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TheHawgTrough

Figures 8's

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Is it me, or does it seem like more people are hooking up on figure eights? I was checking out one guide's sight, and I would bet close to half of his fish this summer have come on eights. I've got to be doing something wrong...

I've done the dance with maybe 20-25 fish and haven't ever hooked up. I've tried different things, making sure the bait is above the fish so it can see it (eye level), wider turns, faster turns, varying depth, etc. If I could put even one in five of these in the boat, it would make a huge difference. I don't fish at night too often, so that may be part of it.

What gives???

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what kind of baits are you using? i wish i could go back and watch my first figure 8s, for a year or two i just didn't get it, after i got my first one on the 8 it seemed like it got much easier. bucktails and crankbaits seems to be the best 8 baits, still trying a few things with topwaters.

maybe the best thing you can do is expect a follow everytime and try to make your transition as smooth as possible because it sure sounds like you're doing all the right things.

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ok, been wanting to get more info on doin 8's. . .always hear how near half the fish are caught on them. . .i have NEVER caught one on it...its my 2nd year doin actual muskie chasin' and I just don't think I get it. . .I don't see any fish, i still roll to the 8. How deep do most guys usually turn it at?? speed wise?? I dont know anymore..so now i've gotten lazier and lazier i think on them and i know thats not going to help.

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IMO, a big part of it is reading the fish. If they are "HOT" (right on the lure coming in) on the bait, speed it up. I've had fish that appear actively following (not "HOT" but 1 to 3 feet behind), speed and increasing that distance doesn't trigger them, they roll off after a few rounds of the 8.

Running the 8 on a 3-D plane has triggered a bunch of fish for me, low in the middle and high on the ends, usually they eat on the outside loop.

I'll run 10-15 rounds of the 8 after a fish appears to roll or sink away, sometimes they come back or are sitting under the boat. Again, you have to read the fish, IMO, they are all coming in with a different "view" on things.

This year i've seen more fish on WBL not even come close to following through the 8, they spook within 10 feet of the boat. Pressure is definitely affecting them. It's something that takes practice, keeping the lure fluidly moving without interruption from retrieve to 8 is the most important thing. If you're using a bucktail and those blades slow or stop, you're done, IME.

hth

JR

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All of my eight fish have come at night on Double 10's. These include my two biggest fish ever. I've hooked fish in the eight during the day, but they've all spit the hook. Like you said, i'd try to vary the depth instead of going at the same level. Good Luck.

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My longest rod is 9 foot, I use every inch of it I can. Big fish need a big circle. But again, it also depends on the fish. I've had a big fish come in and after a couple "normal" 3-D 8's he just kept following with big loops. So I cut it short on one and he doubled over and smacked the bait immediately. You never know.

Do a search on youtube for a Bob Mesihkomer(sp?) video with a guy doing 8's on a fish. After a while, he quit's figure 8'ing and just sits there splashing at boatside while Bob sits there calling out "still there" about every 10 seconds. After what seems like FOREVER the fish eats the bucktail that's being aggressively jigged at boatside...you never know what will make them eat!

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hahaha jredig i've seen that!! he has the thing following for 4-5 minutes. . .than takes it and just flips it back and forth across the top of the water basically?

Sort of, the lure stays in the water wiggling back and forth, the rod tip is splashing back and forth over the lure. Very telling of muskies on several levels.

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Quote:
So I cut it short on one and he doubled over and smacked the bait immediately.

That's the football button-hook curl pattern, KT Pro Edge told me Dan Craven likes to do that move if a fish just won't go. Of course he told me after I spun a fish 15 times to no avail.....

It's hard to balance the number of times to go around vs. pulling this move, but it basically takes the lure back into the nose of the fish and makes them eat it. Far easier said than done.......

I like the longer rods for the fig 8s as well. Easier to get wide and deep, and use the speed factor to your advantage.

