Delaware and Maryland
ponds, lakes, and rivers are receiving more and more pressure as each year goes
by, not just from weekend anglers, but tournament fishing as well. If you apply
some new tactics with these spider grubs, you can be more productive in your
recreational and tournament fishing alike.
deadly soft plastic bait is not a staple in everyone's tackle box, but in many
other states, it is a long time favorite lure when the going gets tough. Several
companies make spider grubs, but I prefer the ones made by "Gary Yamamoto Custom
Baits" the best. The grubs come in a variety of colors and sizes, from two to
five inches long. They are absolutely deadly on spring Largemouth and Smallmouth
bass alike. Most anglers like to use them on jig heads, and this is an extremely
effective method, but I also like to rig them Texas style. The grub resembles a
darting crawfish depending on how you fish it. It is the most effective in clear
water, but also produces bass in stained and muddy water. The lure is compact
like a jig and pig, as versatile as a worm, can be fished vertically or
horizontally, fast or slow. You can pitch it, flip it, swim it, hop it, or drag
it on the bottom. Here are some of the ways I like to fish it in Delaware and
Maryland waters, and elsewhere throughout the country, that really produce bass.
When searching for bass,
you want to try to cover the water quickly. The spider grub is a great search
tool when you're looking for bass that are feeding on crawfish around scattered
weeds and rocks on shallow flats like the Susquehanna, or similar shallow areas.
You can fish it faster than a jig, cover the water quickly, and trigger more
reaction strikes, the earth tone colors are easy to match with the forage and
blend in well with the surroundings. This is critical in clear water, when the
bass rely more on sight. Sometimes I like to fish it fast, with an erratic,
jerkbait type motion. The lure is always moving, but on or near the bottom.
When I fish the open
flats with scattered grass, I rig it on a light jighead, or if the cover is
thicker, I rig it Texas style. I found that I land more fish if the hook is
exposed, and if it becomes hooked on weeds occasionally, I jerk it free,
sometimes causing a reaction strike. I like to use 1/8 ounce or 1/4 ounce
jigheads, depending on the depth of the water, wind, currents, or how hard it is
to keep on the bottom. I also prefer to fish them on a 6 1/2 to 7 foot spinning
rod with a medium action soft tip, in graphite. Using six to eight pound test
P-Line. Sometimes you can go to ten-pound line, depending on the cover. The
light line gives the bait more action, and is less likely to hang up in the
weeds. I have used these successfully on the grass flats in the Potomac River
and on the Susquehanna flats. Working it the right way takes some practice. You
want the lure to scoot along in short bursts, on or near the bottom, without
making excessive hops. Don't pull it too hard, or you will lose contact with the
bottom. Keep the rod low to the water, and on the side of the boat so the wind
doesn't bow the line and ruin the action of the bait.
Keep contact with the
bait at all times, because many of the strikes will feel mushy or heavy like it
is on grass, but most of the time when I set the hook, it is a bass. If it is
just weeds, it pulls free and sometimes triggers a strike.
Swimming the Grub
Sometimes I swim the
grub like a jerkbait. Once in a tournament the bass were ignoring the jerkbait,
so I switched to the spider grub, and fished it erratically over the weeds,
stopping it occasionally. This triggered the strikes that I needed to win.
Fifteen pounds of bass slammed the spider grub while ignoring the other
jerkbaits and crankbaits that were being worked in the same area.
Dragging the Grub
Sometimes when I am
fishing on a long, sandy, gravel point, I use a stand up jighead and just pull
it slowly on the bottom. I work it very slow, and maintain contact with the
bottom all the time. Also, I Carolina-Rig the bait, and when I feel it hit rocks
or heavy cover, I start shaking the line, and this causes strikes to occur much
of the time. This has been working real well in lakes in Delaware, Maryland, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but I have used it with success all over the country.
Frequently after a
cold-front moves through, bass will suspend over some structure. When this
occurs, you can rig it Texas style, on a very lightweight, or with no weight at
all, and let it float down to the bottom. When conditions are tough, this works
wonders at times by keeping the bait in front of the fish longer. I have even
tried drop-shooting this bait with success. They are more prone to strike the
bait with this method, over bait that moves quickly by them. When you are
searching for fish, and the going gets tough, this is the bait to try. I like to
use a good spinning rod, such as G.Loomis or St.Croix, and a good reel like a
Shimano or Daiwa. Sensitivity is very important, and a combination such as this
improves your chances of catching them when they strike. This technique has
worked well in clear lakes all over the Midwest, and in Pennsylvania, Delaware,
and New Jersey. I caught a lot of nice bass using these methods at Table Rock
Lake, in Missouri also. Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, this is
bait for all seasons.
Steve writes for
numerous publications and is a professional bass guide, author, bass fishing
tournament anglers, radio host and video producer, as well as owning and running
a very successful tackle store.