs

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Does anyone make their own wood floats? I'll never (never say) use em but have made surface plugs back when I roamed the ocean on a paddleboard. My uncle had a lathe and it was fun to cut and shape hardwood dowel segments. For a jig drift float I think a cone shape with a 3 way swivel on a stainless eye screw in the middle of the wide end may be functionally ideal. With the right size float for a jig weight downward pull would tip the narrow end upwards.
 

jiggerjohn

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Hawn, Once, while teaching Jr High, I used to take my lunch hour in the school wood shop and do as you did, have fun with the lathe in forming rounded cedar wood plugs. Now, I use some of those old longer bodies (basically smaller muskie plugs) to cut down their ends to 2" for "Woodie floats". The cone shape which you describe sounds ideal, tho my experiences last Spring suggest that the screw eye in the narrow end, allows better rear end tilting. However, since "Woodie with a mop" fishing is so new (with ONE tester,so far!), you may be right (you usually are!) and I'll have to test this coming season with YOUR "backwards" configuration! Come on Spring, so we can get our woodies UP !!
 

Hawnjigs

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Speculating, line attached to the narrow end will offer the advantage of less resistance and alarm to a downward pull biting fish.

A wide end attachment will be more resistant to diving and MAYBE a better visual indicator of a lite bite.

Coming from an zero experience rocking chair warrior haha.
 

hookup

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Does anyone make their own wood floats?

I got a kit from the 60's years ago. Since I wanted to preserve the kit, I made up replica's - or found them online (much later).

As far as Woodie fishing, I've done something similar and deadly for trout and panfish with a slip cast spin float with little or no water in the float

03-0180_258ece47-190e-4604-b7ca-1296146ba504_1024x.jpg

 

jiggerjohn

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Hookup, Yep the ole reliable water bubble has been my main staple for years, and has been especially effective with the mop jig ! As you mention the weightless (waterless) bubble can be real good for trout and panfish -tho both seem able and eager to pull the float under. It is still my SECOND fav float, as the sleeker,smoother wooden plug-end seems much more efficient at nodding its rear up on those tougher, sip-n-hold days ! I had one day, in particular, early last year when crappies were shy and would alert me every so often by gently bouncing my water bubble (and proved I was too late for the set). I switched to "woodie" and saw it nod up during almost every slow retreive thereafter (and hooked most of em !)
 

hookup

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JJ - nice, I'll give it a try. Use to be pretty good at shaping balsa.
 

jiggerjohn

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Hookup -Happy New Year ! And got to thinkin, with your practiced abilities with shaping balsa (and probably the slightly heavier cedar wood as well), I'm thinking that you could carve up a very uniquely specialized shape for a "Woodie float" !!
 

SPOONMINNOW

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It will always amaze me when fish bite soft plastics beneath a float. If I was told that 60 yrs. ago I would have said, yeah right! But the more fish caught on many different hard or soft lures and presentations, the more one realizes that nature dictates what fish bite - mostly unnatural - and that much of the time they don't have a choice due to their nature. Most of us experience that simple rule every time we catch fish on lures we create.
 
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jiggerjohn

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Frank, You are, as always, spot-on concerning the unnatural aspects on lures dropping in to onlooking (often uplooking) fish! This is especially true of predators or simply "pacifists" seeing something squirmy ,slowly approaching, then just hanging there, suspended! Over the past few seasons, especially Spring and early summer, I've caught more good fish under my floats then I did with bottom bounced jigs -and usually the BEST fish ! Last year, in a very hard fished,crowded Pittsburgh park lake, I got tired of stocked trout, and decided to hunt for crappies -tho to be honest these were always on the small size. But particularly when I started fishing the mop jig below a float, I was amazed (so was everyone else!) to set into some very big slabs quite often, crappies that should have been native to Lake Erie and our large reservoirs! For 2022, assuming I can walk shorelines again (the knee and quad reattachment is coming along quite well, already!), I know exactly where these big crappies come to in May, and have just the woodie and mop for them to play with !
 
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