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Meat rig, paddles'

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Does anyone run meat rigs behind 8'' SD or paddles?

I only ran 1 meat rig last year behind a 12'' white glow paddle. With no hits in 3 trips out while the rest of the spread was producing. Next year I am going to run 2 or 3 meat rigs.

Also what is the differance between cut bait and whole fish?

I ran whole fish last year and was wondering if I should change to strips next year.

Thanks Steve

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We'll sometimes run a single meat head and strip with no teasers behind 8in SD and paddles. Run a shorter lead to the meat head too than a 3 fly meat rig.

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On the WI side some guys I know are running the new Brads cut plug with tuna in oil or herring in the middle. I will be running these riggs alot next year when the fishing slows. I got 5 colors and I am ready to goto town with these guys. Guys I know also run 10 to 12 inch paddles, no 8's on meat. Chris

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I run meat rigs regularly, usually one off of the starboard down rigger and another off the port dipsy. I always use cut bait. If I cant get cut bait I make my own from whole herring green label.. Meat rigs don't always produce but I believe they bring fish into your spread. I always do better when running meat then when not. It adds to the group dynamic. I use spin doctors or fish catchers in front of the meat rigs. Green seems to work the best. All of my rigs are 3 fly teasers although I am think of going with 2 fly for my DD. Tom

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I run all meat on dipsies and riggers the last 2 years nothing else comes close to producing as well all 10 and 12 inch capt johns flashers 10 on dipsies and 12 on riggers on the copper and lead I usually stick to plugs and spoons or a bare meat head with no flasher or flies I run a mixture of whole and cut bait one never seems to out produce the other by far Knock on wood since I started this program I have not been skunked

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I have honestly became herring impaired I seldom run it anymore my boat smells much better LOL. However 4 years ago it was my number one go to setup and I ran it all behind 8in Pro Trolls and Spin Doctors. The last couple of years I have been hit and miss on running it with so so results and have ran it behind larger paddles but still nothing like it was 4 years ago. Not sure of the change perhaps water clarity but I should check with Steve and Jay cause I mostly drive the boat but I don't think we took more than a fish or 2 on meat this year.

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I heard from a wise man some time ago, figure out what they want and give them lots of it. Case in point, one one particular outing this summer we were fishing a few meat rigs, spoons and plugs One meat rig in particular started taking fish, it was Moo Moo. After 2 hits we put out a 2nd Moo Moo. Couldn't keep either rig in the water. One on a DR and the other on dipsy. We had another out that was green, but the moo moo took multiple fish (6) and more hits also. But at the same time I have put it out on other days and not even a sniff. It's good to have a diverse box of lures, and put them out until you have dialed in the recipe. I am going to order a few of those brads cut plugs and give those a whirl next year too. you just never know

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i started running them a few years ago ..terry showed me one of his setups with a 10 inch spindoctor and ive run them since..they definatly catch fish..especially when the bite slows down..i have started running the meat paddles like the ones from john king and big weenie and they work good also..they arent out every trip but you cant have too many options:)

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One thing to keep in mind when running Meat rigs is speed! You need to be going slower than nowmal pulling these big rigs. If you go your normal "spoon" speed, its to fast. I think its a big reason many people have issues producing when they just throw a meat rig into their normal spread. If your heavy spoons have the right action in the water, your going to fast for meat rigs. This is why the guys that are very sucessful running meat almost always run a dedicated spread to that tactic, they dont just drop one into a spread of random lures.

My normal meat fishing spread is 2-3 riggers with meat rigs, 2 wire divers with meat rigs, and maybe a few very LIGHT spoons on the leadcore. I will also drop an SWR rig below all rods in the spread to catch any stragglers hanging below the other rigs. Maulers, FINN spoons, and Super Slims are great spoons for slower speeds. You dont need to stack tons of rods into the spread. Better to concentrate on running 5-7 rods properly than to have a dozen just randomly thrown in. I consistantly outfish guys with 20 rods in the water with my normal daytime spread of 5-7 rods. Its more important to run 5 rods properly, than 10+ rods just thrown in with no thought. Keep in mind....they are NOT seperate rods and baits in the water....they are a SPREAD, that should work together, not alone.

I run almost exclusivly the 12" John King Flashers for meat rigs, ALWAYS White or Glow, with the 3 fly rigs and Herring strips or whole Alewife. **Important note...I dont care what anyone says...Fake meat WILL NOT produce like the real thing. If your gonna fish meat, use MEAT! Herring,(whole or strips) or Alewife work the best for me. You should always be running the big flashers with a Meat rigs as well. They give a far bigger and slower roll than the smaller ones and produce 10x more fish on rigs. Remember, unlike a flasher/fly, the paddle on a meat rig is NOT imparting action to the bait behind it, its simply an attractor.

Finally, the most imporatnt part of running a meat rig in getting the correct "roll" of the bait head. A baithead that spins real fast wont cut it, and neither will a head thats not turning. Put the rg in the water next to the boat and watch the baithead. You are looking for 2-4 rolls per second. If it needs to be adjusted, just bend the tab on the baithead to adjust it. This should be checked after every fish, as the head may have straightend out after catching a fish.

