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DonMiller

Cowgirl lure help please for a comparable size specie of fish

28 posts in this topic

Due to Larry's Dalenberg's TV program shown here locally last Friday night I have become aware of Cowgirls lure for the first time. I did a Google search and found you folks have threads discussing the various Cowgirl sizes.

I am here asking for advice on what size Cowgirls I should buy to troll at 5 mph and not have them sink below 35' on a 100# Braid "long line", or no more than 6-10' further down clipped about 30-40ft back of a Downrigger release clip, trolled at 5 mph. Trolling at 6 mph is not too fast for these fish, but 10-12 lb balls or torpedoes are getting pulled back beyond a 53 degree angle as we approach 6 mph so there is not much depth advantage left going any faster.

These red fish are stocked heavily in four Texas Lakes all of which are cooling reservoirs for large power plants. The heat from the power stations makes these lake shad factories. We do not have a shad die off in the fall, fishing gets better as the cooler weather sets in. They have 10-12" gizzard shad and similar size ghost minnows to eat.

There are seasons when trolling for these fish are the best methods, that season is just getting underway here and will last another 4 months. Right now the lake is getting up to 75F during the day.

A 38", 27# Texas state Catch and Release record was caught off the back of my boat Dec 06, and has since been surpassed twice. I trolled up a 42", 26# state record size tie two weekends ago using a BPS shallow running 6" Laser Eye. Before we got him aboard and got the plug out of his mouth that the fish had scrapped all the paint off the little piece of lure nose still sticking out of his mouth.

I am looking for Cowgirl size and weight advice, there cannot be enough flash color on perspective lures! Chartreuse or clown colors are winners right now.

Or to the first one of you that can qualify for having a FULL Cowgirls assortment tackle box, if that somebody's cabin fever is getting unbearable, get on a plane to DFW. I will pick you up and have you fishing for my (your winter monsters) in three hours time. We will make a weekend of it. I would also troll any non-Bomber or non-BPS Laser Eye plug larger than 7" that you might want to bring. Lure damage is at the owner's risk, for tieing on something too flimsy!

For perspective I have not presented a plug size too large for these red fish. We have been using Muskie and salt water size lures to catch a normally salt water specie Red Fish (Red Drum). We have had numerous fish take a plug 1/3 their length and give us a fight at least as strong as the Muskie provides. These are very strong mouthed fish. Lure paint damage is typical, minimum of 2X strength hooks and split rings are required. (In their natural environment reds crush shell fish, shrimp and crabs in an set of crushers at the back of their throats. I have dehooked partially crushed 1 oz and 3/4 oz rattled traps from the backs of throats caught on my second plug.)

We have been trolling 5-6 mph using down riggers, Bomber Long A Magnums of HDs, 17As or 26s on Long line. Using Cannon or Penn down riggers with walker stacker clips to get four of the better color shallow divers down to 25' to 35'. We have been progressing to larger and larger laser Eye lures to get the larger bites. So far a BPS Laser Eye salt water deep diver plug 12" long has not prove to be too large. That 12" size plug has been taken by fish as small as 23" to as large as 34". At 34" these fish weigh in the mid 20's in pounds, and fight for minutes before we get them to the boat, that is not on light tackle.

Trolling tackle is typically using 30# Ande, on Abu 6500 mounted on Rhino MH 6' rods, or 100# test braid for the deep divers, heavy 6" boat rods with Abu 7000 reel.

Other seasons I cast 1.25 to 1.5 oz large traps using steel head 9 ft rods, fitted with Diawia or Shimano 4000 spinning reels with rear drags so we do not have to stick our hands into pealing out line to adjust drags during a fight.

These fish have mangled 50# test 8" titanium leaders.

My local BPS and Cabelas will not stock the size lures you folks can find in your stores, so I cannot see or feel what I am buying before I order from a catalog.

I'm quite serious about picking up that one person carrying a tackle box with a full size assortment of Cowgirls at DFW airport. Any Cowgirl size help you can offer will be appreciated and will be severely tested!

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Basically there are 2 sizes of cowgirls. The standard size has two #10 blades and the Super model has two #13 blades. You might want to look into both of these. He also makes a junior cowgirl, but I would stick with the standard double cowgirl with #10 blades first. Possibly try a Super model if you are really wanting a big profile bait to target really large fish.

As for trolling these, they will troll well at 5 mph. If you long line troll these at say 150 feet behind the boat at 5mph, they go about 2-5 feet down. Using a downrigger system will be the only way to get these down deeper. These baits put a lot of vibration in the water with a lot of water resistance. Probably more vibration and water resistance than any other lure you have used down south before. They won't go much deeper than what you set your down riggers at with 30-40' feet back at 5 mph. Maybe a foot?

Google "musky tackle online" and go under bucktails and you will find some good priced cowgirls as well as other great lures. Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

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I appreciate your reply, thanks

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I second Dhansons. When they troll these baits they put alot of wait on the ball.

