Lure styles and categories, Part III
Chuggers are easily identified by their uniformly concave or “cupped” face. The cupped face of a chugger gives it its most tantalizing attribute: the ability to trap a large bubble of air at the surface, and then disperse it as a thick bubble trail.
Three factors make chuggers very popular among beginning anglers: 1) They are easy to rig and run; 2) Chuggers create a good bubble trail in the calmer waters in which most new anglers fish; 3) They work well at a wide range of speeds. Chuggers provide a huge amount of smoke and tight, vibrating action.
If you’re having trouble getting your plungers or tube lures to run correctly, you might want to consider throwing out a pusher. A pusher sports a completely flat face cut at 90 degrees that “pushes” water forward and gives the lure its name. It seems strange that this simple, low-tech concept offers the angler more versatility than any other head design. Pushers practically rig themselves and run well at just about any speed from 4-15 knots. All pushers develop a good bubble trail. Designs with sharp corners at the edge of the face create more smoke and just have a bit more cavitation.
Traditional jet-head lures look a lot like a bullet-head that’s been shot full of holes, and in effect, that’s pretty much what they are. The ram holes on a jet force a mixture or air and water through the skirt pocket, creating an extremely thick bubble trail that also adds action to the lure’s skirts. By combining the already low drag resistance of a bullet head with the further drag reduction offered by flow-through holes, jets are able to track straight at high speeds and stay in the water in almost any sea condition.
A jet on the long-gone down the middle is hard to beat. Sometimes if you put the jet out with a bunch of radical lures, the fish ends up hitting the one that’s just lying there. Though the jet is a simple design, several variations on the theme exist.
With the almost infinite variety of sizes, shapes and colors of lures, choosing which one to pull at any given time is not always an easy task. Although you’d be hard-pressed to get a natural bait fisherman to admit it, it takes as much thought and ability to get a spread of lures working properly as it does to rig and run baits.