Converting Plugs to Home Made Eel Lures

Customizable inner tube lures for cobia and more.

Author’s “freewheeling” adaptaion of traditional eelskin lures. Components are shown below.

Most of the year we can find cobia on shallow reefs from 3 to 9 miles out but they can be a little down deep on the structures. I like a lure that makes lots of commotion, that can be jigged, cranked or trolled. And, bigger is at times better!

A lure with a strong silhouette—I like black best—that’s got some wiggling action and can be made in a variety of sizes is ideal. A cost-effective, homeboy customized “eel” made from a bicycle inner tube is a great rig.

If you’ve spent some time fishing on the northeastern U.S. coast, you might notice this rig looks like an eel skin. Natural eel skins have long been killer offerings for stripers and other fish, but supplies are hard to come by. If you vary “fake” eel skins and match them to plugs of different sizes and running depths, you’ll have an arsenal of offerings.

Here’s the stuff you need to make a good surface, shallow and deep running imitation eel that can also be cast and jigged near the surface. You’ll want to use an 8-foot, medium- heavy stick with 20- or 30-pound braid to pitch it at surface feeders and to slow troll it around reefs, ledges and wrecks.

I like a variety of plugs to cover the water column from surface plugs to an assortment of 5-foot shallow runners, to 15- or 25-foot deep-diggers….

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