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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 05-27-2008, 09:48 PM
Normiket Normiket is offline
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Default Eel Skin Rigs?

Frank, I was brought up using eel skins and leaded rigs in the canal. My father was a machinist and made his own jig for making up the rigs. With the advent of slugos and other plastics, I don't believe anyone still uses these rigs. I know I do not and have a bunch of rigs made up and hanging in my basement. Though I have to admit I kinda miss the old nostalgic feeling of casting and bouncing these along the bottom of the canal. Have you heard of anyone still using these or is the work involved just not worth it given our new technologies?
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:17 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Norm, I think you have it right in your last sentence. There are so many other choices now where in those days you only had a few options. I used one over 40 years ago. What I didn't like was the hook was small.

There has always been a lot of nastalga in fishing which escaped me. We started fishing with junk and I don't want to look back.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:03 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Another thing about using a skin is you have to keep it cold and wet when leaving it on the plug. Otherwise, it will dry out and crackle like a condom-potatoe-chip.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:35 AM
LKB3rd LKB3rd is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

I am a "new school" guy, and for the reasons you both have mentioned, I have only used eel skin rigs to see what they were all about. I use other things for the same purpose that are a lot easier to use. Soft plastics.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:01 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Your doing the right thing useing plastic. But a blue can wipe it out on one hit. An eelskin can take several hits from blues before it's shot.
Another thing nothing compares too an eelskin on a plug nothing.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:19 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

My last post was in reference to the "skin plug", not the actual original subject of the thread. Skin plugs require a larger eel in order to get a skin over the plug and one does not usually use the whole eel or it would be too long. A lot of us used the blue side of the skin out and we also learned to remove the tail hook on the plug or the skin would get draped over it.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:43 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Eelskins have been used in a variety of styles over the years. I'm pretty sure that the ones Norm refers to are the lead head type, with a hole for the water to pass through. They were popular at the Canal and differed from the New York style eelskin rigs that utilized a block tin squid. The NY models were originally known as "Ferron Rigs" and were variations of the one created by the late striper surf pioneer, Jerry Ferron.

The NY models had either a fixed ring around the tin itself, or a swinging ring pinned through the tail loop. Some were rigged with two hooks in a foul proof arrangement, but most utilized just one hook. These have great swimming action and are a deadly lure under the right conditions.

Another little known variation that produced well as a bridge jig is a short skin on a hollow lead head. Molded in is a hook, and stiffening wire to hold the skin out straight. Used in the manner of a bullhead jig, it has been a killer at times.

And of course, the skin plug.....which as Al mentioned, is a terrific lure when properly rigged. The skin plug originated as a variation of larger swimming plugs such as the Atom 40, but I believe that it is most effective when used with a medium size plug.

CL
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:33 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

People today don't want to deal with the blood and gore of skinning an eel today. And riggin an eel? Forgetaboutit. Deer hunters don't gut and guys shoot turkeys and want to pay somebody to clean it. People are too removed from the sod to get dirty. Different world.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:31 AM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Only die hard fisherman will rig and fish rigged eels.
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Old 06-14-2008, 03:58 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Al, you know I love rigged eels. But you can go all over the Striper Coast and not find anybody who either knows how, wants to learn, or is willing to put in the effort. All the rigged eel fishermen I have ever known, with no exception, came from that small esoteric group of Long Island hardcores. When I wrote Hot Spots nearly 20 years ago, whenever I asked, I could never find anybody who rigged eels. Some thought I was nuts and the other half thought I was a very old man.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:00 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Your right I only find some of people that read the chapters I wrote and are doing it. They also tell me they are catching large. Not many but some highly skilled anglers.
When I asked one what was the difference between plugs and rigged eels he said about 20 pounds. Another is doing a chapter in a book thats coming out on how too rig eels.
I just hate to see large bass thrown back that are belly hooked with live eels. When that could have been avoided using a rig eel
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:16 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

I only met two fishermen who were not from Brooklyn and were fishing rigged eels before I knew them.....Arnold Laine and Jimmy Andrews.

CL
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:22 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

I know I learned from the Long Island guys, quite by accident. I only heard it about but I had no one to teach me. So I kind of winged it and learned myself. If a person uses common sense in the placement and sewing of the hooks its not rocket science. It is the retrieve that is the real secret.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:38 AM
FUMIFISH FUMIFISH is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

hi frank.
happy fathers day to everyone!!!

ill post a pick of my first batch of riggies that did not work out.. two problems i noticed after fishing them one night..
issue one
eels were too small. about a foot.. its the only thing i could find!!

issue two
i need help with tying the dacron to the top hook ... just doesnt seem right.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:27 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Eel Skin Rigs?

Yes, tieing the rear hook to the front hook is a problem that gave me fits. I have always had to deal with a deficiency in knot tieing -- kind of a learning disability specificly for me. 12 inch eels? You perch fishing?
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