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I have seen them trolled with 10-18oz of lead on the ball in front of them to get them 10 feet or deeper when desired.

If you wanted to get heavier cowgirl style baits you could checkout spanky baits, they are very similar to cowgirls, but you have a little more ability for customization.

good luck

dan

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These guys are right on with their takes on Cowgirls. Another bait of this type that was designed for trolling behind downrigger balls is the Trainwreck. I haven't used one yet but there has been a lot of pub on this lure and its trolling applications lately. Even some good footage on Utoob.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the reply I found the spanky baits HSOforum.

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I appreciated the reply. Found the Youtube link.

I am having some trouble finding links for a Trainwreck lure or the two words Train Wreck. Is there a HSOforum for the maker and/or sellers? Thanks

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Double Cowgirl is made by Musky Mayhem, which has captialized on the Cowgirl craze by creating the following: Super Double Cowgirl and Junior Double Cowgirl... Cant forget to mention the Double Showgirls (spawned from Showgirls when Double Cowgirl craze set the muskie fishing on fire) and the newest addition, Baby Girls... Honorable mention goes to SiliGirl (Silicone skirts) and SuperGirl (Marabou skirts)...

Several bait makers has captialized on Musky Mayhem's success and came out with their own versions including Gerry Carrol (Gerry's Girls, Gerry's Kids, Gerry's Party Girls, etc etc), Tacklebooty with their Dominatrix line, Llungen with their DC line, Spanky Baits with their Fireballs and Hairballs... Bucher Tackle and Maina Lures also came out with their versions of the Cowgirls...

Wonderful thing about Gerry Carrol and Spankybaits is that they'll make the Double Bladed Bucktails ANY WAY you want it, anytime you want/need it... I have several Gerry Girls that are 10" long and 12" long... and many of those color schemes, you cannot get from Musky Mayhem (unless you went to their booth at Muskie Expos)...

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One thing you may have a problem with is your downrigger releases. There's so much resistance with cowgirls your stock release may not be strong enough to work, especially going 5-6mph. I use anywhere between 6-18oz of lead in front of my 5' leaders and can get them down to 20' if need be. Probably not at 5-6mph though.

They also make the Showgirl which uses double 8's which may be better for this application if you need to use a downrigger. They still throw a ton of flash and good vibration.

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Rebel and Shawn, thanks for your thoughts. I have been in touch with a few makers, Gerry among them. We fish reds both trolling and casting. Right now we have to get deep to hook up with the larger fish.

I think I am understanding these plugs cranked at a good speed will not run very far down in the water column. So deep cranking sounds like a real challenge, if you still want good blade vibrations.

What line weight is too light to troll the DCG's? EG what line strength will break from the drag?

My current challenge is to figure out how much drag the various size blades cause as I try to troll them. And get that knowledge without buying a bunch of plugs I have no further use for because they drag too much. I need to somehow find the blade size that will just come short of pulling out of my release clips. I am using adjustable tension Walker releases on the down rigger but I have clamped down to almost the maximum to hold 30# Ande. (we cause a hook set by having the tension this tight) The Bomber largest Long As have not pulled the line out of those releases, and yanking 30# line out of the release will not break that line strength. So the tension strength has to be below 30#.

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Most Muskie fishermen consider 65# braid on the light end. Most of us use 80# or 100# braid of varying brands. We then use 130# or 150# fluoro, titanium or steel leaders. I doubt many would know what the minimum break strength would be from trolling because we don't use anything anywhere near light enough to find out. The fish aren't leader shy as a general rule, and we don't like losing $30 lures (or a fish on the 10000th cast).

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Another thought on line, in my experience braid doesn't work too well in downrigger releases (at least not the ones we use). I've run #50 big game line before but it makes everything run higher because of it's increased diameter. Mono does however work in most releases.

I run Shimano Tekota 600 reels and don't have a problem with the drag while high speed trolling reel.

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Thank you folks for your response to my needs. Sorry guys, I seemed to have confused my issues for you.

We troll with Ande 30# Mono because the walkes adjustable down rigger releases work so much better on Mono, than braid. Also braid is so flexible that when trolled plugs are hit from the side or below the fish can often tangle that braid line with the next nearest trolling line (we have three other lines at all times). They even miss a hook set from those angles because Braid is too flexible, and then they drop the plug across another line where it tangles with that line.

For prespective that both of use can relate to our release tension is adjusted so tight we typically see LMB who get brave enough to take our Muskie size plugs, rise up to the surface and ski behind the plug at 5-6 mph speeds. LMB as large as 6# have been skied this way, so our release tension is pretty tough. (We recover our green rough fish skier and get back to trolling for reds.)

I will test my release tension power tonight with a fish scale and report what is the peak pressure they will not release. From that maybe somebody who fishes double blades can tell me what size spoons would drag less than that pressure.

Reel drags are not our issue, our Abu 6500 and 7000 are doing the job. The torque the double blades spinner can put on our down rigger release clips is my main issue.

