Cedar Plugs Fishing: Complete Guide For OffShore Fishing
Cedar Plugs Fishing: A Guide for Anglers
You've probably heard of cedar plugs if you're an angler looking to catch tuna. These wooden lures have been used for decades to catch big game fish and for good reason. In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about cedar plugs fishing, from what they are to how to use them effectively.
What are cedar plugs?
Cedar plugs are fishing lures that anglers have used for many years. These lures are typically cylindrical and range from 4 to 8 inches. Cedar plugs are often used for offshore fishing and are designed to mimic small baitfish like mackerel, herring, or sardine. They are often trolled behind a boat and can be rigged with a single hook or a tandem hook rig to increase the strike odds. Cedar plugs effectively catch pelagic species like tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and other game fish that feed on small baitfish. As a versatile and reliable fishing lure, cedar plugs have remained popular among anglers for many years. Their simplicity, durability, and effectiveness in catching fish make them a must-have item in every offshore angler's tackle box.
How to rig a cedar plug
Cedar plugs are versatile lures that can be rigged specifically for offshore fishing. Here's a guide on how to rig a cedar plug for offshore fishing:
- Begin by selecting a cedar plug of an appropriate size and color that matches the baitfish offshore species tend to feed on.
- Attach a heavy-duty ball-bearing swivel to the end of your main fishing line using a strong knot. The swivel will help prevent line twists and provide better movement for the cedar plug.
- Tie a 3-4 foot long leader to the other end of the swivel using a strong knot. For offshore fishing, use a heavier fluorocarbon or monofilament leader, around 80-100 lb test, to withstand the strength of larger fish.
- Slide the leader through the front eye of the cedar plug, then tie a loop knot in the leader's end to attach the plug securely.
- If targeting species like tuna, marlin, or mahi-mahi, consider adding a stinger hook to increase hooking chances. Attach a second shorter leader, around 1-2 feet, to the rear eye of the cedar plug. Tie the stinger hook to the other end of this leader, ensuring it trails freely behind the plug.
- Inspect the rig to ensure the hooks, leader, and cedar plug are securely connected without any tangles or knots causing interference.
- Test the rig in the water to ensure the cedar plug is swimming naturally and there are no issues with its movement. Adjust it if necessary.
When offshore fishing with a rigged cedar plug, be sure to troll it at a reasonable speed, usually between 6-8 knots, to imitate the movement of baitfish. Maintain a watchful eye on your line for signs of strikes or increased activity. Remember, offshore fishing can expose you to greater risks and challenges, so always prioritize safety and be prepared with proper equipment before venturing out.
How to fish a cedar plug
Fishing with a cedar plug is popular for catching various game fish species. Fishing a cedar plug is relatively simple and can be done using a medium-heavy or heavy-action trolling rod and reel combination. To begin, tie the cedar plug to the end of your fishing line directly or using a leader. Next, troll the cedar plug behind your boat at 6 to 8 knots or as appropriate to your target species. Ensure to periodically check the plug for seaweed or debris that may have accumulated during the trolling process. If a fish strikes the plug, allow the fish to run with the lure for a few seconds before setting the hook with a strong upward motion of the rod. Remember to maintain steady pressure on the fish while reeling it to avoid losing it. When fishing with cedar plugs, it is important to use caution and always wear appropriate safety gear, as offshore fishing can present certain hazards and risks. With the right technique and patience, cedar plugs can be an effective tool for catching a successful offshore fishing catch.
How fast to troll cedar plugs?
Trolling for Tuna Using Cedar Plugs Catches Fish.
The speed at which you should troll cedar plugs can vary depending on the targeted species and the current conditions. As a general guideline, a speed of around 6 to 8 knots is commonly recommended for trolling cedar plugs. This speed range allows the cedar plug to swim naturally, attracting fish's attention, particularly pelagic species like tuna, mahi-mahi, and marlin. However, it is important to note that the optimal trolling speed may vary based on factors such as the specific species, water temperature, currents, and the preference of the targeted fish on that particular day. Adjustments to the trolling speed can be made by observing the action of the cedar plug in the water and experimenting with different speeds until you find the sweet spot that triggers the most strikes. Flexibility and adaptability to changing conditions can greatly increase your chances of success when trolling cedar plugs.
What kind of cedar for cedar fishing plugs?
Crafting Cedar Plugs From Red Cedar.
Regarding cedar fishing plugs, the type of cedar used is important for its buoyancy and durability in seawater. The preferred kind of cedar for building these fishing lures is western red cedar due to its density, weight, and oily nature. This wood is often selected for its unique characteristics, which help to produce a highly effective fishing lure. Western red cedar has a natural tendency to repel water due to its oily texture, which helps to keep the plug from becoming waterlogged and sinking in the water. It also has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which allows the plug to remain buoyant and maintain its lifelike swimming motion. In addition to being buoyant and durable, western red cedar is easy to work with and can be crafted into various plug designs that imitate different types of baitfish. Overall, western red cedar is the preferred choice for crafting cedar fishing plugs, offering the best properties that make it a highly effective and enduring fishing lure.
Cedar Plugs Tuna Fishing
Catching Tuna On The Cedar Plugs (Photo Credit: Pat Ford)
Cedar plugs are one of the most effective lures for tuna fishing. Tuna are fast and powerful fish that feed on smaller baitfish, making cedar plugs ideal for mimicking their prey. When targeting tuna with cedar plugs, it is important to troll them behind a boat at a speed of around 6 to 8 knots. This allows the cedar plug to swim naturally and attracts the attention of hungry tuna. It is advisable to rig the cedar plug with a single hook or a tandem hook rig to increase the chances of a successful hookup. Tuna is known for their aggressive strikes, so when a tuna strikes the cedar plug, it is crucial to respond quickly by setting the hook with a strong upward motion of the rod. Once hooked, anglers must be prepared for a fierce fight, as tuna are known for their strength and endurance. With the right technique and a bit of luck, cedar plugs offer anglers a proven method for targeting and catching tuna, providing an exciting and rewarding fishing experience.
Cedar Plugs For Fishing Tips
- Use a lighter leader if you're fishing in clear water.
- Use a heavier leader fishing in murky water or around the structure.
- Try different colors of cedar plugs to see what the fish are biting on.
- If you're not getting any strikes, try changing the speed of your troll or the depth of your lure.