Thursday, April 1, 2010

Smallmouth Lure That's Overrated...?

Reader input sought here. What lure for smallmouth bass do you find overrated or just can't get going on?

Mine would have to be hard jerkbaits. I've had some success with them. The Lucky Craft Pointer 100 in Misty Shad is my clear favorite with quite a few 20"+ fish on this bait.

Despite some big fish, I have never really killed the smallmouth on jerkbaits. I cannot catch a cold on the small ones. They are terrible on creeks in fall when they are supposed to be good. They hang on leaves like crazy. Almost unfishable a lot of places. My success with them has been in the spring.

A buddy mentioned they are more of a slack water bait. Maybe that's what I've been missing.


  1. BT,

    Any lure that is over $8.00 to $10.00 just kills me.

    I will never buy a LC bait. Now, my buddy owns 1 LC suspending bait that he says is far superior to anything he has seen or thrown, but as far as topwater or crankbaits, they are nothing special.

    I throw almost exclusively topwater in the fall in the appropriate conditions and a topwater Chug Bug at $5.00 is just as good as some LC popper at $16.00.

    The recent and current rise in the price of lures I blame LC and foolish anglers who purchase them.

    I know that demand and sales drive markets, but the belief that a $20.00 lure will catch more fish than a $6.00, is just ridiculous.


  2. I know this is just my experiences, but I have a heck of a time making a TUBE work for me! I know they are the recognized go-to, but I just can't seem to find consistency with tubes for some reason. To throw in a twist, I think the most under-rated presentation is the good ole painted jig head and 3 or 4" twister tail-type grub...MJ would like this review, as they are extremely cheap (BTW, I agree on not buying expensive cranks...although hard to argue with the productivity of BT with the LCs...BT, you need to do a few trips with cheap immitations of LCs and see if you can muster the same results!)...Back to the jig/grub, granted, I have to admit I'm a "specialist" on dinks with these, and I can't say I've gotten big fish regularly on the jig/twister...CPW

  3. Ahhhhh.

    Why is the price of the bait even an issue? With today's modern lines and the amount of reps. These baits aren't hanging from trees and at the bottom of Davey Jone's locker.

    If the bait offers you a very specific advantage...I'll take it.

    That's probably the first reason people like to throw higher value lures at the end of a line these days. There is some advantage the lure offers.

    Second would be superior engineering.

    The weight transfer system on a Sammy 100 (typically available on Ebay for 7-10$) allows me to toss that lure 50 yards and land it on a dime. Other walk the dog baits 'sail' too much. There are a few good imitators but the colors are limited or the price is pretty close.

    The action on a LC Splashtail 90 or RC Wakecrank 1.5 allow action, noise, variable retrieve, etc... simply isn't produced elsewhere. Nothing special? LOL. I almost choked. I guess all crankbaits make the same wiggle in the water? Noise? Cast distance? Avoid hanging?

    I use Bandit 100-300 all the time. Haven't caught the large fish I have on LC though.

    The proof is in side by side comparison. Simply explained by longer casts= less spooked bass=more fish biting= more use=more fish.

    You have to pick and choose, but there are high end baits that will outfish other baits. Not all of them. Choose wisely. Or don't.

    I'll throw a .09 Float and Fly jig under a .33$ float for smallmouth. I use what I find to be effective or advantageous.

  4. Curtis- I use cheap baits all the time. Where advantages are gained from an 'expensive' bait. I use it. Hell, after one 21" smallie the bait is paid for, IMHO.

    Grubs- You can upsize the grub (4.5-5") and upsize the weight if you are catching too many dinks. Also consider fishing the bookends of the day rather than the middle of day in summer. Fish the rainy cloudy day versus the sunny day once in a while. On sunny days big fish may have a small strike zone. That's where probing deep is critical to catching bigger fish.

    Tubes. Hmm, what do you think the problem is?

    What cadence gets a strike? Think about under water ambush points and how you would get a kitten to grab a piece of yarn if it were tired of playing. Skitter it away from a spot you invsion a fish, then pause it within reach. Long pauses- then action. Don't just reel...present tubes in appealing way. Sit it on the bottom for long periods of time. Tube should be on bottom 70% of time. One crank of the handle moves the bait 24-35". I have to constantly tell myself to slow down.

    Try and visualize what's down there. It's when you know what caused a strike that will allow you to duplicate it.

  5. On MJ's urging I bought football head shakey head mold with screw locks. I'll be able to make those in demand jigs for a few cents each.

    Going to throw some Jack's worms and 3" sticks and see what may happen.

    Jig and Pig, or bass jig. Tube seems to hang less, get bit more, skip easier, fish hold it longer etc...

  6. Curtis,

    Zoom makes a good 5" twister-tail. Fat Albert Salty Grub.

    As far as plastics in general, I use to throw expensive stuff, I learned it made no difference, except in my wallet. Zoom, Yum or Bass Pro brands are fine.

    I like to throw tubes in warmer water conditions. The water temp, current and color of the water will dictate how fast of a retrieve I will use. Longer and larger tubes in circumference are better for larger bass, and to keep the dinks away.

    Color? Forget it. I have never seen it make a difference. Put on something you have confidence in.

    Shape, profile, action. Almost all my 20" plus bass have come from summer conditions with tubes in stained, warm, heavy current water.


    Ha!!! I knew that would get you going. We will never agree on this.

    Color? The only time I have seen color make a difference in a hard-bait, is a chrome or gold finish.

    I can get different profiles, action, shapes and sound without spending $20.00.

    Storm, Mann's, Normans, Cotton Cordell, Rapala, Bandit, Strike King, Heddon, XPS. All make assorted fine baits at 50% to 70% less than LC.

    As far as distance of throwing a topwater. I think the greatest innovation in the recent decade has been braid.

    Since I use spinning, this has made a giant leap in length of casts, accuracy and pure hook setting power at any distance.


  7. As far as weather a LC (or other pricey bait) is worth it well I don't know, certainly it depends on your budget. Still, the best topwater I have ever used is and LC Gunfish.

    Aside from that, tubes are supposed to be smallie magnets but man /i never catch anything on tubes. I always have a few packs with me but I will empty the tackle box before I use them. So that could be why they don't work for me.

    On the jerkbaits: I fish jerkbaits a lot and I have a lot of success with them. Still, I barely fish rivers at all.