Mike Iaconelli’s lure inventory matches his personality: wide-ranging and colorful. Yet, when asked what two lures he thinks anybody can catch a bass on, it didn’t take but seconds to pinpoint the answer.
“A spinnerbait and a grub. Most lures require technique, feel, and experience, but these two really don’t,” punctuated Iaconelli as he held up one of each.
“You cast them out and reel them in. You cast them out and you reel them in,” he repeated to emphasize the grub and spinnerbait’s simplicity.
“The grub is one of the first lures I ever used in my life,” remembered the animated New Jersey native, who has won nearly $3 million as a pro angler. “A grub catches so many different species too – not just largemouth and smallmouth - white bass, walleye, big bluegill...the list goes on.”
If obligated to choose just one particular grub, Iaconelli is going with a 4-inch Berkley single tail Power Grub on a 1/4-ounce jig head. If reeling it through the middle of the water column to imitate baitfish, he says smoke is a great color. If hoping it along the bottom where crawfish call home, green pumpkin is the winner. He ties both to 8-pound line and prefers a spinning reel versus a baitcasting reel.
If you’re feeling a little more powerful, Iaconelli recommends trading the grub for a spinnerbait, especially if the water is dirtier rather than clear, or wind-blown versus slick calm.
Much like chocolate and vanilla will always lead the race among 31 flavors of ice cream, shades of chartreuse and white win when it comes to spinnerbait colors, and 1/4- or 3/8-ounce models are hugely popular. A 1/4-ounce on 10-pound line would be best matched to those who prefer spinning tackle, while tying a 3/8-ounce version to 15-pound line is best for folks who favor baitcasting.
Bottom line, both the grub and spinnerbait allow the fish to hook themselves in a wide variety of water conditions.
“You cast. You retrieve. They bite. You feel the rod get heavy. You keep reeling. You catch the fish,” says Iaconelli. “Put it to you this way…when my 4-year-old son Vegas gets a little bit older, a grub and a spinnerbait will be among the very first lures I put in his hands.”