Plastic Squid Lures, or Plastic Muppets as we call them in the UK, are moulded lures designed to imitate a small squid, much like a miniature version of a skirted trolling lure.
Theyre most frequently fished on a paternoster-style rig and jigged vertically in the water over a deep-water wreck, or broken ground where cod and pollack will attack them enthusiastically.
All boat anglers should have a selection of these in their tackle box.
Like all soft-plastic lures, they soon get beaten up after a fish or two, but they're fairly inexpensive, so having a number of them in various colours and sizes shouldn't break the bank.
Most anglers would choose to use no more than three, together with a metal jig performing both as a lure and a sinker - like a Dexter Wedge or other metal jig.
Here one is shown attached to a dropper loop, but there is a better way as you'll see a little further down on this page.
If you keep getting hooked up, replace the metal jig with a pear lead on a rotten bottom. You'll be less likely to get snagged, but even if you do - and end up having to pull for a break - it will be cheaper!
First make up the rig with dropper loops, as in the illustration above, tying them quite long around 4 inches (100mm) or so.
Having done this most anglers would simply attach the hook with a cow-hitch by pushing the loop through the eye of the hook, and then passing the hook point through the loop and pulling it up tight to the eye - thats a cow-hitch.
Then, they'd push the hook point through the nose and continue to thread the hook through the lure until the eye of the hook was concealed inside its head.
There, job done - but not very well ...
No? Why's that then? Well, it looks fine until its been in the water for a while, after which time the drag of the water will have pulled the plastic squid lure over the hook eye leaving it bunched up around the bend of the hook. Then, in the unlikely event of a fish taking a grab at it, itll pull back through the hole and its goodbye plastic squid lure and no fish, to the intense disappointment of all involved.
After all, if the hole in the nose was large enough to push the hook right through when rigging it, it'll come as no surprise that its still large enough when the hook is on its way back out.
All was well until the point at which the angler cow-hitched the hook on. What he should have done first was:~
Or better still
Artwork by Andrew Simpson
In the USA
In the UK
Downrigger ~ The cranelike device incorporating a line-counter reel often seen on the sterns of sport-fishing boats, which lowers a trolling weight on a wire line to a pre-determined depth. The trolling line is attached just above the weight, which gets the lure down to depths that would otherwise be unachievable.