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Post Posted: 02:57pm - Dec 13,10 
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So I've come up with yet another question....but I don't think it's as complicated as some others I've had.

Last year I bought some used J-Plugs, a few little #3's, some #4's and some #5's. Most are a white color with some contrasting greens, yellows and minnow-like scale patterns. I have a few silver, but not as many as I'd like. I cleaned them up, retied all the harnesses, added brand new treble hooks and am ready to run a few.

My question is this........when and where is it ideal to run a J-Plug?

Two things I've heard associated with J-plugs:

-First, they are most commonly applied for staging kings trolling
shallow off the pierheads (That's where you usually hear J's used)

-Second, I have heard that J-Plugs can "wander" within a spread and
thus, if running a tight spread, can tangle other lines due to it's
erratic motion

Therefore, where should I use my J-Plugs, when would be a good time to break them out (I'm thinking dawn and dusk up higher in the water column) and lastly, what speed are they most receptive to?

I figure if I'm running spoons along with flasher and flies, I want to make sure if I add a J-Plug it will be running at a speed that will trigger strikes.

Never caught anything on a J-Plug, so I'm looking to this year.

Thank again guys.

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Post Posted: 03:54pm - Dec 13,10 
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A few thoughts on J-plugs... They can work any time of the year. I seem to recall that Capt Ralph had an awesome J-plug bite going in the spring a year or two ago. He reported the coho would leave them alone and only the kings were interested. For me, they have always been hit or miss. When they are on, they are the best lure on the boat. When they are not, it is a dead stick. Back in 2005, a #3 Pearl J-plug on the fullcore was money in the bank for me, all year long. That winter, I stocked up on #3 Pearl J-plugs and they haven't worked since. This year (2010), I had one trip at the end of June where a borrowed #4 jointed Pearl J-plug was the top producer, but it was only that one trip.

On my boat, when I run them, J-pluga are almost always on either leadcore or on a rigger. For some reason, I usually don't put them on a diver. With both leadcore and riggers, you need to remember that the plug will dive a little, so allow for that to keep them off the bottom. Because they do wander, I like to keep them behind or below anything they could potentially tangle with. In August or September, I like to run an inverted V on my riggers with a J-plug on each of the deep corners, especially in shallower water. With their rattles and erratic action, they can be the right lure to provoke a reaction strike from a king that has stopped feeding for the spawn. As far as speed goes, I have found them to be very tolerant of a wide range of speeds. I will set my speed based on my other baits and let the J's do their thing. Finally, I prefer the #3 and #4 sizes most of the time, but the #5's have worked, too. Good Luck!

Jerry
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Post Posted: 04:42pm - Dec 13,10 
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For me low light is when they work the best but have also caught them during the day. Like jerry said they are either RED hot or COLD. last year a glow wonderbread j-plug on 10 color caught at least 2 fish every sun up or sun down. This year I have very little luck with them and by mid summer I lost faith in them but still put one on from time to time. I have only run them on lead and riggers out in open water but I have not had ANY luck with them on the riggers. All spring (late february to may) I ran a j-plug in hopes of getting a Bonus fish in shallow but had no success. I also don't think I have caught anything but a king on them but then again they work best at low light when the kings are biting. I guessing most of the fish I got on j-plugs have been when I was going 2.2 to 2.5. This year I was running much faster in the summer (2.6-3.2) so maybe thats why I had limited success this year.

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Post Posted: 05:35pm - Dec 13,10 
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Runing Bare is right on, the J Plug is a hit or miss set-up. A long time ago when the kings were bigger and more pleantiful you would not think of running without them. The smaller ones will take an occasional big ho and the bigger ones will primarily get you kings. I used to run them flat in shallow water, with a kiel sinker in deeper water, on riggers out deep. It's just one of those plugs that will work if you wash it enough, some days you will swear by it and others you will swear at it. Really it is just like the rest of the lures used, it will have it's day. Nothing ever cought more fish for me than dodger and fly combos. Big grey flasher and big pearl fly in the center down deeper for the kings and red/orange flasher with green and silver fly for the ho's on the outside could not be beat.
As far as the j's wandering and tangling, I never found that to be the case. If you are having problems like that you need to pay attention to how you set your spread up and how far out you run the plugs and how you make your turns. The longer your leads the more problems you will have. If you want to run lines at the same depth you are going to have to go with short leads. I cought a ton of fish with over the years with 10 - 15 - 20 foot leads off the ball, I never understood why some people feel the need for 50 - 75 - 100 foot leads off the ball, it isn't necessary and can be a pain in the ars. In shallow water OK you gotta set them back farther for the kings, but how often are the kings really shallow and for how long. Now you have to clean up your spread and run fewer lines for kings.
J-13's have given me the same hit or miss results over the years. Best spoon I ever ran was North Port Nailer silver with a blue zipper about 4 1/2" long, man I went through a lot of those, the kings would bend them all up. I would run them 10-15-20 off the ball pending depth again, in shallow water back farther.
If you know your in fish, you gotta keep mixing it up untill you see what is working.
When you come in, walk over by the Charters and check out their rigs to see what they are running and pay close attentiont to how its rigged. Never buy just one of a rig you think is going to work you gotta buy three of each and when one works pay real close attention to how it's rigged and duplicate it.
Pick your days and wash those J Plugs and you will get some kings.

