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I fished it in the Kank today.  Got skunked.  I was hoping the plastic might lift the jig out of the rocks a bit, I got stuck a lot.

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The Kankakee just eats jigs I think it's the sharp edges of the lime stone. I try to go as light as possible and still feel the bottom. If I'm fishing out in the current the only cast that comes through pretty good is if I cast slightly upstream and the jig hits bottom just below me then continues down and across. when it snags in front of a rock you basically pull it upstream against the current and then let it keep going downstream. Don't know if that's a good explanation.

I've gotten fish out of the main flow in this cold of water tight lining a dropshot rig but it's tough. I would work as many small eddies as possible. Still lots of junk on the bottom to snag on. I lost all my neko rigs in eddies. Lost all my flies in the trees last time I fly fished out there.

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On the Kankakee, this rig is known as the "weighted keeper hook". With the weight on the hook shank, it slides over, around and through river structure and weeds.

 

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Don't fish the Kankakee as much as I used to, but the area I have been fishing on the Dupage is very rocky as well. The only weighted keeper hook I have lost in the last two years was due to a bite off. Mister Twister makes them . The 1/0 1/16th oz, and 2/0 1/8th should fill 90% of your river fishing needs. The hook size keeps increasing with each step up in weight, which makes the heavier ones only good for bigger plastics like Erie Darters or big grubs. If you are using it for the Ned Rig, make sure you push the hook all the way through the plastic and make sure the aren't any strands of elaztech holding the hook back or it will interfere with good hooksets. Then just snug the hook point up against the plastic, exposed and you are in snag -free business. Having left more lead on the bottom of rivers than my body weight, I' m glad I learned this from Ed Mullady, and had it reinforced by Norm Minas years ago.. Since then , I can fish snaggy areas and not have to carry 10 pounds of lead in my vest or spend half my day retying. Just make sure you check your line for nicks, because you will have to retie a lot less. Hope this helps.

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I caught well over 20 ( lost count after 15) lm 12-15" on the same one jig and worm, and it's still fishable.  Though I bent the hook back a lot, and I think it might break if a real fish hit it.    Used the tiki worm whatever it's called.  I pinched the barb down just to make it easier to release them.  My nephew was using a very small jig and craw and he wasn't catching nearly as many.   Could be just a day where for no real good reason one guy was doing better, but they sure seemed to be on this thing.   

I am not sure that these fish were pure largemouth.  They looked a little weird.  But whatever. That jig sure seemed to work.  

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You are right, John. Mullady and Minas also turned me on to the keeper hook. However, at some point the quality of the hook went south. It isn't nearly as sharp as the original version. That alone caused me to carry a sharpening stone in my vest.

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

What's this Keeper hook thing?  I've never heard of it.

 

MTWKH-2.jpg

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The Ned Rig is great when you’ve got gravel or sand and lots of fish stacked along the bottom.

Like any lure it’s right place, right time!

Chunk rock eats mushroom-head jigs and you’re better off with a Slider Head and a slower fall rate.

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I throw it in rock all the time. You lose a few but that's the risk you take to catch fish. You need to pay attention to where you are putting it. If it is real rocky you need to keep your rod tip up! I will even use a 1/20th jig head on occasion 

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Right about the hook quality, Mike. Definitely need to sharpen them. The other slight adjustment I make is to slightly file down the size of the barb which results in better hooksets and makes it easier to release fish that get the hook in a hard area of the mouth without tearing them up. I still have a barb , but it is smaller. Slider heads are great, too Eric.

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I don't know when it became necessary to put inferior hooks on baits, but the same applies to the jointed Rapala. They changed the hooks, and I began to lose quality fish.

The Rebel Wee-Craw.....same thing.

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The orange /gold J-11 used to be a top choice for early season trolling on Lake Michigan. Now you need to change out both the split rings and the hooks, because even a bigger coho can straighten one or the other out. I have had pretty good results with Daiichi and Gamakatsu replacement trebles but it is annoying to have to replace them when you are paying 8 bucks for the lure in the first place. The split rings are incredibly flimsy .

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Back to the Ned Rig. Durability wise, in April I caught 46 smallmouth, and 13 rock bass on one TRD in green pumpkin goby and a half Strike King Zero in green pumpkin on two Mister Twister Weighted Keeper Hooks  in 1/16th and 1/8th in extremely rocky areas. Lost nothing, Still using both. Though the plastics are a little beat up, they seem to work better the more beat up they get.

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