Doug Kern, co-owner of Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop, called it the most popular lure he’s seen in his 35 years in business. Most stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, show it as “sold out,” “unavailable” or “backordered.” We are lucky to have access to a full assortment here at his shop at our landing, where anglers are having immense success using it! What is “it”? Read on….
Lucky Searcher passengers have been able to get their hands on this sought-after jig during all of our Let’s Talk Hookup/Shimano On the Water Seminars. Patrick Gee, owner of G Outdoors and Shimano pro staffer/instructor on our most recent 1.5 day seminar, was able to share valuable operating tips with me about the star of this article, the Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Jig. I told Patrick that we have received a pile of questions about this lure in our “Ask A Captain!” inbox:
Hello skippers! What size of flat fall jigs works best on the pelagics and what is the best method for use of the jigs.
Thanks, Bill D.
They come in 24 choices (4 weights and 6 colors) and I think as far as color goes, you can’t go wrong with any choice that includes blue and/or chrome. Overall, I use the 130g weight – it’s a good choice – all fish, large or small, will bite!
In my experience, while the original Shimano butterfly lure receives strikes about 50 percent of the time on both the sink and retrieve, the flat-fall receives about 80 percent of strikes on the sink. This makes the tending of this lure easier, since you can just bring it back up and let it drop without having to cast again if you aren’t successful on your first sink. One more tip…when you boat your fish, DO NOT forget that there are two hooks on this jig. Avoid injury! – Patrick Gee
Captain Joe has been checking out which colors have been working during our recent trips. He says that the Black Anchovy, Blue Sardine, Sand Eel and Phantom Squid have been hitting with equal (and high!) success rates.
Doug Kern gives the following quick instruction list for this high-success, low-fatigue addition to your tackle box.
- On a long drift, cast downwind.
- Let it sink beyond the captain’s reported fish depth. (to go through the ceiling of the fish aggregation)
- Pay attention all the way down, monitor for change. If it stopped, you caught a fish. If it speeds up, you caught a fish.
- When you notice a change, put it in gear and turn the handle!
- If you aren’t successful the first time down, put it in gear and turn the handle at a medium/fast speed and retrieve to a depth just above the fish.
What is working on Searcher? Is there a wrong way to use the flat-fall jig? -E.M.
Captain Art has seen more than a few jigs lost to the fish they are designed to attract.
The most common flat-fall mishap I have seen is that someone will tie it on the end of their line, and a 40 plus pound bluefin will come along and bite it off. Our crew recommends using a heavier leader, such as a 6-foot length of 80 or 100# fluorocarbon or monofilament which won’t impair your casting, but it will protect against loss. Do that, and you will get your fish.”
– Captain Art Taylor
Thanks to Doug Kern, Patrick Gee, and all of our Searcher captains for their input this week!
Don’t forget to “Ask A Captain!”
Each individual who submits a question to our Searcher captains will be entered into a monthly drawing for a FREE tackle swag bag, courtesy of our generous sponsors. The next prize drawing will be held September 30!
Submit your question via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask A Captain!” in the subject line. I’ll hunt down answers from our captains and post for all to see. Selected questions and answers will be posted every week on www.searchersportfishing.com and Facebook. We are also still collecting fishing slang terms not listed in our Week 5 challenge!
What are you waiting for? Send in your question! Good luck!