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Post Posted: 05:55pm - Dec 13,10 
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I've used them all year round and are hot at all different times. I also sometimes coat them with smelly jelly. I agree with HTR that a wonderbread "lighted" on 10 color was very hot. Secomd to the typical green. I made an orange crush jplug and "JOHNN" caught the biggest Laker on my boat so far. 260fow on 12 color. 20+ pounds

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Post Posted: 05:56pm - Dec 13,10 
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Thanks guys.

i bought a bunch used (maybe that tells you a lot) and only fished one last year for 15 minutes. It had WAY to big of treble hook on, so I re-rigged all of them and plan on getting one in the rotation this coming year.

Not sure about the wandering but I was told that they will move around more than a spoon or flasher and fly, so that's why I asked. I was fishing a small #3 silver bullet off of a 6 core and think I'll give it a try again.

Thanks all.

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Post Posted: 06:01pm - Dec 13,10 
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By the way, Tomic Lures (Plugs) are the number one lure (plug) in Canada for Salmon. They are a tad diffrent from jplugs as the hooks are stationary. They do have great coor choices though!

http://www.tomiclures.com/index.htm

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Post Posted: 05:03am - Dec 14,10 
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Don't forget the new Moonshine plug that is supposedly coming out. Joe.

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Post Posted: 06:41am - Dec 14,10 
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In addition to the above, we will run a J plug near bottom if we are trolling in shallow (like this summer). Good bait for big browns.

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Post Posted: 11:52am - Dec 14,10 
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i ran them almost every trip during the summer mostly on leadcores and a few times on dipseys. the glow green ladderback #4 and #3 was my top producers last year.i didnt keep a record of how many they caught but some days it would take more than 50% of our catch.i will run them all day long and are always in the starting lineup. i have run them on riggers but as was said you have to keep them on a short leash or they will tangle especially on windy days when your changing direction alot

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Post Posted: 07:15pm - Dec 14,10 
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We had good luck with a bloody nose spotted glow #3 for steelie's this summer 100' behind a yellowbird usually on the outside of the spread unwieghted .

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Post Posted: 07:17pm - Dec 14,10 
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Yankee,
Saw some of those moonshine plugs at Mik Muffin tackle abouta month ago they are out . I almost picked up a few will have to on my next run through

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Post Posted: 10:37am - Dec 16,10 
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#3 mongose-chrome/chart back was the top producing lure for me all year. It took my biggest browns of the year in the spring, early morning kings in the summer and staging kings and skamanias into August and September. Best presentation was 5ft off the bottom on a rigger. I think the biggest difference/problem with j-plugs is that they float at rest which is the exact opposite of most other things you are running. On an inside turn a j-plugwill rise where a spoon or dodger fly will sink. On the out side a j-plug will dive down when it speeds up where a spoon or or d/f will rise.

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Post Posted: 06:23pm - Dec 22,10 
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lots of good info in Js above
would like to add some things to try
i have to agree when the j plug id working its usually on nice fish and more likely they are on fire or don't take a sniff

a couple unusual things that have worked for me is these j plugs behind a 00 pearl glow dodger
all ways in low light and the ones with the rattles or the glows seem to work better for me
they have been around for a bunch of years and are often found as a bargain used

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Post Posted: 10:57am - Dec 23,10 
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Frank,

How far behind a 00 dodger would you run that J-plug? Thanks.

Jerry
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Post Posted: 05:41pm - Dec 23,10 
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JERRY
Spring time running a little slow i will run it back 24" latter in the year we stretch them out farther as the year goes by the longest i have ever had them popping was a little over 40" i have heard of guys even longer but never got that to work for me . but i am fishing down here mostly in indiana water
guys i know that use the longer lines where up arround holland michigan
this is a good way to pick kings out of a bunch of coho
good luck some thing to try like some one already said J plugs are usually hot or cold no half way
i will try my j plug colors rattles glows long line on the bottom and with a flasher
if i can get some thing to pop one in a couple hours of trying different varieties i put them away for a week or two

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