We bass angler's are always looking for new weapons
in our ever growing arsenal of tackle. If it is
new or different and catches fish, we want one,
or two or three…. The tube jig is just such a
Although on the market for several years now,
tube baits have undergone some changes and are
making a big comeback. Denny Brauer, last year’s
Bassmaster Classic champion, brought the bait
back into the spotlight following his victory
using tube baits.
The original tube jigs were 3"-31/2"
long. The new tube jigs are 4" plus and are
bigger in diameter than before. They come with
salt impregnated in them and in a variety of scents
to enhance their fish catching ability.
Most anglers fish them using a Texas rig. I like
the Texas rig with the weights snugged up against
the bait rather than slipping up and down the
line. This is because I primarily fish them in
the brush. The "fixed" weight doesn’t
seem to hang up as much as one that slides up
and down the line. I use a 4/0 or 5/0 wide gap
hook when fishing tube jigs.
In my opinion, Strike King Lures and Gambler
make the best baits. They are both scented and
hold up to the rigors of tournament fishing quite
well. Other companies also have a variety of tube
baits available. I like to use the watermelon
and green pumpkin colored tubes most of the time.
In clear water, I like white or shad colored baits.
For a different look, I will use some Spike It
dye on the end of my tubes. Sometimes, the little
different color on the end of the bait will trigger
a strike by making it show up better in the water.
Depending of the depth and thickness of cover
I am pitching into, I use a 3/16 – 3/8 ounce weight
on a medium heavy or heavy action worm rod. I
use my TP 3000 C Abu Garcia high speed reel with
20# P Line to take up slack quickly for hook sets
and to get the fish out of the cover before it
gets me hung up. I am convinced that the high
speed reel has helped my "bite to catch"
Last spring while fishing a BASS Central Invitational
in Eufaula, Oklahoma I made a discovery that made
the difference for me in making a check or not
making a check in the tournament. The lake was
coming up fast, as much as a foot or more per
day. The bite was slow and strange. I was catching
a few fish in practice on the tube jig, but had
trouble getting them to hit it aggressively enough
to detect the strike before they dropped it. On
the last afternoon of practice I tried a new device
especially designed for big tube jigs, a tube
rattle by H&H Plastic Rattles.
This rattle is about ¼" in length and big
enough to snuggly fit into the tube without falling
out. It is large enough to produce effective sound,
yet small enough that it does not interfere with
setting the hook and getting good hook penetration
in the fish’s mouth. It is the perfect size for
the new, larger tubes on the market.
The next time you are in the tackle store or
department, look for and try some of the big flipping
tubes. Use them in the same place you would use
a jig or plastic worm. Start off with one or two
colors and see how you like them before investing
a lot of money in them. Until next time,
enjoy the Texas Outdoors.