Blobs And Squiggles
Do we really care what the bass think they are? All that really matters is they catch fish!
By Doug Yeargain
We all use them. Those little blobs of plastic, which resemble absolutely nothing in the diet of a bass. Why they bite them at all has always been a mystery to me, and I'm sure you have wondered, too. I guess a bass is a lot like us. We eat things that might not look "normal" to other creatures. But then again what is considered normal?
The blobs and squiggles of plastic in various forms are probably in your tackle box right now. Blobs like Yamamoto's Senko and Phantom's PHish Stik, the squiggly Uncle Josh leech and Ripple Wizard and the "jiggly" Honey Comb tube, and the weird, new little spider grubs like the Intimidator from Innovative Sport Group with all kinds of legs and fringe on both ends. Have you seen the new walking worm? It's flat with a funny looking curled up tail. They work though, these crazy looking baits, and they are selling like crazy because they catch fish.
There are so many weird looking baits that it would be impossible to list every one, but we've all purchased them as fast as they hit the stores over the years. I'm sure you remember many that have come and gone with the time. What is amazing though, is how many have become part of our standard arsenal in the pursuit of bass.
I'm not making fun of, or trying to point a finger at, the designers of funny looking baits. All I'm trying to say is, just step back and take a serious look at some of the things we use to fish with. Why do they produce bass? Are bass really as smart as we make them out to be if they can be fooled by such items as these?
Over the years many people have stated that they believed certain baits looked like this or that thing in nature. But the fact is many of them don't resemble anything bass should hunt to eat. They don't even look like anything living, much less resemble a natural food item.
I think there are many different reasons why bass bite these baits. Maybe it's just hunger or simply pure aggression, or maybe they like to try out new things to eat. Whatever the reason, as long as they bite we don't care.
Take the PHish Stick for example. This one has been around for years, long before a lot of the other blobs came along. It's pretty simple and greatly resembles a chunk of broomstick only made out of plastic. But then again, maybe a shad skipping across the surface looks like a piece of broomstick to a bass. If a bass knew what a broomstick was. Whatever they think when they see these blobs we will never really know, but they do eat this bait, especially when worked over thick vegetation. I know, because they have produced bass for me on several occasions. It, and lures like the Senko, can be fished with or without a weight and rigged several different ways, all of which will catch fish.
Some of the new soft jerkbaits on the market have really come a long way since the original models hit the bait stores. A few years ago we were amazed at the action of these baits, and they still catch bass like crazy all over the country. Take a look at the Living Minnows that Cabela's is selling. These things are top-notch quality. A few years ago soft plastics didn't have fancy eyes and little details on them. They were simply blobs of plastic that caught fish. The creators of soft plastic baits have really done their homework, nowadays. The baits almost look real. Not that a bass cares most of the time, but the decorations can add a little to your confidence in the bait. To the bass, I'm sure they all must look "real," especially when they go zipping by at a fast clip.
Uncle Josh is a company that has always built top quality pork baits that practically all fishermen have used the world over. But take a serious look at a piece of pork flesh. It must be really attractive to a bass. The action, feel, and taste are probably what make bass bite and hang on. Uncle Josh also makes a good bass-catching bait called a leech. Now to me, it's just a squiggly looking blob, but when rigged on a plain hook, it really comes to life. When rigged on a weedless hook and slowly pulled through cover, the bass can't help but eat it. The new Uncle Josh Honeycomb Tube is, like the leech, plastic and pork mixed together. It sounds pretty tasty if you ask me, a blob of plastic that tastes like pork. I might try one myself sometime.
If you haven't yet, check out the squiggles of plastic like the wild looking spider grubs from Innovative Sports Group and Phantom Tackle. They definitely look like mangled blobs of plastic, but they have a killer action when rigged on jig head and hopped across the bottom or slowly inched down the face of a bluff. There are many bass fishermen that swear by these odd looking baits. Out west, in the clear-water lakes, you better have some handy if you plan on catching some bass.
Try fishing any of the blobs or squiggles on a Carolina rig. They will sometimes work when everything else fails. Dragging them along the edge of a flat covered in hydrilla can be extremely effective.
I learned at a very young age that making fun of someone because they are chunking something that shouldn't work, is a good way to get burned. Just because a bait is ugly or a blob or just a squirmy piece of plastic is no reason to doubt its effectiveness. What you think is just a blob may end up being one of the best baits you've ever used when given a fair chance.
Talking about blobs and crazy looking lures reminds me of a time a few years ago when I was laughing at a spinnerbait my youngest brother Roy was throwing. It had a melted skirt of no real color, rusted blades, and it was tied on a rod with five-year-old line. On the very next cast after my teasing him, he hooked an 8-pounder that now resides on his wall at home. I try not to laugh at blobs or goofy looking baits anymore. The fish don't. And I don't think they even bother to ask themselves what they think it is. They just eat 'em.
Learn how to use these baits with different rigs, with and without weights and with beads, rattles and other additions because they do catch fish and it doesn't matter one bit what the fish thinks the bait looks like.