By Duane Richards
When we were kids, during our summer breaks, Friday was bait-catching day and you know what that meant? Saturday was fishing! Over the years we caught just about everything that a fish would eat, and served it up on a rusty Eagle Claw hook for any finned creatures that may happen along with an empty belly or a snack attack.
Case Hellgrammites brought back many memories a few weeks ago as the Hellgrammites hit the store shelves. They looked like they could crawl out of the pack and right onto my rusty ole Eagle Claw! Needless to say, I purchased a few packs, one black and one that they call “natural" color, and set out for the river. I promised myself I was leaving my usual tackle in the box to give the Hellgrammites a good try out.
One third of the day passed as I used my usual soft plastics, then the thought of the Hellgrammites hit me. I opened the brand new pack and wouldn’t you know it, on my very first cast, a fat 14” smallmouth bass! Geezzz! I thought to myself…. self, this ole boy has eaten a few of these before. It didn’t take long to figure out that this bait was a true winner. As the evening passed over 50 fish fell prey to the Case Hellgrammites, with a variety including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, redeye bass, pumpkinseed perch, and even 1 chain pickerel. At times the fish would snatch the Hellgrammites before they even got wet, other times a slow sinking with a bit of a twitch and wiggle from the rod tip did the job nicely.
The way I like to fish most soft plastics is simply weightless or Carolina rigged, although just about any presentation from a weighted jig head or split shot rig of your choice works wonderfully. My rig is easy -- tie an Owner super needle point style SSW all purpose bait hook in size 1, not 1/0, to the end of your line, insert the hook point into the center of the nose and pull the hook down into the Hellgrammite about ¼ inch. Bring the hook point out the bottom collar of the Hellgrammite, turn the hook, and bury the point right back into the collar creating a small, hooked, weedless, Texas rig. Throw the bait out and if nothing happens in the first few minutes, just give it a bit of a shake and wiggle, as your line tightens up, give it a slow sweeping hook set and the battle is on.
The actions of the Case Hellgrammites make them look as though you are fishing live bait. When I first saw it in the water with its simple drifting and swaying action, legs moving all about, I felt like taking a bite myself! That’s when the thump of yet another smallmouth bass brought me back to the real world and “Fish on”! Pick up a pack or 2 today, I think you’ll be happy you did! And be careful! You just might get pinched!!
Case Hellgrammites are available in 2" and 3 1/4" versions and in several colors. Click here for further information about this great fishing product.