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Thread: Aqueduct lure teqnique- how to

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  1. #1

    Default Aqueduct lure teqnique- how to

    Here is a brief tutorial on the attack methods for the KPN Skinny shad lure.

    I limit this topic to that lure as I do not fish any others there.

    Most of this is really a no brainer but I’ll try to lay it out so it all makes sense.

    1st off, in the colder months-fish slow, as slow as possible without dragging bottom-most fish you will find will be searching and finding their food sources in the deeper zones.
    (Summer months the fish will possibly be up higher in the water column and mixed wherever they can find forage-deeper is the norm though)

    There are a few attacks that have proven effective for me specifically, remember, there may be other methods that work, I’m just stating what works for me.

    Basically a straight forward slow retrieve is most effective in the colder water, the fish don’t want to chase their prey too fast or for too far, their metabolism works slower in these winter cold-fronts so slow and steady is the word for the day.

    There are a few methods of cast and retrieve patterns, I’ll cover 2 of my favorite!

    1. Cast somewhat shallow to the other side of the duct. Maybe 3’-8’ from the shore at a 90 degree angle parallel to the duct (see example A) immediately start your retrieve but at a hyper slow rate, this allows you to be swimming the lure slowly while it’s falling, basically you’re working it downhill. Continue this slow retrieve and work it through the center depths (Note the strike zones indicated by the red x in the diagram), this is where you will most likely contact fish in the cold water, you may need to reel slightly faster to not drag the bottom and it’s imperative that you work it consciously through this bottom zone, too fast of retrieve will bring your lure to the mid water column, too slow will pick up the bottom algae.

    2.Cast in the deeper zones, maybe about ¾ of the way across but where your lure will sink down in the deeper zones of the duct. Let it hit bottom, retrieve slowly and steadily, stop retrieving, let sink to the bottom, reel for several cranks, let sink to the bottom again (see example B), be very conscious of your lure on the sink and at the point when it hits bottom, very often this is when the striper will engulf the lure… in the colder water the strike isn’t always voracious, sometimes a subtle “bump” is all that is felt or just straight-out tension…..set the hook….hook-sets are free, use as many as you like.

    If you are not really in tune with the lines tension and the feel of the lure, you will miss the strike-do not procrastinate to set the hook….”drive on ‘em !”

    Also, pay real close attention to the method you use, minute by minute, if you let your mind wonder too far when a strike comes you will not remember exactly what you were doing at that time when you made contact with the fish, the point is to not only make 1 catch, it’s to re-create what you did the last time and keep catching fish.

    Last but not least, EXPERIMENT…use these tips as a guideline and work in and out of that box till you find a pattern that works for you.

    I wish you all success and a great slay, I hope this aids you in slaying a big pig.

    Good luck

    Here is a pic from the KPN Skinny shad Pearl white:

    This isn't the greatest photo but here's a pic of the Skinny shad in Castaic Shad color.
    I feel both colors work equally well.

    I'll add now that patterns are changing day by day and the fish are getting a little more aggressive and most likely will be found in more upper regions of the depth collums so varying "faster" retrieves should be tried as water temps increase.
    In other words, experiment...the fish are chasing the bait usually, follow the bait.

    At Night....shine a bright light into the water and search out bait, watch them, how they behave, where they linger, etc. this is a wonderfull learning tool and it's free..
    Run the lure in those areas, try to mimic that movement, especially in moving water, the baitfish tend to "shoot the current" a slightly upstream cast at about 11 oclock with a slight bow in the line will acheive this "shooting the current" affect....

    NOW therefore the key at that time is to retain proper contact with the lure, too much slack and you'll never detect the strike, to fast of retrieve will simply drag the lure straight accross, the idea is to get the lure to slightly sail through the current as the baitfish do.

    These are a few methods and all of what I mention has produced fo me but I'm still learning myself, everytime out !, many many other methods are to be had thats why we experiment and pay close attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post

    I read all of your posts on the duct and I was wondering if you would clarify. You mention that the strike is very soft on your crankbait? How is that? I mean, does your rod not simply load up. How can you hit a crank softly? I mean, either they hit it or they don’t right? I wondered about this so I thought I would ask.
    Light strikes happen in all sorts of varieties, many people probably don’t even know they got struck when they happen.

    One has to be 100% in tune with the feel and tension of the lure when it pulls through the water, any deviations from that should be considered a strike and the hook-set.
    (of course there is debris in the water that will fool you as well)

    It isn’t always an obvious strike.

    I’ll remind you that I have not been fishing the duct for years so I don’t want to come off like I know everything about the duct.

    I simply state and share what works for me and in some degree of regularity.

    Many times the fish strike in a much more aggressive attack that clearly is felt as a “strike”-no brainer there but there are many variable strikes that occur and in different water/weather conditions.

    I’ll also remind you that most of my fish I catch at night as well, the strike pattern may very well be different than that of a fish feeding during daylight, I could not speculate until I fish more during daylight.

    There are a number of strike patterns I’ve witnessed, I’m sure there are more than I personally have even experienced to date.