FYI, our releases are tensioned so tight that we can have our reel drags set to protect for 6-8# break strength, and guest fisherman inexperience. These reds hit so hard while pulling the mono out of the release they set the hooks themselves. Once pull out of the release we find these fish are so strong we cannot turn them from their 1st, 2nd and sometime 3rd runs without breaking something. So we have the drags set low enough to play them until they are tired enough to turn our way. As a consequence I will not fish without a minimum of 240 yards on a spool.

In the way of information exchange you Muskie trollers might want to considerBPSs Salt Water 12" Extreme Laser Eye Deep Divers. They only cost $8. They have finishes comparable to what you folks are being offered for Muskie, and some additional colors.

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Rebel forgot to thank you for your input. I had been in touch with Gerry and have a set of specification and photos I can work him from.

Measured my downrigger release tension Friday using a digital fish scale. It takes 3# to 4.5# of steady pull to cause a release with 30# Ande, about half that number for 100# generic braid.

What DCG size blades pull less than 4#?

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Rebel forgot to thank you for your input. I had been in touch with Gerry and have a set of specification and photos I can work him from.

What DCG size blades pull less than 4#?

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I fished last Friday and until about 3 PM Saturday. Caught five Friday, eight Saturday. Friday I have witnesses that I broke the Texas State Red Fish Catch and Release and lake record with a 43.25" and 36# 10oz brute. there is a white measuring tape in teh gunnel behind teh fish when he is laying down. I will make application this week. the fish came within a few ounces of breaking the rod and reel record as well. I do not know if these pictures will post here. If not the clipping text from "HTTP: to .Jpg" and pasting this on a new address bar will get you to the flicker pages that hosts them.

3441117738_9412f9c2d2.jpg....

3440254331_9313cb6113.jpg

For the first time while trolling after locating an active and concentrated school that was partly heamed in with a bank on one side, I doubled back and caught mine casting a #032 Chartreuse Minnow colored Barlow's Chatter Shad sinking Rattler (a Rattle Trap like bait). I would recommend heavying up to 3X or 2X split rings and hooks from Barlow's pre-built offer of this plug, especially considering the lake held or holds a bigger monster Red Fish.

3440198685_0893c5709d.jpg

3440174373_1e866210f6.jpg

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I love fishing bull reds, the little bit I had the opportunity to do.

Caught a fatty 41+ incher out of Galveston a couple years back, one of the best fights I've ever had.

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Curious, what is the largest muskie you have caught and how do you compare that fight with that 41" Galveston red fish?

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I've fished Reds for years. I haven't used Cowgirls for them, but I would choose a Double Showgirl or the baby girl. You could run 'em with mono better and troll more efficiently. Be careful of the line twists that come with draggin' blades. Also, if you are going to run a cowgirl, downsize the hooks to 3/0's or 4/0's. I know they will get hooked on 7/0's but, I'd feel much more comfortable with smaller trebles.

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Curious, what is the largest muskie you have caught and how do you compare that fight with that 41" Galveston red fish?

Saltwater fish will out-fight freshwater fish any day, it's just a fact of biology. I believe this is because many saltwater fish are real cruisers, built for swimming miles and miles with serious speed and stamina. Not many freshwater fish migrate 10-50 miles a day for half of the year. I'm still searching for my first musky so I'll get back to you after that happens, but my 38'' pike wasn't anywhere near the same fight as the redfish. Then again there was a serious weight difference as well.

For reference, my dad calls muskies "lazy", lol.. but I tell him not to say that around these parts laugh

When we were in Florida recently, a bunch of 3-5 lb pompano all felt like a 15lb carp, screaming drag with multiple good runs before they were landed.

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It's a funny argument when other fisherman want to compare their quarry to muskies. It is true that most saltwater fish fight harder than muskies - I was in Matapedia Quebec last June and was asked the same question - a 20lb Atlantic Salmon VS. a 20lb musky - I asked about what equipment and water.

In an ocean fed river system? Salmon, No doubt.

Get 'em in slack water, and the Musky would tear it apart!

One of the reasons saltwater fish are so tough, aside from the pelagic build of some, is the use of their environment. Saltwater fish use rips, and currents much to their advantage in a fight. Those Atlantic Salmon were a beast to reel in - granted it was fly, but when we hit a slack pool or a break in the current it was a cakewalk.

The real question is who's tougher Saltwater fisherman or Musky fisherman - My vote is musky fisherman no doubt!

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This is off the topic that originally started but I just want to add something. I mean this in no disrespect but I agree with what jsondag said. Its not the fight of the fish that has gotten so many muskyanglers hook on chasing these fish. This is the fish of 10,000 cast. Sure not everyone has to cast 10,000 times to catch a fish but nobody stops at 10,000 either. You have to be a gluton for punishment to throw DCG for 12 hours at a time. Its really a different type of fishing.

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nailed it on the head cbrooks.

not a whole lot of sight fishing for muskies wink

though what you're doign with these big reds does sound a lot more technical, so props to you on that.

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