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John R. Flannery

News For Ned Riggers

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Z-Man has released its'  latest Midwest Finesse bait, the TRD CrawZ. As far as I know , the only place that has them now is Anglers International Resources/ Fishing Gurus in Palatine. They have a web site and do free shipping on orders over 50.00. I tried them on the Dupage today. They are 2.5 inches and come in about 8 colors so far. They work well on a weighted keeper hook, look great in the water. The claws are very bulbous and buoyant and wag when you move and stop the bait. Obviously a dragging or hopping retrieve with stop and go would be most natural. Unfortunately the 20 or so bass I saw today were super spooky and had lockjaw. I could entice only one 10 incher that came on a half Zinker Z. Might have gotten a few more if I had the 2 inch grubs along. Not a fair trial for the bait. The owner of the store told me it is his fastest selling bait in a long time and that they are almost out of the black/blue color.

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I saw them too. They are back ordered or are not on sale till the end of the month. I had the same impression, Mark. Unless that part in front is plastic and not lead, they will not be good in rocks. Might be good in weeds or wood. If I get some, I will post the results. I have been keeping track of the Weighted Keeper Hooks longevity that I have been using in extremely rocky areas. The 1/16th oz. one goes back to March 2017 when I snagged the previous one by setting the hook into a branch. The 1/8th oz. one replaced the previous one that was bitten off by a pike in April 2017. Both are getting hard to sharpen and are not their true weight due to abrasion on the rocks. Even though the hooks on them are not the greatest, the combination with these buoyant plastics I have been fishing is almost miraculous how well it comes through the rocks.

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According to to one of the guys (Ned) who developed the technique, dragging them on the bottom where they can get snagged is not always the best method to fish them.  Very light jigs and the very buoyant Elaztech plastic produces a very slow fall, making them almost neutrally buoyant. He likes to swim them through the water instead of hopping or dragging them.  When I’m in water where snagging can be an issue, I try and keep them off the bottom.  Ned rigs are such a versatile bait , they will catch fish no matter how you retrieve them. I like the weedless ‘shroomz to toss around downed trees. They only used to come in a 1/10 of an ounce size which for me is heavier than I like for other presentations, but they will come through branches pretty well. 

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I know the ned rig was designed to pair up with the mushroom head jig. That doesn't mean you have to go that direction. I've been pairing the Elaztech plastics with the Charlie brewer slider heads and a dab of glue and I've been getting good snag resistant performance.

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I had issue with using the zman mushroom head jigs and fast current.  They weren't heavy enough to hit bottom.  I understand the approach of fishing the middle column, I'd just have to do a different approach.

 

For a different method of rigging a TRD... After having my last senko shaken off by a largemouth that I landed, I was pressed for time.  I nose hooked a TRD on a weedless wacky hook.  Slow to descend.  Much more erratic action than a fluke.  Landed one on first cast with it.  Then I had to leave.

 

 

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Working on an article for the next newsletter on fishing it in rivers. Started using it in 2012 in the pre-TRD days when we were gluing half ZinkerZ on mushroom heads. So versitile. Lots of ways to use it. Fun to experiment. The combination of the bouyancy and different delivery systems makes the only limit your imagination. Drop Shot, wood screw Nico rigs, swimming, whacky, bottom dragging, Trying it as a goby imitation for brown trout. I was at Cabela's right after they restocked in the spring. There were about 12 high school fishing team members filling their carts with TRDs. When they finished, like a plague of locusts, there was one pack of molting craw and two of bubble gum. Fun stuff. 

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