    * The load up strike : this was happening b4 the weird funky weather/barometer fluxes happened. They would grab hold of the lure and Straight tension would occur and be felt.
    When I began fishing there, I confused this with a snag until all of the sudden I
    felt a “Thump…thump..Thump” It took a few times to adapt.
    This strike is certainly notable, there is a whole lot of pressure when it occurs.

    *The Crushing strike: I’ve only experienced a few times but the very 1st time I fished the duct, the water was moving solidly and I actually worked the lure
    downstream, cross current, somewhat fast, the striper came up high on the
    Transition, and was obviously chasing the bait down, he CRUSHED it !, hit it
    like a freight train, instant bendo and drag pulling !
    The weather was really hot then so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that pattern kick back into gear
    as the weather has changed to steady hot patterns.
    The fish striking the lure again is a no brainer on this one, you’ll know it when
    it happens.

    *The Batting strike: this was common when the water was still cold and would occur in between those hard barometer flux we were having.
    There were short stages when the fish fed and this is how those strikes were (again at night)
    I’d be retrieving slowly with my left index finger gently riding in front of the level wind on my Shimano baitcaster mounted on 7 ½’ crucial graphite rod, this method and gear combo allows you to feel those most subtle variables during a retrieve, a very very very slight “tick” would be all that was felt and an IMMEDIATE strike response was necessary to incorporate the hook set, there were a few fish that I’d hook up on the nose or in the eye, plus many were hooked on the tail hook as well which is far from the normal bite when the fish actually GRABS the lure.
    All that is a clear indicator that the striper were attempting to “KNOCK OUT” the bait and eat it after. They seem to approach the lure and turn HARD on it to swat it, couldn’t say for a fact but that is my assessment, hence why you don’t feel the strike much and the lure isn’t solid in their mouth.

    *The T-BONE strike: There were a few times when the fish were coming out of the batting pattern, they would T-BONE strike, basically chase it down in a real docile fashion and “T-BONE” the lure from the side, the telltale signs of this behavior are the instances when both sets of treble hooks are hooked into their mouth, most commonly belly hook on top upper lip and tail hook on lower jaw.
    I saw a post from fellow FNN’r “SENG” from lake skinner that had a pic where the striper t-boned the lure…..same pattern (see Seng’s Skinner post “another KPN success story 5-7 you’ll see what I speak of.
    The strike feels like a good solid "Thunk !"

    *The Standard solid bumping strike: This is the more common bite I’ve experienced lately.
    A solid bump or thump is felt during the retrieve, they seem to be getting a little more aggressive day by day so therefore the bumps get a little stronger.
    It’s almost as if the striper is “grabbing hold of the lure” but not really engulfing it entirely, though he grabs it, a quick powerful hook set must be laid down to seal the deal, other wise you’ll come up short, good SOLID SHARP STRONG hooks should be used, I’ve had 1 fish bend a #2 owner stinger hook and that’s a real SOLID hook, walmart specials and lures of sorts are gonna leave you disappointed in the event of a big toad.

    *The “ENGULFING” strike: it’s where the striper basically “EATS” the lure, no messing about, it’s just grabs it inside it’s mouth entirely and commits 100%, one instance I had with this type of strike happened and the fish was in the 15 lb class.
    That fish broke off with my hand on his lip but I never got a chance to see how far up in it's mouth the lure was but it was nowhere in sight.
    No brainer here, set the hook and hold on for the ride.

    Well I think that about covers it (I hope) that should answer all your questions and give you more insight about why I say what I say on my posts, there are clearly many variable that go with the territory, if one waits for the strike to always be a solid crushing strike, one may potentially miss out on many other hookups.

    It’s all about getting in tune with the lure while your’e running it, sensing everything going on and “focusing” all your attention to what the lure does at any given moment.

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited by gletemfeelsteelgary; 08-17-2010 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Thanks for the 411, sometimes when I visit my friend up at Phelan we hit the duct in the summer. Have yet to hook up on a striper there, maybe this year.

  3. #3


    You are soooo good to us...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Thanks for the info Gary, you're such a good person to do that. So when are we gonna fish together?! haha thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Good job bro
    good info!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Good lookin' out! Thanks for the info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Shafter, Ca.


    Quality post as usual Bro!!! It's Guy's like you and a few others others that make this site so good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Santa Clarita,Ca.


    Thank you very much for the tips and info Gary. You didnt have to go through all the hard work and effort on your post to show us rookies how its done, but you did and that just shows us what a Class A fisherman you are! thanks for your time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Hesperia, Ca



    Here are a couple of pics of the SHAPE of duct in Hesperia area (pretty common to all areas)... When it was drained. Only about a foot or less of water at the time..
    2-2007 drained for repairs and clean up...
    Shape is \_/ not V ..... Flat bottomed....
    Depth here is about 15' when full pool....

    Last edited by Nessie Hunter; 03-27-2009 at 08:48 AM.

  10. #10


    Good pics....
    real good's imperitive to have a mental image of what is happening underwater when fishing out there, this aids in the mental picture a whole lot..

    I do beleive this is one of the more narrow areas from what I can tell but is definately is a great depiction on the layout, I think in most areas that flatter section may be a few feet wider though.

    Good stuff..thank you.

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