That youtube video is funny. Still there..... Still there...... It's also a good lesson on how to keep an 8 going. Still there.......

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Yah I use an 8' shimano, and try getting it away as much as i can, change the depth around and what not. . .toughest thing for me is my boat..i got a old 16' northwoods aluminum, sometimes feels like i might fall out if i try reaching too far haha! I actually thought my brother was going to last thursday, had one hit boatside and i just heard the splash. . thought i was going to turn around to see him in the water!

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I don't do an eight, but rather a big O. This has been a funny summer for me and my fishing buddies. We have caught more fish on the eight/O at boatside than any other year. Not sure why, but it has just worked out that way.

When we were up at Operation Muskie, one of the guides got us doing a "roller coaster" eight/O. Come up just under the surface on the corners and then down deep through the straights and back up on the corners. Really pulling the baits through the corners. Like said above, they eat on the turns almost always. I lost a four footer with Jonesi last week on this exact move. Fish ate in the corner, I back set, felt her for a second, and then my bait flew about 20 feet out of the water! sick

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Funny Bret, I had the same thing happen with Jonesi on a 50+....hmmm tactical teaching?! lol, j/k.

Your roller coaster 8's are what I mean by the 3-D 8.

And the 16 foot northwoods aluminum isn't an excuse, I have an old 16 foot crestliner that is VERY tipsy, it's no reason to miss a fish!! wink

-Jeff

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Jeff -

When did you fish with Jonesi? Curious as he was telling us stories about guys that have lost 50's boatside lately!

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Jeff -

When did you fish with Jonesi? Curious as he was telling us stories about guys that have lost 50's boatside lately!

This was back around the end of July, bought my dad a guided day with Steve for his B-day. The only fish we had come and eat with Steve, on the hooks for about 2 seconds and off, it was HUGE. Took the bait in the 8 well after dark. Still [PoorWordUsage] and moaning about that one, would've made for a great day even better!

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Wow, this is some good stuff. Sounds like I need to change the depth more and speed up on the corners. Thanks for the tips!

Now if someone could come up with a good way to 8 with a topwater....

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Now if someone could come up with a good way to 8 with a topwater...

What kind of topwater? wink I'll figure 8 ANY topwater if there's a fish on it. WTD or otherwise...and have gotten hits on them all.

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I think the person above who mentioned pressure is on to something. Those that see it a lot often don't hit (some do), but I've seen guys like Pearson and Jimmy Lindner do the worst 8's in the world (according to what we think of as a good 8 and as have been described above) and catch fish, but that's usually on fairly un-pressured or less-pressured water

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as far as topwater 8s go i've had the best response keeping it on top for the most part. other guys will say take it under on the turn. forget the 8 and do a loop. the other day i took it underwater on the straightaway just for a couple feet and got bit right away, this was after a few loops on the surface - better to do the topwater loop well than fast - hard to keep that bait working well throughout the loop - watch the bait, not the fish.

check out Muskies on the Shield for a good topwater 8 - big fish on a topraider

really, most of the decent fish on topwaters eat before or at the boat, i have not had any bigger fish stick around for the 8, still trying to find a routine that i really like.

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I like to take all of my lures subsurface when doing my O's. Tailbaits create a bubble trail that will sometimes trigger fish, but I think by taking it subsurface you are putting the bait in their face, which has to be more enticing for them.

I think that one of the key things when doing your eight/O is the amount of line that you have "out" when you start doing your eight. You can keep a little more line out with bucktails and some topwaters because they run straight and follow through the eight better. With jerkbaits and WTD topwaters, it is better to keep minimal line out to get them to go through the eight in a controlled manner instead of going all crazy.

When I fished with Dick Pearson this summer he caught about a 45 incher on an eight, or the start of an eight. Was just unbelieveable. He called it when the fish was following that it would eat on the first turn of the 8......and sure enough! Guess that is years of experience. Wish I could have had it on video!

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