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Slug-Go Tips
...with Black Bean Sauce

By Russ Bassdozer

We've all heard of steak tips and spare rib tips with black bean sauce. How about some Slug-Go tips now?

Background. Lunker City manufactures 18 models of soft plastic baits in numerous size, length and color combinations. They also market their own brand of hooks, weights and jig heads. The company's original product, the Slug-Go, is its flagship offering. The 5 3/4" Fin-S-Fish is also well-known in saltwater coastal fishing circles. Lunker City's soft plastic formulation and production quality as high within the soft plastics industry. In other words, they make good quality lures.

What's hot. I regularly use and therefore recommend three items for surf fishing from among Lunker City's various offerings. Two of the recommended items are the 6" and 9" Slug-Go. The third item is the 5 3/4" Fin-S-Fish, which has become a favorite and may perhaps be more widely used than any other brand/model of soft plastic along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts by surf fishermen. Also, some guys report good success with the 10" Fin-S-Fish, but I do not use or catch on this bait frequently enough to personally recommend it.

What's not. I do not recommend the 4.5" Slug-Go as it has never achieved an outstanding reputation as a fish-catcher in my experience. I do not recommend the 3" Slug-Go for surf fishing because of its diminutive size. However, the 3" size does produce well when rigged a variety of ways in freshwater.

I do not recommend Lunker City's offset hooks or their jigs, as the hooks are not strong enough to hold large saltwater gamefish that anglers can reasonably expect to encounter when using these lures. You decide.

Jigging. A 6" or 9" Slug-go or 5 3/4" Fin-S-Fish can be rigged on a plain leadhead with a large, strong hook in it. Make sure the hook is forged. If the jig has a lead collar, you may want to use visegrip pliers to flatten, crush and twist off the lead collar. Then use super glue to secure the soft plastics behind the leadheads. For the 9" Slug-go, Stamina Quality Components is a mail order catalog company that offers a 3/4 ounce ball head jig (no lead collar) with a monster 8/0 Mustad Seaguard forged hook. Problem is, the heads of these soft plastics are very thin, and a lead collar tears them easily. Fish also tear these thin-bodied soft plastics very easily - but still very productive to use nevertheless. Good thing they come in 20 packs! The weight of the leadhead depends on the fishing conditions (wind, tide, smooth or snaggy bottom, etc.) and depth at the particular "spot".

Deadsticking. A jigging motion is effective. So is deadsticking it without any rod motion. To deadstick, just cast uptide, let it hit bottom, and take in a turn or two so it sweeps downtide barely above bottom. Expect to get hit as it passes 12 o'clock - the lure will do an about face in the current. If you know what you are feeling for, you will feel a tick in the line as the lure does a 180 and starts to stem against the tide. It begins to rise off bottom and sway in tide swirls - it acts kind of like a cranky kite that doesn't really want to get airborne, but does a lot of side-to-side shearing and waffling before it gets up there. Just hold it there for a while motionless in the current. At times, you will be surprised how long you can just wait for a bite. After that, if you can keep it down near the bottom, then retrieve it against the tide all the way back in. If it's too difficult to keep it near bottom, just reel in, make another cast, and let it swing down, turn and rise up again.

Swimming.. Sometimes it's hard to find a better lure than a 6" or 9" Slug-Go glued on behind a tin swimming plate. This style plate looks like the standard style of tin squid head to which you attach rigged eels. Often, the hook is molded in, and the squids body is S-shaped on a horizontal plane, meaning that the squid is bent twice - the front third of the squid is often horizontal, then the middle third of the squid angles down and back. Finally, the last third of the squid is horizontal again, but on a lower plane than the front third of the squid. The preceding describes just one basic style of swimming plate. There are other styles, and some are even lead or stainless, not tin. When matched to the proper swim plate, a 6" or 9" Slug-go will swim along in an S motion. Sometimes it's a perfect slow S motion like an eel, and sometimes it's more like the vibrating, tail-lashing motion of a fast-swimming sand eel. Depends on the swim plate you use. Works well in the shallow surf, calmer flats waters and on shallow sweeping bars where the traditional leadhead jig would get hung up or plow the bottom - the swim plate keeps the bait sweeping up off bottom at the correct retrieve speed that matches the current sweep or the wave surges.

On a sweeping surf, flats or bar, fish the swimming plate Slug-go a lot like the deadstick method described above, with emphasis on getting hit as the Slug-go does the about face at 12 o'clock down to about 10 o'clock (sweeping left) or 2 o'clock (sweeping right).

When swimming it in waves, let it get sucked up into the "tube" of an incoming wave. The correct weight lure will ride up from the base of the wave to the top of the curl, wiggling frantically. Then just pump it forward with the rod tip as it reaches the crest of the wave, and let it ride the forward motion of the wave coming at you like a little wiggling surfboard! Let it tumble around on a semi-tight line in the white water when the wave breaks. It's a great thing to watch this lure get sucked up the face of the tube and to see a bass materialize and body surf in the tube a foot or two to the lure's side, then veer over and slash at it sideways in the curl.

Pinch it off. A 6" Slug-Go has two natural "slices" molded into it, and you can pinch short the 6" Slug-Go at either of these pre-sliced spots (or pinch it anywhere else on the bait), thereby making a shorter Slug-Go tip that exactly imitates the length of small bait that has become so prevalent in recent years. Of course, the tail tip represents a thinner-bodied bait of any length as short as you require, and the head tip represents a small wider-bodied bait like tiny herring or bunker fry. Just use an appropriate jig head and jig hook size to match the size of your Slug-Go tip. Crush the lead collar, and glue the tip on behind the head. Fish it in any fashion you would otherwise fish a jig. It's a super lure for casting to fish you sight first. These wispy tips have outproduced many fuller-bodied baits in both bays and surf.

Color Selections. Lunker City's color patterns are excellent, with good color quality control during production. They capture the appearance of various baitfish species better than many other manufacturers. There are over 50 colors offered, and I have caught fish on most of them. However, the following list of about fifteen colors effectively handles many coastal fishing situations: 01 Alewife; 05 Smoke Pepper Shad; 06 Arkansas Shiner; 28 Anchovy; 32 Gold Pepper Shiner; 33 Silver Pepper Shiner; 35 Black; 36 Albino Shad; 38 Rainbow Trout; 101 Salt & Pepper Blue Phantom; 113 Black Red Flash; 116 Smelt; 119 Mackerel; 120 Lime Shad.

Short List. Even though each of the above colors is "special" at times, there's still lots of overlap in the above list, so here's a short list of my personal favorites:

  • Black with Red Flash: Just gets red hot crazy sometimes!
  • Golden Shiner: This ultra-realistic baitfish patterns often beat all others
  • Gold Pepper Shiner and Silver Pepper Shiner: These two literally sparkle at times, day or night
  • Lime Shad: Is this the best Fin-S color ever? Some think so, myself included

Hope you enjoy your Slug-go tips. Bon Appetit!

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