One of the most productive lures used for bass fishing in all seasons are tube lures.
They work great and they are so easy to use that even a beginner can use them successfully.
One of the best things about using tubes is the fact they are so versatile. If you love to fish off of docks and banks or go out in a boat it doesn’t matter.
Why you ask?
Basically because you can use these fantastic “bass catching lures” anywhere.
This type of lure works so great they are sometimes referred to as one of the prime “killer bass fishing lures”.
Once you learn the different ways tube lures can be fished, you will be rewarded with strings of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass your friend’s will envy!
Tube Bait Designs: Different Strokes for Different Folks
There are a large number of tube designs available and some of them are even combined with the shape of baitfish that the bass eat naturally such as the salamanders or crayfish.
Other tube lure options have been designed to be used specifically for fishing conditions calling for techniques such as flipping, pitching, Carolina rigging, and even finesse fishing situations.
Beyond the lures themselves, there have been numerous other types of accessory tackle items also created for use with tubes including specialized hooks, scent holders, jig heads and rattles.
Fishing the Tube Bait for Bass
The beauty of bass fishing tubes is doe to the fact they allow the angler to fish any depth of water ranging from the very shallow areas down to depths exceeding 20 feet.
Though I commonly fish tubes using yo-yo and swimming retrieves in deep water, I also love fishing tubes in the shallows. One of my favorite shallow water techniques for fishing tubes involves rigging the bait on a “Texas-rig” style jig-head then skipping the bait under over-hanging brush and branches along the bank.
This technique is great during the warmer periods of the day when the Sun is high in the sky and has produced both great numbers of bass as well as some true lunkers to boot!
Tubes are great for this approach because they don’t get hung up easily and the bass react aggressively since the bait just invaded their tangle infested lair.
One of the tricks, however, is earning how to cast directly into these areas accurately without hanging up so the bass gets surprised quickly. Making a successful cast will make a big difference in how or if the bass respond to your bait.
Rigging a Tube Bait
There are several ways to fish with a tube.
Rigging on a Jighead With Exposed Hook
The most basic method of fishing the tube is to insert a jighead (usually a tube or darter head) into the open end of the lure then sliding the head all the way to the front. Once the jig hits the head of the tube, push the jighead eyelet through the top of the tube bait then tie to your line.
It is best used in open water away from surface and subsurface obstacles.
A special note on using jigheads for this method …
You can also change the position of the jig in the tube (not all the way to the front to get a different type of action as the lure falls through the water column.
Rigging Weightless Tubes
Some anglers fish weightless, meaning they are used just as they are by using an extra wide-gap worm hook.
When rigging the tube simply place the hook through the nose of the tube then work it around as you would any plastic bait and either bury the point of the hook inside the hollow part or through the top of the tube.
This method is best used for fishing in weedy or grassy areas because it helps to prevent the hook from getting snagged and hung up on structures and the tube is unweighted.
Tube Lures & the Carolina Rig
Another rigging methods include the Carolina rig, Texas rig or adding it to a drop-shot rig.
The Carolina rig is a little more complicated method because the weight is placed on the main line about two feet below the tube, which is left weightless on the end of a leader.
The weight will land on the bottom of the water and the tube will be bouncing around a couple of feet from the bottom.
The weight will stir up the mud on the bottom while making a clicking sound as it hits which helps get the attention of the bass. After drawing the bass’ attention, the fish notices the tube floating behind the disturbance and be attracted to your bait.
Texas Rigging the Tube
Rigging a tube Texas style is very popular, relatively easy and great for fishing around deeper weeds and wooded areas.
Attach the bullet weight to the line followed by the hook and then thread the tube on on the hook in the same manner as you would using the other methods described above.
Simply pass the hook through the nose of the tube and then back into the hollow center of the tube and into the top of the tube.
This makes it good for fishing in weeds or other areas with underwater obstacles because the point is inside the tube where it won’t get hung up on the cover.
This method is perfect when using techniques like flipping and pitching.
Last But Not Least – Tubes on the Drop Shot
In the case of the drop-shot just replace the bait you normally use with a tube lure and you are all set to probe deeper structure!
Tube Tips from Wired2Fish
As an added bonus, here’s a video from the folks from Wired2Fish on rigging and fishing tubes:
With Spring rapidly (at least so they say 🙂 ) approaching, remember to stock up on some tube lures and experiment with the techniques above to increase your bass catching success this season!