The one tip I remember getting directly from John King about running meat that helped me the most was SLOW DOWN! Especially during the day and especially when targeting bigger fish! Hope that helps!

Everything above is just my opinion. I know there are different ways to do things and I dont want to upset anyone. But running meat has won me more money in tourneys and full boxes on charter days than any other single tactic in the water, and I have spent a lot of time trying to perfect it. But its a touchy tactic, as everything needs to be done correctly to really produce. :thumb:

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Captain John, Well said I was trying to figer out how to put it with kings program you done it nicely, Its what I run also when fishen gets tough you just dig in and fish harder.

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:beerchug: Daybreak couldnt have said it any better myslef the initial cost of buying into another program is a little scary at first but the results are well worth it!

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I just want to agree with and THANK Captain John of Daybreak Charters for sharing this information. Rarely do you see this detailed description of the "secrets" of fishing.

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My Favorite flasher with whole baitfish behind is the pro-troll/Michigan stinger 8" prochip, and the Vk flasher from a Finnish company I work with

the ordinary model of VK flasher and the New model of VK jointed Flasher here is a link to two video of the new jointed model.

http://www.vk-products.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=11&Itemid=77〈=en

and this is two video on the ordinary model

http://www.vk-products.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=10&Itemid=76〈=en

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My Favorite flasher with whole baitfish behind is the pro-troll/Michigan stinger 8" prochip, and the Vk flasher from a Finnish company I work with

the ordinary model of VK flasher and the New model of VK jointed Flasher here is a link to two video of the new jointed model.

http://www.vk-products.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=11&Itemid=77〈=en

and this is two video on the ordinary model

http://www.vk-products.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=10&Itemid=76〈=en

The wild action of that VK Flasher reverses it's spin. That may help prevent line twist. :thumb::)

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Never have used meat rigs but this is the year we try the program described by Captain John! What weight cannonballs would be best for a meat rig and how far back of the ball might work best? Also was wondering how close together they could be run before getting a big tangle down there? Sounds like they might be making a pretty big roll? Thanks for any info.

Duane

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I had pretty good luck this year with meat. I used the cut plugs packed with tuna packed in garlic oil. It's smells terrible but I got action almost everytime I ran one. I ran them without any sort of flasher or dodger. After the heavy rain storm in Milwaukee in July the water really changed and I started fishing about 3.2-3.4 SOG and the action picked up.

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Captain John reminded me the other reason my meat program went down hill I don't slow down anymore. Perhaps I should do as he suggested and setup a slow pattern, that might make more sense than selling all the gear I don't use anymore cause I won't slow down to run it correctly. The last few years my slow pattern is 2.5 or better most days I am pushing 3.0 to 3.5 or going from 4.5 to 2.5 all day and making turns to dial in speed and direction. This has left me with a lot of gear I don't run because it does not troll well that speed so maybe I will put together a slow pattern setup and mix some meat back in.

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What weight cannonballs would be best for a meat rig and how far back of the ball might work best? Also was wondering how close together they could be run before getting a big tangle down there? Sounds like they might be making a pretty big roll?

Duane

You can get away with any average size ball(10-12) just fine, though I prefer heavier, especially if you want to fish them deep. I run 15lb. Atomik Torpedo weights down to over 250' with great results, but they are not a must. If you are going slow like you should be, blowback wont be as big as a problem. Lead lengths behind the ball are usually 8-20 feet. Almost never longer than 30' or you could start to have some issues. 15 feet is my standard starting point and then I tweak it to the fish from there.

I dont have any issues running 3 meat rigs off the riggers at the same time as long as the seas are tolerable. I do have a 10' beam and have 4 riggers mounted there, but more and more I am only using 2 or 3 at a time. Though I do sometimes run 3 riggers all with meatrigs, more and more I am using the center rigger with a 2-4 color SWR rig and a Mauler spoon or better yet...a J-Plug instead. This is a killer and simple spread to run as you have the 4 big meat rigs staggered above (2 on riggers and 2 on divers) and then a spoon or a plug, run "stealth" under all of it behind some lead core. I will Run this set-up from 11a.m. till 5p.m., 2-5 miles outside (deeper) of where the fish were for the morning bite :thumb:

As long as you dont make super hard turns and things like that there should be no issue with tangling....at least not more than anything else! John King and others also make directional rotaters as well which I have never run, but I have heard helps on smaller boats. Then you have a Port and Starboard paddles. This way instead of both of them rotating the same direction, they both roll "outward" from the center of the spread, aparrently helping reduce tangles.

---1mainiac... I am used to the "slow" stuff due to all my fishing on Lake Superior, where SLOW is the ticket. My starting point for fishing meat spreads on Lake Michigan is usually 2.3-2.5mph GPS speed (1.8-2.0 Depth Raider) (2.4 on my Fishhawk X4). When I am fishing the mid-day timeframe in a "big fish" derby, I will be in 300'+ of water, dragging all meatrigs at 2.0 or less on the GPS. It dosent take much to spin those meatheads and big paddles, and the slower the better when looking for the big boys!

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