June 07, 2012
By Ned Kehde
It is Baby HooDaddy time in northeastern Kansas.
Back on April 7 and 21, we posted two blogs, noting that it was time for Midwest finesse anglers to wield creature baits, such as Zoom Bait Company's Mini Lizard and Tiny Brush Hog. Across the years, several finesse anglers have found that largemouth bass exhibit a propensity to attack those baits during all three phases of the spawning season. Although anglers can still bewitch some largemouth and smallmouth bass on these two creature baits throughout the calendar year, they are not as effective as they were in the midst of the three stages of the spawn.
Across northeastern Kansas, the Baby HooDaddy commences to shine during that short period that In-Fisherman traditionally calls the summer peak. It occurs after the post-spawn and pre-summer periods wane and before the summer period commences. In Kansas, it often seems to parallel the channel catfish spawn. For more information about In-Fisherman's calendar periods, please examine the details at this link: http://www.in-fisherman.com/2011/07/20/seasons-for-bass/.
The Baby HooDaddy is a creature bait manufactured by Gene Larew Lures of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is a smaller bait than the Mini Lizard and Tiny Brush Hog. At many of the flatland reservoirs of northeasternKansas, it's most effective when the largemouth and smallmouth bass are foraging upon small invertebrates — especially small crayfish.
This year goodly numbers of our largemouth and smallmouth bass began to relish a Baby HooDaddy in either a green-pumpkin or black neon hue on May 21. The black-neon one was affixed to a red 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Original Mushroom Head Jig. The green-pumpkin creature was affixed to a chartreuse 1/16-ounce Gopher jig.
We always employ it on a Gopher jig. Occasionally, we elect to use a 1/32-ounce Gopher jig — especially when the bass seem to prefer the bait to float and flutter as it falls and traipses across the bottom. Then there are a few special times, such as when the wind howls or the bulk of the bass seem to be extremely tight to the bottom and prefer a deadstick presentation, that we attach it to a 3/32-ounce Gopher jig.
Before we fasten the Baby HooDaddy to the Gopher jig, we trim off the short nipple at the head of the HooDaddy. And when we work with a 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, we cut off the nipple and the first rib or ring at the head of the Baby HooDaddy; we do this because the collar of the 3/32-ounce Gopher Jig needs more plastic than the 1/32- and 1/16-ounce Gopher jigs need. When some anglers thread the Baby HooDaddy on to the Gopher jig, they apply a dab or two of super-style glue.
We have found that are several efficacious ways to present the Baby HooDaddy and Gopher jig to largemouth and smallmouth bass that abide in the flatland reservoirs of northeastern Kansas. And these presentations seem to work well elsewhere across the country.
A surprising number of the largemouth and smallmouth bass engulf the Baby HooDaddy after the cast is executed and when it is falling to the bottom.
But if a largemouth or smallmouth bass isn't inveigled during the initial fall of the Baby HooDaddy, the best retrieve is associated with the bottom, which is achieved by employing the hop-and-bounce motif. We do that by holding the rod at the three to five o'clock position. After we cast and the bait hits the surface of the water, we shake the rod as the bait falls to the bottom. Once it bounces on the bottom, we hop it off the bottom by rotating the reel handle twice, and as it falls back to the bottom, we shake the rod.
In addition to the hop and bounce, we employ the drag-and-shake retrieve with the HooDaddy. We implement this retrieve by holding the rod anywhere from the one o'clock position to the five o'clock position. Anglers can select the position that is most comfortable to them or according to the nature of the wind; when the wind is blowing, most Midwest finesse anglers in northeasternKansashave found that it is best to hold the rod down at the four to five o'clock position. The angler commences to subtly shake the rod as soon as the lure hits the water. Once the lure reaches the bottom, the angler slowly turns the reel handle, allowing the lure to stay in contact with the bottom, and as the lure moves across the bottom, the angler continues to shake the rod delicately so as not to cause the lure to jump off the bottom.
Another retrieve is the drag-and-dead-stick presentation. It is normally performed by the angler in the back of the boat. He casts the jig towards the shoreline and allows it to fall to the bottom. His rod is held at the three-o'clock position, and he merely drags the jig slowly across the bottom as the boat moves along the shoreline. The angler often drags the jig until it is directly behind the boat. As he drags it, he occasionally shakes his rod, and periodically he takes some line off his reel, creating several feet of slack line, which allows the jig to lie dead still on the bottom for five seconds. This is our deepest presentation; at times it plummets into 12 feet of water or deeper.
Even though the summer peak period has traditionally been the most fruitful time for Midwest finesse anglers to use the Baby HooDaddy, we have caught scores of largemouth and smallmouth bass with it whenever these bass are foraging on the bottom. We suspect that it will be effective during many of our outings throughout the summer and fall of 2012. Thus, we will have it at the ready every day that we are afloat.
Normally rock-laden lairs pay the best dividends. And if there are patches of American water willows associated with the rocks, the dividends can be exceedingly bountiful.
We have also found that it works well when the largemouth and smallmouth bass exhibit a hankering for a 2 ½- or 2 ¾-inch tube. If that occurs when there are two anglers in the boat, one angler uses a tube and the other utilizes the HooDaddy.
In essence, it is the finesse angler's rendition of Gene Larew Lures' Biffle Bug, which Tommy Biffle, who is an Elite Bassmaster angler from Wagoner, Oklahoma, uses across many seasons of the year and at many different waterways.
It is available in 34 colors at a cost of $5.73 for a package of 15. See them at http://tulsatackle.3dcartstores.com/3-Baby-HooDaddy_p_30.html
Anglers can read more about the lures Midwest finesse anglers use at http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/01/23/midwest-finesse-lures/. Here are the links to the blogs about the Mini Lizard and Tiny Brush Hog: http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/04/07/its-lizard-time-for-midwest-finesse-anglers/ and http://www.in-fisherman.com/2012/04/21/lizard-update-the-tiny-brush-hog/