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This is not a music lesson, but rapper/actor Ice Cube once said, “I think I’m unique to the game because of my versatility”. If that’s not your generation, Roger Miller said he didn’t need to have means to be flexible because he was king of the road. As I see it, both musicians were channeling their inner bucktail. If bucktail jigs could tell you what you really needed to make them more effective, it would be the versatility and flexibility of trailers to make the bucktail unmatched as a surf fishing lure. You can fish bucktails in any part of the water column just by changing your weight and retrieval speed. The ability to fish a bucktail in various locations, and adverse conditions, also make it a “go to” for any outing. They not only have the Striped Bass coming back for more, but also attract all types of species. However, sometimes people overlook the importance of the trailer, and the trailer design causing them to not make

their bucktail as effective as it could be in producing a consistent bite.

The trailer on a bucktail may be on the back of the jig but it should never take a “back seat” when it comes to the role it can play in your fishing success. The trailers ability to add different profiles to the bucktail (straight, curly, thick, thin, split tail etc.), along with its ability to provide a wide variety of colors, just increases its ability to be more versatile. There are many different companies producing synthetic trailers and a few that still produce some natural pork rind trailers as well. My preference is Fat Cow Fishing Jig Strips and Green Head Baits Twerk Tailz s both producing synthetics in a wide variety of profiles and colors. If I need the features of a natural pork rind bait, my preference are products made by Osprey Custom Lures. Since you should always be profiling the bait present so you can “match the hatch”, having this variety of trailers gives you the flexibility

and versatility to mimic the bait fish present in your fishing location.

By creating a variety of profiles using various trailers, you can create different types of action as well. As with any presentation, the right action can make the difference between hooking up consistently or not having a great outing. On many occasions, when you give the fish a little different look, it can be beneficial to your hookup ratio. In the early spring, when I am targeting the back bays and creek areas, I will go with smaller trailers that tend to be more narrow and straight in profile because that mimics the type of baits present in those areas early in the season. As we

move towards later spring, I add some longer, thicker trailers to the mix as the bigger baits will start to show up in the bays. During this time, you’ll also begin targeting other the outer beaches and oceans which will have larger profile food sources.

When it comes to trailer colors, I usually stay within the color scheme of my bucktail. It doesn’t have to be an exact match to the bucktail. For instance, if I am using a red/white bucktail, I like to have either red or white in my trailer. My trailer could be all red or all white, or I might use a multi-color pattern such as the Wonder

Bread pattern. This gives me a lot of options when it comes to staying within my color scheme. This goes for day or night fishing as well. When fishing day tides for the most part I am usually using lighter color bucktails (white, red/white, blue/white, chartreuse), so I will stick with trailers that are lighter in color. When fishing the night tides, I incorporate dark color trailers because most night fishing will find me using darker bucktails (“blurple”, wine, black).

Over the years, Bucktails have always been a “go to” lure for anglers like me. They work not only for fish catching consistency but also for catching big fish consistently. The success of the bucktail is in large part due to the relationship

between the jig itself and its trailer. As a result, the importance of the choice of trailer cannot be overlooked. There have been many times where just changing the trailer has proven to be successful. Next time you find yourself not catching with that certain bucktail, try a change of trailer before cutting it off. It could be one of the best decisions you make. Have an open mind, try new things with bucktails and with trailers. but with other lures. Consider changing your cadence and retrieve styles to give that bucktail/trailer combo a different action. This versatility could bring you the new found success you need to make you “King of the Surf”. Live the Passion! Tightlines!

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