Fish your memory for "old baits" that still work

I helped a good cause and got a welcome reminder while serving as master of ceremonies at a fishing tournament for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

A grandfather-grandson team caught the most bass and they made the biggest impression on me — fishing a leadhead jig and a grub. Their effort made me recalled my success fishing these baits. When I got home, you can bet I found some plastic grubs to put back in my tacklebox.

Of course, these lures were once hot and everybody fished them. But lures can be fad-like. Anglers can be more fickle than fish, often moving on to the next big thing. And the old lure, though still just as effective, gets left behind until someone's memory is jarred, and, like me, they go back into storage to rediscover 'em.

I bet if you asked fishermen what lures are fished the least often today even though they have the potential to catch the most fish, many would say it's the plastic grub. Grubs can be fished in a variety of ways — you can swim it like a minnow or crawl it like a crawfish.

That it's so effective and still ignored is silly on our part. And I admit I'm just as "forgetful" as the rest. But with a recent reminder, I will be fishing it again soon.

Meanwhile here are some tips on fishing leadheads loaded with grubs.

  • I fish Quantum rods, 6.5- to 7-foot, medium action with a good backbone and fast tip. I find Quantum PT Open-faced reels best; they have a good smooth drag system and I load 'em with 8- to 10-pound test.
  • If fish 1/8-ounce jigheads the most. Because bass so often strike these on the fall, I always try to fish the lightest jig possible (considering wind, current, etc.). Sometimes I must go heavier though, to 3/16- or even 1/4-ounce.
  • Fish grubs with a curly-tail action. Look for the design that will give you the most action at the slowest speed. Of course, there are more colors than flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, so you have to experiment with that.
  • The most common size is 2-inches but in recent years, anglers have begun fishing some grubs that are up to 5 inches in length. Whatever the case, make sure the jig and hook match the grub size or you're defeating your purpose.
  • Swimming a grub is effective. Be sure to keep the rod tip at 10 o'clock with the line semi-tight, and jighead often just off the bottom. Notice any resistance or movement in the line, set the hook!
  • The drop/free-fall presentation also calls for a 10 o'clock rod position and semi-tight line. Cast, let it sink to the bottom, and then hop the bait to the boat, reeling up slack with each hop. Strikes occur as it falls back to bottom and can be difficult to detect.



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