Tube Bait Success

Tube baits have become very popular on the tournament trail in the past few years. Once considered sissy baits or strictly smallmouth baits they have proven to be very effective for big bass. Tube fishing has come along way since Bobby Garland introduced them out west many years ago. Again these once thought of as finesse baits have become power baits that are fished many ways now. I would venture to say tubes are in the top five of most popular baits on the tournament trail.

I really like the Zoom tubes which come in the two most popular sizes 3 ½ and 4" and any color you need. Green pumpkin and watermelon are my two favorites but they all work at times. The small tubes I fish almost exclusively on jigheads 1/32 oz. to 1/8oz. I want a jig with a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook. I rig this with the head about ½ inch back from the nose so that the jig has a horizontal fall, so when you twitch it the bait darts and actually swims. I use this technique on smallmouth and also largemouth in clear water.

The four inch Zoom Big Tube is a real popular flipping bait, dragging bait and Carolina bait. When flipping I will rig with a Mustad Big Mouth tube hook usually in 4/0 or 5/0. I insert the Bass Pro Shops XPS tungsten tube weight in 1/8 oz. or 1/4 oz. in the tube. If you haven't used this weight you need to try it because it works. This is a rubber insert that has ground up tungsten in it. Your hook goes right through the tube and through the weight, which not only holds the hook in place but gives the tube the natural horizontal fall, which is so important. You can pitch this rig into the thickest of cover without hanging. Spray it with Jack's Juice crawfish scent and hang on because the fish are going to bite it. This is a big bass lure period.

When finesse fishing the tube I will use a Woo Daves' 6'8" Extreme spinning rod and 8 to 10 lbs. test Bass Pro Shops' Excel line. When pitching I use the Woo Daves' 7'4" Extreme rod and a minimum of 17 lbs. test Bass Pro Shops' Excel line. I will use the Bass Pro Shops' XPS Fluorocarbon line if the cover is heavy or the water stained. When Carolina rigging I will go with the Mustad Mega-Lite hook which is a lighter hook with an extra wide gap.

One thing that has really impressed me about the tube and especially when flipping, is that you can go right behind fishermen that are using jigs and big baits and catch fish. Also when fishing a lake of an area that is heavily pressured the tube will catch bass when all else fails. If you're in stained water try dying the tail with Spike-It in a chartreuse or red color. I have seen this turn the bite on many times. You can also add an XPS tube rattle to your bait as I have seen the extra noise help the bite in many situations.

Next time you are out in your Nitro give the tube a chance to go to work for you and I think you will be very pleased. Be sure to wear your Woo Shoes and may God Bless.

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