The Tiny Torpedo is one of the most productive smallmouth bass
lures I have ever used. It has a blunt rounded nose and a round
body that tapers to a point at the rear end. At that point there
is a propeller blade that spins as you reel in the lure. I like
to cast the torpedo near any kind of structure, let it sit for
a moment and then reel-pause, reel-pause at a moderate pace until
it either hooks up a fish or reaches the boat.
The Tiny Torpedo has a big brother called the Baby Torpedo
and a little brother that I believe is called the Teeny Torpedo.
There is also a grandfather called the Magnum Torpedo that could
be great for saltwater species. The Baby version is what I use
for largemouth bass. The Teeny version would be my choice for
stream trout, bluegills and sunfish.
The Devil's Horse is a slimmer bodied lure that has a
propeller in the nose and another in the tail. They come in at
least two sizes and a rainbow of colors. It is a good choice for
pond fishing as it creates a lot of noise and vibration on the
retrieve. For this lure I use a steady retrieve rather than the
jerky one I use on the Torpedos. Largemouth will slam this lure
with abandon. Keep it a secret that big propeller lures will snag
saltwater creatures, too.
Silver Buddy is my go to blade bait. It comes in several sizes
in silver and gold. I think you can get them with flash tape on
them now as well. l mostly use the Silver Buddies around Walker's
Dam on the Chickahominy River during the yellow perch run. If
the silver one doesn't produce, I switch to the gold. My technique
is to let the lure sink to the bottom. Then I jerk it upward vigorously
a couple feet to create a burst of vibration. Then I let it fall
back to the bottom on a tight line. The perch mostly hit on the
The Cicada is another bade blade worthy of mention. They come
in four sizes and many colors. This little fellow's blade has
a curvature and bow in it that are suggestive of the wings of
the seventeen year locust from whence came its name. The technique
used to fish is the same as the Buddy. The Cicada gives off a
different vibration and flutters more on the back drop. Keep it
a secret that blade baits can catch saltwater species, too.
THE SOFT PLASTICS
This category includes an overwhelming array of shapes, sizes,
colors, textures and flavors. It would take over half of this
whole magazine to just list all of them. In order to narrow down
the field, let's break them down into the following groups: worms,
lizards, tubes, craws, grubs, flukes and minnows. I have all of
them, but prefer only three of them.
First is the lizard, which I always use on a Carolina rig. I
put a bullet weight on my line above a barrel swivel. I tie on
a two to three foot leader and use a worm hook through the lizard's
nose and out its back. I will cast this into any kind of structure,
let it sink and retrieve it slowly in short pulls. If I feel a
fish grab it, I let it take the lure for a bit before I set the
Second is the grub. One of my favorite is the twin tail Yamamoto.
It is a great lure for smallmouth bass in the upper James River.
I've mostly used it while floating my canoe in river sections
like the one from Bremo Bluff to Columbia. I rig it on a slider
jig and dance it across the bottom in short pulls. The glitter
in the grub glows in the sunlight and attracts savage strikes
by the smallies.
Third is the fluke. There are several variations by different
makers, but the one I like is the Zoom brand. Guide Glen Briggs
up at Lake Anna taught me to dip the tail into the "Spike-It"
worm dye. It adds color and is garlic scented. You can fish it
unweighted or with pencil lead weights inserted in the nose. I
caught my only chain pickerel citation out of some lilly pads
in a mill pond using a Zoom Fluke. Keep it a secret that soft
plastic baits can catch saltwater species, too.
Back in the seventies, I guess, bass anglers began to rave about
all the fish they were catching on lead head jigs with a pork
rind trailer. Thus, it was called the jig-n-pig. I only used them
occasionally for many years until a friend took me bass fishing
in a private pond just outside of Charlottesville, VA.
We had a very productive day and before I left for home he handed
me an 18 compartment Plano tackle box full of the jigs and grubs.
The grubs were green, blue, brown, black and purple. The jigs
basically matched the grub colors. These babies are almost weedless
due to some stiff fibers that jut out of the jig head and are
angled toward the hook point. I've worn almost all of the paint
off of the black jig heads bouncing them off the rocks. When a
bass picks up the jig, set the hook hard.
So, shipmates, I have only scratched the surface of stuff to use
in fresh water. One or more of these four lure types will, if
you go to the right places, put some nice fish on your stringer.
There are many others, of course, and you could spend a small
fortune collecting all of them. Even the most completely stocked
tackle shops will not have every variation on their racks. Just
get one or two of each of these lures and I'm confident that you
will make plenty of Sweet Water Connections and maybe some saltwater