Friday, August 24, 2012

The Straight Talk on Curly Tail Grubs

assorted curly tail grubs
My collection.
The first lure that every angler needs is the Mister Twister Curly Tail Grub.  Mister Twisters are very natural appearing soft plastic and the slightest movement in the water will cause lifelike motion in the tail.  You can get a package of 20 Mister Twisters for around $3.00, there are also variety packs with several colors.  You’ll need to buy jig heads as well but those are also super cheap.

Since you have to rig Mister Twisters yourself, they are highly customizable.  You can get heads painted in colors that stand out from the color of the lure, or heads that have eyes painted on them.  I usually get very small unpainted jig heads.  Mister Twisters come in many colors, with the most effective being chartreuse flake, pumpkin pepper, purple, and black, but they are all good.

three curly tail grubs
purple, pumpkin pepper,
and chartreuse flake.  I
ran all out of black.
When rigging, make sure the hook
goes the opposite way of
the tail.
Rigged like this, the tail is more
likely to get hung up 
on the hook.

The most amazing thing about Mister Twisters is that they catch just about anything!  Here is a list of fish I have caught on them.
  • Bluegill
  • Sunfish
  • Crappie
  • perch
  • rock bass
  • bullhead
  • creek chub
  • smallmouth bass
  • largemouth bass
  • northern pike
  • walleye
  • sucker
  • carp

When fishing in a bass stream or river, I like to use the smallest jig head I can cast.  Cast them up and across the current to the head of a deeper pocket, or just alongside cover likely to hold fish.  The lighter head makes the lure sink very slowly and naturally in the moving water.  I retrieve the line just fast enough to keep it tight while my lure bounces across the bottom, and if the line goes tight, set the hook!  In the Milwaukee, I’ve caught many smallmouth, some nice rock bass, one 24” carp, and even walleye using this method.  One day earlier this summer, my dad and I caught about 40 fish in the Milwaukee River in just a few morning hours.  My dad borrowed my spinning rod and used Mister Twisters, I used my fly rod and Woolly Buggers.  It was seriously like video game fishing!

Smallmouth on a hand tied Woolly Bugger while
fishing with dad.
One of dad's smallmouths on a
Mister Twister

Nice one!

Nice sized rock bass on the fly.
Beautiful fish.
Rock bass on a Mister Twister.
Chartreuse flake FTW!

When I lived in Michigan, I would fish the rocky walls of the Muskegon Lake Channel using Mister Twisters under a float with good success.  In this situation, a bigger jig head can be used.  The float would go about 4’ above the lure, then cast almost parallel to the rock wall.  The ebb and flow of the water between Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake will keep your float and lure moving along the rocks while the waves give it vertical motion.  The lure will present itself to spaces between the rocks and dark hollows where panfish, largemouth bass and rock bass love to hide.  If your float disappears under the water, set the hook!  This technique also works along the rocks in Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee, or out on the rocky section of the breakwater, and even right in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum!  Don’t be afraid to climb out on the rocks, find one that looks fairly level and sturdy and make it your home.

A dreary summer day under the Art Museum

The wings of the museum close and open at noon.

This big perch took a black Mister Twister

The rocks along Veteran's Park with
the breakwater in the background.
So much cover for fish.

When I'm in Michigan, My dad, my brothers and I would go out in my dad’s fishing boat and fish in inland lakes.  Most of the time we’d go to Twin Lake on weekday evenings.  Twin Lake is close to home and not too big, so it doesn’t get a lot of fishing pressure during the week.  On the water, you simply cast your line out, then let the breeze push the boat.  You can give your lure some twitches by lifting the tip of your rod occasionally, but a lot of times, that isn’t even necessary.  Largemouth bass or northern pike won’t hesitate to suck up a purple Mister Twister just crawling by at a snail’s pace.  When Kyle, my youngest brother was just a little toddler, we wanted him to feel like he was fishing.  What we did was gave him a yard sale kid’s rod with a brown Mister Twister on a huge orange jig head (we called them “pumpkin heads”) and let his line drop about 8’ below the surface, just to make him feel like he was fishing.  The waves kept his lure moving up and down, and wouldn’t you know it, he caught the biggest bass of the day “pretending to fish.”  It must have been 17” long!  Poor little boy, it scared the crap out of him!  I still remember him crying out “Put that whale back!”  

Magician Lake.  Kyle's all grown up now.  My dad and my other
brother Shane in the background.

If you don’t have access to a boat, fishing from shore is still a lot of fun.  Cast toward docks, lily pads, downed trees, anything that gives fish cover.  You can also just cast out and steady retrieve your line back in, big bluegill will give chase!

Because of their affordable price and effectiveness for so many species, if you are only going to fish with one artificial lure, Mister Twisters are the one.  But i’m betting, once you get into fishing with artificials, you’ll be hooked!

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