Luhr Jensen Kwikfish
Wide Action Diving Plug
The Luhr Jensen Kwikfish is a diving plug lure that is often used for trout, steelhead and salmon species of fish. The Kwikfish lure is a trolling plug employed by salmon and steelhead anglers using a number of trolling techniques including: Flat-lining, backbouncing or used in deep, open water with a trolling planer. The wide, wobbling action of the Kwikfish draws aggressive strikes from the largest trout, salmon and steelhead. The effectiveness of the Kwikfish is realized when retrieved both slowly or quickly in still water or current.
The Luhr Jensen Kwikfish is a "banana-shaped"plug that has high action at even slow trolling speeds. Its body shape, weight, and lip design make it a greatdiving lure. It can be plunked, trolled or backtrolled
from a boat and fished on a flatline (without a weight),in combination with a Jet Diver™ or with a sinker depending on river size, water depth, or current speed.Bank anglers use this popular lure by employing thecast/swing/retrieve method.
Fishing the Kwikfish
Backcouncing with the Kwikfish
Backbouncing with a weight is the most productive way to fish Kwikfish in deep (even roily) salmon holes that lack the right current to fish your lure on a flat line or in combination with a Jet Diver. The technique is much like backbouncing bait, as the amount of weight you use is critical. Use too much weight and your lure won't bounce out below your boat. Not enough weight and you may not feel the weight hit the bottom or you may not be sure where the bottom is in relationship to your Kwikfish. Once you’ve selected the right size sinker, you'll want to back-bounce or walk your outfit downstream from your boat until your line is at a 45-degree angle. With your weight suspended off the bottom 6 to 12 inches, backtroll your outfit through the slot. Since the depth can change, you will need to check for bottom occasionally. Backtrolling Kwikfish is identical to backbouncing bait except that once your Kwikfish is in position, it’s important to hold your rod steady and let your Kwikfish work.
With your boat headed upstream above the area you wish to fish, row or run your motor just fast enough to hold even with the current, as though you were anchored. Work your lure downstream below your boat. When you stop letting out line, the current will cause your lure to dive and wiggle. Then allow your boat to slowly slip downstream, keeping the lure actively working in the current as you back your boat and trailing lure downstream through the holding water.
When trolling or backtrolling in water less than 10 feet deep, the standard Kwikfish can be fished without any additional weight. Simply let out 30 to 50 feet of line behind the boat and allow your lure to work in the current. Current speed and the distance your lure is behind the boat will affect how deep your Kwikfish will dive. Slow current or a short trolling distance (30 feet) produces a shallow dive, while strong current or a long trolling distance (50 feet) will produce a deeper dive. Remember, you want your lure to work close to the river bottom.
The best way to make your salmon-size (K14, K15 or K16) Kwikfish even more deadly is to add a fillet of sardine to its belly. It’s just a fact that you'll get more strikes and better hookups if you keep a fresh bait wrapped on your Kwikfish.
Although you can use herring, anchovy, smelt or sardine as your bait wrapper, sardine is most popular and available in most sporting goods stores. Start by filleting the sides off your baitfish and cutting them into rectangular pieces 7/8" x 1-1/2" for the K14 size, 1" x 1-3/4" for the K15 and 1-1/8" x 2-1/2" for the K16. A pair of scissors works great for cutting your fillets to size and notching them so they fit around the belly eyelet. Your bait fillet doesn't have to be exact, about a third the length of your lure, but you'll find the above measurements handy when starting out. When wrapping a bait fillet to the belly of your Kwikfish, you will need to center it around the belly eyelet, (the balance point of the lure), with the skin side next to the lure body. You can use two pound test mono or Luhr Jensen Kwikfish Stretchy Thread (elastic thread) as a wrapping material. By making 20 to 30 wraps, your fillet will conform to the shape of the lure body and not interfere with lure’s action. You can finish your wrap with two or three half-hitch knots. For best results, your fillet should be changed often - at least every hour. Tip: Wrap several lures the night before or (better yet) the morning of your trip and keep them in a small bait cooler.
Besides trolling, plunking Kwikfish is growing in popularity. Your outfit can be rigged like the diagram below, except that the dropper line for your weight should be longer, usually 18 to 30 inches. Plunking can be particularly effective for fall Chinook in the upper ends of bays or tidal areas when there is sufficient current to work stationary lures. Try plunking for spring or summer Chinook as they migrate upstream, especially where bottom structure will funnel fish into a narrow traveling zone. When water conditions are clear, try dropping down to a K10, K12 or K13X size Kwikfish, and although these small sizes won't carry a sardine fillet, they can be scented with a strong fish attractant like Smelly Jelly or Pro-Cure.