Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to Catch Big Smallmouth Bass, Part 2 - Plastic Lures

Hello Folks,

I hope you enjoyed my last blog entry showing some of pics from the fishing trips we made last year. The Photobucket slide show holds about 100 photos and I had over 250 pics to chose from. I certainly did take a lot of pics in 2010!

Today, I want to share some of the plastic lures that I have used in the past to catch some of my biggest smallmouth bass. Granted, these are not all the lures I use, but just a few that have brought 20+ inch smallmouth into the boat.

Let's start with the biggest smallmouth I have ever caught. It was a 23.75" smallie I caught during the Cap'n Jack Memorial Rodeo in 2005. Cap'n Jack was a well-known guide on the New and James Rivers who had passed away that year from a heart attack. My son and I had a scheduled guide trip that was never made because of Jack's passing. He is greatly missed among smallmouth enthusiasts.


This picture was photographed by Bill Sponaugle (SpoonVa) while Dave Warholic (DaveinPa) was rowing Bill's raft. It was the "ONLY" smallie I caught throughout that entire float, but well worth the effort.

She was laying right where she should have been... in a nice shoreline eddy just below a beautiful riffle. I tossed the lure on the upside of the eddy and SMACK!

So, what did I use to catch this pigbeast? Simply... A 3.75" Black/Red Flaked Tube on a 1/8th oz. jig head.


Nothing special, but a very productive lure in most situations. In fact, the tube was also responsible for the biggest smallmouth I ever caught in my local club tournaments... a 5+ lber on the Susquehanna River near Wrightsville/Columbia, Pa. area about 10 years ago.

Another plastic lure that has been a big winner for me has been the Berkley Power Bait 7" Worm in Blue Fleck. I toss this with the necessary worm weight and a 5/0 worm hook.


One of my fond memories with this bait was during a Pa. BASS District 3 Tournament out of Havre de Grace, Md, Tydings Marina. My son and I had pre-fished a few days before this tournament and had located fish just off the Sassafras River.

On the day of the tournament, the tides were right as we launched and I quickly made my way to the Sassafras. I pulled up along a fallen tree and we pulled a 2.5 lb largemouth out. There were several docks nearby and we hit those. I caught a 3 lb largemouth off the one pylon and then tossed to a larger pylon situated in front of the docks. My 7" offering slid down the side of the pylon and started to move away. I set the hook hard and fought a 5.15 lb largemouth to hand.

Another favorite tube color is the Green Pumpkin/Orange Flake. I have have a lot of success with both the 3.75" and the 2.5" in this color.


Green Pumpkin is a deadly color alone and brought me the last two 20 inch bass I caught in 2010. You can see those photos in a past blog entry.

A fantastic color in over cast skies is a laminated color. I use only a couple of laminated tubes and the one I am speaking of here is the Green Pumpkin/Smoke Purple Laminate.


This color works not only here in the Lower Susquehanna River, but also on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River and all points in between. :) It's a deadly combination of two of the most popular tube colors from the 1990's.

I remember the day I met Jeff Rock who was fishing with the Dark Hollow Bass Club in the Pa. BASS District 3. I was the "Rider" and he was the "Boat Owner" on my very first fishing tournament on the Potomac River.

The tube was designed basically as a finesse lure by the Garland Brothers. But the guys here on the East Coast were, Heaven forbid, putting jig heads inside the tubes and jigging them. Jeff used Cabin Creek brand tubes and only the Green Pumpkin and Salt/Pepper Smoke colors all day long... and caught fish, all day long!

I remember asking him if he ever used any other lures and he told me that he would be lost without his tubes... LOL! I believed him and he certainly made me a believer in the Almighty Tube!

In my next blog entry, I'll cover the hard baits that have brought me Big Bass.

Take care and Remember that Spring is on it's way!