Spybaits and Gliding Jigs: How to catch finicky suspended fish

Thread starter #1
Seems like lately everybody's been saying the same thing, "the fish are suspended at X depth, but we can't catch them on anything." So I'm going to share with you guys two ultra finesse techniques for catching them when they are suspended and respond to NOTHING else. Think of this as hitting the panic button to avoid getting skunked if you've tried everything else. More importantly, they work because it's something subtle and fairly new that the fish just haven't seen before and nobody's using them because they haven't caught on yet. The two techniques are glide jigging, and spybaiting.

To do either of these techniques you'll need to go ULTRA FINESSE.

Rod/reel: Use a long drop shot spinning rod and reel. Preferably at least 7ft. No more than a medium, but a medium-light power, fast action rod is ideal.

Line: preferably, you'd want 10-15lb braid, and you'd top that with 4-8lb fluorocarbon leader. About 10-20 feet of it. Yes, that's very light, and a very long leader, but it's kind of necessary.

Lures: I recommend you use the VMC Gliding jig in the Oklahoma blade style, silver color. You can use it by itself, or add a baby fluke or finesse worm to it. They come in a 2 pack for about $6. There's a willow leaf model, but it works better when fishing faster. The Oklahoma blade has a slower, wider fall.

Spybait: try a Duo Realis Spinbait 80 in any color that matches the bait in your area. Blueback herring on lanier, shad patterns on west point, and so on. The "ghost" (see-through) patterns are better in really clear cold water. I'd go with ghost threadfin or ghost minnow. These go about $13 a pop, but they'll pay for themselves after bailing you out of tough situations enough times, believe me.

TECHNIQUE: now, how you actually fish them. The gliding jig is a new take on a flutter spoon, with a more horizontal presentation. Find your suspended fish, tie on the gliding spoon, (you may or may not rig it with a plastic lure) give it a toss and count it down to where the fish are holding at. You'll notice it's wobbling, dying action on the fall. The strikes usually happen as it's making its descent to the bottom. If you go through the school without a strike, jig it back up and let it fall again. If the fish are just off the bottom, you can make it weedless by Texas rigging a plastic lure like a zoom finesse worm or fluke onto the lure keeper it comes rigged with. Let it fall to the bottom, rip it up a few feet, and let it fall again. Keep in mind that the fish are sluggish and you want to fish SLOW.

SPYBAITING: This technique, (just like the drop shot) and most of our best finesse fishing techniques originated in Japan for exactly this purpose. It's been called "the technique of silent capture" because of its subtlety and ability to work so well. Essentially, you'll Make a LONG cast, count down to the depth you mark fish at, and SLOWLY (and I mean just BARELY) turn the handle as you pull it back in. It has propellers on it that don't work well if you pull it too fast. It has a realistic senko-like shimmy to it on the fall, and a very tight wiggle on the retrieve. You want to just slowly pull it through the school. This is unlike anything they've ever seen before, and it looks so natural they have to eat it!
I really see guys whacking spots on lanier with this one.

Keep in mind that you will not just catch largemouth with these techniques. especially spybaiting. They work well on just about ALL suspended fish. Spotted bass, crappie, hybrids, stripers, and even walleye and small mouth up north have been landed CONSISTENTLY on these. Also, keep in mind they are to be used SLOW. Fish won't go very far or very fast for anything when it gets tough on the water and these get right in their faces.
Good luck, & Good fishin
Thread starter #2
Here's what they look like. The spybait is about 3/8 ounce even though it's only a little over 3 inches long. Both the styles of spoons are shown also. They come in a few different colors.