Top Smallmouth Bass Lure?

Wacky Worm tube

When it comes the the top smallmouth bass lures, the tube is one of the go to baits when all else fails.  This bait is one of the most versatile jigs and can mimic crayfish or baitfish, depending on how it is rigged and fished.  It is effective in rivers and lakes and can be fished fast or slow and anytime of year.

You will need to practice and be patient to succeed in fishing for smallmouth bass with tubes.  For us fishermen with a bit of ADD, this can sometimes be tough to do!

Top Smallmouth Bass Lure – The Tube

Consistency with early season bass requires knowledge with a wide variety of presentations. The classic tube jig is one of them. It’s no secret that tube jigs are popular choices for smallmouth bass. The reason for this lies in the fact that crayfish are favorite natural forage species, as are gobies and other bottom dwelling prey fish which tubes also represent.

Spring Tube Fishing

During the early spring, the secret is to fish tubes as slowly as possible, to dead stick periodically, and to keep bottom contact at all times. Give the tube a twitch and hop every now and then, but maintaining bottom contact is most important. I often employ the dragging retrieve, which most closely resembles the behavior of a live crayfish that is scurrying along the bottom. When working the drop-offs of a shallow spawning flat and its nearby deep water, patience will be taken to the limit and tested.

Tubes make so much sense in these deeper cold water conditions. It’s a perfect storm because as smallmouths are transitioning from the wintering depths to the shallow water of the flat, crayfish also follow suit. Anything resembling crayfish is a guaranteed meal for smallmouth bass, and tubes are the ideal representation. Best of all, they can be worked at all depths.

Tube Fishing Technique

Regardless of your retrieve and manner of jigging, it is extremely important to pay close attention to your line for any movement or hits, and the rod tip for feeling out the bottom and all of its cavities and crevices between rocks and gravel. In my experience, smallmouth bass can spit out a tube just as quickly as they suck them up. Thus concentration, patience, and fast reflexes with a strong hook set are crucial for success.

What I look for in a quality smallmouth tube is its plastic formula, its level of salt and additive impregnation, availability of colors and attention to detail, and durability. In my opinion, color seems to have less of an impact or significance than the size, profile, and scent of the tube.  Original article from our friends at Fishing Headquarters

And from In-Fisherman:

The key to my deep-structure fishing has always been using stout rods and stout hooks,” he adds. “I used a custom-made rod designed specifically for deep structure.” The rod, built on a G. Loomis SJ842 blank, tapes 71⁄2 feet long with the handle and has a medium-heavy action. Clapper often uses a heavy-gauge hook in his custom-made tube heads, and driving that hook into a big smallmouth’s jaw in 30 feet of water, not to mention while fishing in 7-foot waves, can be more than a bit challenging, requiring heavy gear.

“For line, fluorocarbon is a must,” he says. “But you need to be careful with thin fluorocarbon and a powerful rod, to prevent break-offs on the hook-set. I’m fishing a lot now with Berkley’s new Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, due to its incredible strength.

“On my jigs, I use a 3/0 Gamakatsu heavy-gauge round-bend hook. Although it’s rated a heavy-gauge wire, it’s considerably smaller in size and diameter than a 4/0. It doesn’t flex, and it doesn’t tear much of a hole in the fish’s jaw tissues. That helps keep ’em hooked. The 3/4-ounce Bite-Me Big Dude head also has a 3/0, and that’s what I turn to for fishing really rough water.”

More Fishing Gear Considerations

Mike Trombly of Perrysburg, Ohio, has quietly become one of the most successful tournament fishermen in the North, pocketing over $150,000 in tournament earnings in the last two years, largely by fishing tube-jigs.

Trombly’s rod is the key to his arsenal. “It’s a G. Loomis SJR902 blank that’s 71⁄2 feet long and medium action. When I load up on a fish, the rod about folds in half. From that point on, my reel does all the work. I don’t worry whether or not I get a good hook-set. If I keep pressure on the fish with that rod loaded up, I’ll drive the hook home while fighting the fish.”

Clearly, choices of equipment, particularly rod, line, and jig, are critical to successful tube fishing. It’s apparent that the key to not losing fish is to get the hook in but to avoid tearing a large hole in the fish’s mouth. A 3/0 hook seems to accomplish this well, whether it’s stout and driven home on the hook-set by a powerful rod, or a lighter wire hook that’s pressured into the fish.  Original article from In Fisherman

Tube fishing can sometimes be frustrating due to the slow meticulous retrieve that is often required.  Following the tips outline above can pay big dividends because during the spring and fall when the water cools, you often end up with some trophy sized smallmouths.  In my opinion, the top smallmouth bass lure is the unsexy, undignified tube 🙂  Watch this video from BassPro and Kevin Van Dam about tube fishing: click here

If you like this article, please share with your friends my clicking the Like button below.  If you hate tubes, let me hear from you!

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