Okay, probably too cold for the kind of tubing with your friends and swimsuits. But the tube jig is still catching fish.
The tube jig is a soft-plastic lure that has a hollow chamber. This allows the hard jig head to be buried inside, with just the line tie poking out. This increases the life-like feel when fish bite. Generally this jig is fished with one upright hook. Thus, it can be cast into rocks or through weeds, allowed to drop to the bottom, and then cleared of rocks or most vegetation with a fish attracting twitch.
It is a staple of smallmouth bass fishermen like Bassmaster TV host and Michigan angler, Mark Zona, but largemouth bass love them too. These lures usually range from about 3 to 5 inches long, but you can find them up to 10 inches for muskellunge. There even are micro tubes which are about an inch for crappie and sunfish. Whatever the size, the hollow chamber provides the lure with a satisfying, “squishy” feel.
Some anglers take advantage of the chamber and load it with additional enhancing features. For example, there are a variety of mixtures that can be used to add scent to the lure, both inside and out.
Rattles can be inserted if more noise is the key. Without a rattle, a tube jig has a stealthy, natural sound instead of the tap or clack of a normally exposed hard jig head on a rock.
I’ve even heard of using a piece of alka seltzer to get a tiny bubble trail for a life-like effect. Because the tube jig is worked by hopping or bouncing along the bottom, there is no need to worry about how the additional cargo affects the swimming motion of this jelly-filled doughnut of a lure.
Do you add anything to your tube jigs or fish them “straight up” like Pennsylvania angler Jim Kearney?
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.