View Full Version : Using Sluggos, What am I doing wrong

10-19-2007, 11:18 AM
I frequently use big sluggo's and hogies but never seen to catch any Stripers on them. I know many of you kill fish with these big soft plastics. I've tried unweighted, jig heads, push weights, fast retrieves, slow retrieves, jigging, can't seem to get it to work so, it's time to swallow my pride and ask you guys to teach me the secret. What am I doing wrong, how do you work these things?

10-19-2007, 12:31 PM
Are you fishing the Canal or the beaches? Two different animals.

Sluggos on the Canal are best fished on round or bullet jigheads from 2-5 oz. Snip the head off the sluggo and superglue to the shank and bottom surface. Most of the time, people who aren't having much success with sluggos in the Canal are simply not getting down to the bottom for a long enough period of time. You may have to throw it uptide to get down, depending on current speed. The size of the jighead depends again on current speed and whether you are fishing in close in a slow rip or way out (more weight needed). But ticking the bottom occasionally is the key in all cases for bigger fish. Do both dead drifts and drifts with short rod jerks.

As for sizes, 9 inch is good but I've found 7.5 inch often better. YMMV. Color is the least important factor, IMHO.

For beaches, I use Steve McKenna's two-hook 9-inch sluggo with strategically placed insert weights. Extremely effective around structure whenever the fish are around. Since I don't think I'm allowed to post a commercial link to his site, I'll PM it to you. It has all the details on rigging, retrieves, etc. The disadvantage is you have to make them, although some shops sell them pre-packaged.

I've found sluggos on jigheads much less effective from shore on beaches, although they work really well if you can get out to deeper water with a yak or boat. Conversely, I've had little success with McKenna's rigged sluggos in the fast currents of the Canal except occasionally at slack tide. Again, YMMV.


10-19-2007, 12:34 PM
This time of year, it can be tough to catch with the bigger soft plastics, especially when you're working the visible bird/surface blitzes. These tend to be smaller fish, which are keyed in on small bait (1-2" peanut bunker). When in this situation, it is sometimes better to use a smaller bait (2-3"fin-s on a jighead) or small storm shads, or small metals. That will usally dial them in.

Sometimes a larger sluggo or fin-s fish on a jighead dropped under the surface action and allowed to work the bottom will produce bigger fish. But this fall it seems like the big (30"+) bass have split off from the smaller schoolies and are chasing the big pogies that are around. By all means, if you find the bigger bait, give the bigger plastics a try.

Good luck.

10-19-2007, 01:10 PM
Like bd says....it depends on where you are.

You can also practice on largemouth in sweetwater.

Gadabout Guinea
10-19-2007, 03:28 PM
You can see how to rig sluggos Steve McKenna style on youtube.com. Just do a search for McKenna or slug-go. It's pretty easy to do. The video is a little long winded, but extremely instructive. His technique for fishing them is somewhat strange, I've tried it with little success, but the rigging technique makes lots of sense.


10-19-2007, 03:32 PM
I frequently use big sluggo's and hogies but never seen to catch any Stripers on them.

Keep at it ... if they're around you get em on the sluggos.

As for hogies tho ...
I think I had one for lunch once, but never tried to rig one. :cool:

10-20-2007, 12:11 PM
Once you turn the key on sluggos, you will wonder how you ever struggled.

There are many different ways to rig and we all have our favorite. the most important thing is that you learn to swim them and keep them in the strike zone. This may mean heavy jigs or weightless depending on the conditions.

If you want some practice catching fish on them, try a 6" on a half ounce jig and cast at the breaking fish. That will get your confidence up to try the bigger stuff.

Sluggos are a way of life.;)

10-20-2007, 01:28 PM
The fish have to be there is key. Sometimes they like it worked like a pencil popper and others low and slow. Add a twitch every few turns of the reel handle. I guess you just need to fimd out what they want.