#14672, "The Big Hammer “Mini Hammer”" Fri Mar-27-09 12:49 PM by bowlboy
Since you asked (on the report board), I will give you the low down on something I have been playing with this winter.
The mini Hammer was born out of frustration. I have reached the point in my fishing that I basically can’t stand fishing the C-rigged grubs anymore. I don’t like the way it fishes, the way you can’t feel the bait, dealing with leaders and swivels and beads, etc. I pretty much would rather put my nuts in a meat grinder then fish that way anymore. I wanted to fish swim baits for perch. Obviously grubs slay perch, but catching fish that way has lost it’s charm for me. I don’t even take that tackle to the beach anymore, even when targeting perch.
When I surf fish, I am 99% of the time targeting Halibut using 3 inch Hammers and hard baits. Since the flat ones have not really made a showing up Santa Barbara way yet, I have been targeting perch. I really enjoy fishing the 3 inch Hammers for perch, especially the big prego mamas that have arrived finally. My frustration came earlier this winter when the palm sized perch (4 to 6 inches) were the only game in town. I was getting bit just fine, but my hook up ratio on these smaller fish was not great. I would get a few, mostly the slightly bigger models, but was constantly getting short bit or tails getting bit off.
Now I am not going to claim to be some kind of free thinking innovator of fishing, as shortening up of plastic baits, or in this case biting off, has been around been around for a long time. But this is something that I have put quite a bit of time in on and it has been very productive.
Basically I am biting the 3 Inch Big Hammers off about half way back, including most of the belly of the bait. What is left is pretty much just the tail and enough of the body to match up to the jig head. I fish it on the same 3/16. 1/4 or 3/8ths Hammer Heads that I use with the 3 inch. I typically use the ¼ oz. though and have done most of the field testing with it.
There are several things that I really like about this setup. First of all and the reason I really started using it, is the hook up ratio on perch is WAY better. I’m not saying it never gets short bit, as perch are notorious short biters, but it gets inhaled much more often then the 3 inch when the size of the perch is on the small side. Next, the action even surprised me. It has some crazy sick swimming action, which shouldn’t be a big surprise since it is almost all tail. Also the 2/0 light wire hook sits back close to the tail of the bait which I like. I like to fish the 4 inch baits on a 5/0 hook for the same reason. The overall size of the bait is about half what a 3 inch Hammer is and the perch love it. It’s only slightly bigger then grub size yet it has the swimming action of a Big Hammer. Finally, and in my mind most importantly, the mini Hammer is a blast to fish. I’ll take 1 mini Hammer perch over 10 c-rig fish any day.
Here are some examples of 3 inch and mini Hammers side by side so you can see how big (or small) they are. I usually bite them off using more feel then any measuring. Basically if you put the Hammer in your mouth and then bite just as your teeth come down the back of the belly bulge. I typically like them shorter then longer but you can adjust it however you like. Just make sure you haven’t put any Pro-cure on it yet . Speaking of Pro-cure and I know I have said it on my reports before, but I can’t say enough how much I like the “Krill” flavor. It is hands down my favorite for all salt water species. I have caught so many quality fish using it, that I almost use it exclusively now. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
Rig the mini Hammer the same way you would rig the 3 inch Big Hammer. It is a bit tricky to get it rigged straight as the bait is very thin and twists to the side easily. It is also easy to rig it short, meaning that the hook comes out of the bait a bit early and makes the tail point slightly down instead of straight out. I actually think it has a bit more action when it is rigged this way and I often will rig the 3 and 4 inch Big Hammers the same way.
I can’t wait for the Halibut to move in because I know they will eat the mini Hammer big time and you can still stick those pesky smaller perch.
The moral of this story is, do what you want, fish how you like to fish and don’t be afraid to try something different or unconventional. Now get out and chuck the mini Hammer, I bet you’ll like it as much as I do.
So mini Hammer fish from previous posts for your enjoyment. These are bigger grade fish only because I don’t take photos of smaller fish.