There is no doubt about it, smallmouth bass love tubes. So if you are trying to get on to that smallmouth bite, you just might want to switch over to fishing with a tube.
In this post, we are going to talk about a few different ways to rig a tube and how to fish a tube to catch more bass.
3 Ways to Rig A Tube
Before we can talk about how to fish one, let’s talk about a few different ways to rig a tube to vary your presentation.
Insert it. The first presentation is to take your favorite jig head and insert it (head first) up the belly. Once the jig head has reached the top of the tube you can poke the line hole out through the plastic. When done properly, you the head should be completely concealed. This approach works well for more finicky fish.
Rig it like a plastic worm. Another way to rig a tube is to run the hook through the top of the tube and out the side of the body, much like you would rig any plastic jig. When done properly, you will have the jig head outside of the body with the hook coming outside of the body.
Texas Rig. Lastly, you can texas rig your tube. I like this approach because your tube will be 100% weedless and thus you will able to fish it where you cannot with other lures. To texas rig your tube you will need a weight and a wide hook. Attach the weight to your line and run the wide hook through the top portion and then back into the body itself. I like this rig because it is weedless and the action is great.
Another tip you can do with this presentation is to insert a foam ear plug into the tube portion first and then texas rig it. This will make the tube float when in the water and gives it a very natural presentation that bass can’t resist.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can rig a tube in the following video:
How To Fish A Tube
Bed Fishing. Bed fishing is properly one of the most popular ways to fish a tube. Bass are very protective of their beds and they don’t want anything near or on them. So when bed fishing for bass, simply throw out a tube pass the bed and slowly bring it towards your destination. Once you get to the bed, allow it to sit on top for a bit and then give it a little motion with the rod. This drives bass nuts and they will attack the bait to protect their young. If it doesn’t get the fish’s attention the first time keep trying, don’t give up. You may have to do it several times before generating a strike. (Note: When bed fishing it is important to have a good pair of polarized sunglasses with you. This will help you to better see the beds and it will also be much easier to tell when is that crucial moment to set the hook)
Don’t forget your Alka Seltzer Tablet. Another way to get their attention when bed fishing is to use alka seltzer tablet. Yes, you read that correctly, I said an alka seltzer tablet. What you do is break the tablet into little chunks and stick it up the tube. Once the water hits the tablet, it will being to form. This will create more action and hopefully more bites. Simply cast it out pass the bed and slowly bringing it back. Once it is on the bed, give it a little motion and it is only a matter of time before getting bit.
Drag it. Another great way to fish a tube is to drag it across the bottom. This can be done by your retrieve or you can troll it. The important thing to remember here is to allow the bait to go down to bottom and bump into everything you can bump into. The more noise you can create the better. This presentation perfectly imitates a crawfish feeding on the bottom. A great way to get attention and ultimately get bites.
Dart it. Closely related to dragging a tube, is to dart it across the bottom much like a bait fish that is darting in and out of cover such as rocks. The best way to do this is to cast it out and allow it to get to the bottom. Once it has hit the bottom sweep the rod in a motion that is parallel to the water and then let it drop. Continue repeating this motion until your lure is back to the boat. This works great especially when fishing around rocks because it perfectly imitates a small bait fish darting through cover looking for food or fleeing from predators.
Beads. Another great way to get attention is by using beads to create some noise. You can do this by attaching a small disc or bead just below your bullet weight with a texas rig set up. Simply cast it out, allow your tube to go to the bottom and give it a few twitches of the rod. This twitching will give your bait some action, but it will also create a ticking noise, much like what happens when a small bait fish is feeding on the bottom. This presentation works especially well when fishing in stained or dirty water as it helps the fish to hone in onto your bait.
Pop/Snag it free. Did you get your tube snagged? No worries. Many times you can take advantage of this opportunity and still generate a bite. In fact, I know many guys that actually will try to get their lures stuck whether in a pile of rocks or in the grass. Once stuck they will try to pop it free. This creates a quick erratic action that drives bass crazy and an easy way to generate a reaction strike.
Also, keep in mind that the size of the tube can make a difference. For example, large tubes drop more quickly and so when they get hung up and you free them the action they can create is limited. On the other hand, lighter tubes such as a 1/8 ounce won’t drop as quickly thus creating more action and thus more opportunities to get bit.
So the next time your are hung up in rocks or weeds, pop your bait free and be prepared for a strike.
There you have it! 5 great ways on how to fish a tube.
As you can see, tubes will catch fish and they aren’t limited to cathing smallmouth. You can catch many big largemouths on any of the aforementioned presentations.
So get out there and starting fishing a tube. Your only regret will be that you should have picked up a tube sooner.