Dustin Back of Springfield, Missouri, is a member of the Finesse News Network and a product specialist for Bass Pro Shops. And he thought Midwest finesse anglers would find Bass Pro Shops’ Hustle Bug to be a very effective soft-plastic bait to affix to a mushroom-style jig for inveigling largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.
He sent us a package of Hustle Bugs to work with and describe.
As we worked with them, here is what we discovered:
In our eyes, it looks like a modern-day rendition of the great Puddle Jumper, which was one of the fabulous creations of the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, Missouri, during the founding years of Midwest finesse fishing. Ultimately, Ted Green, who was the proprietor of Mar Lynn Lure Company of Blue Springs, Missouri, began manufacturing the Puddle Jumper in 1971.
What’s more, one observer from the Finesse News Network called the Hustle Bug “a state-of-the-art Puddle Jumper.”
The Hustle Bug is a tad longer than 3 1/4 inches.
Its head is somewhat oval shaped. It is seven-sixteenths of an inch long and three-eighths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of about 1 5/16 inches. The tip of the head is flat with a diameter of a quarter of an inch, and this flat tip of its head will fit snuggly to the back of the head of a mushroom-style jig.
The Hustle Bug’s torso is 1 3/8 inches long, and except for its last five-sixteenths of an inch, its core is cylinder shaped with a width of five-sixteenths of an inch.
The first quarter of an inch of the torso is encircled with four significant ribs. These ribs have an elliptical shape. Each one is five-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 7/8 inches.
The next three-eighths of an inch of the torso’s dorsal and ventral areas are adorned with five small ribs. And each side of this portion of the torso possesses a triangular-shaped appendage. The base of each of these triangles is five-sixteenths of an inch, and the height is seven-sixteenths of an inch. These triangular-shaped appendages are thin and flat.
The next quarter of an inch of the torso duplicates the features and dimensions of its first quarter of an inch.
The torso’s last three-eighths of an inch is devoid of ribs, and its cylinder shape changes, and it somewhat exhibits the shape of a flat-headed screwdriver. The epidermis of its dorsal and ventral areas is smooth. A long, thin, and flat appendage radiates off of each side of this section of the torso.
Each appendage is adorned with a boot, which some anglers might call a paddle. The boot is flat. It is seven-eighths of an inch long, a quarter of an inch wide at its heel, and about one-eighth of an inch wide at its tip.
Each appendage is about 1 13/16 inches long. It is flat. It is five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot, which is adjacent to the torso, and it tapers down to a width of about one-eighth of an inch near the junction with the boot.
The epidermis of these boots and appendages is smooth.
It is manufactured in the following hues: Black Blue Flake, Blue Craw, Bluegill, Canada Craw, Dirt, Green Pumpkin, New Money, Molting Craw, PB&J, and Sungill.
It is impregnated with salt and a scent called 8up.
It is buoyant.
A package of 10 costs $3.99.
Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a small mushroom-style jig with a small exposed hook. These anglers will present this rig to their black bass quarries by employing all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves.
Its buoyance will enhance its ability to glide when Midwest finesse anglers execute the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve. The flat, thin, and triangular-shaped appendages that radiate from the middle section of its torso and the long and flat appendages that extend from the posterior section of its torso will also facilitate the gliding function of that retrieve.
The boots that adorn the two long and flat appendages will cause the torso and appendages to quiver during most of the six standard retrieves. Back notes that Bass Pro Shops has created a finesse-size jig that is called a Tungsten Offset Jighead. It possesses a 1/0 hook, which will allow anglers to work with a Texas-rigged Hustle Bug.
(1) Here is the link to Bass Pro Shops’ website: https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/bass-pro-shops-hustle-bug.
(2) Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column about the history of Chuck Woods’ Puddle Jumper, which is a forerunner of the Hustle Bug: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/the-puddle-jumper-by-chuck-woods/156469.
(3) Here is a link to the Midwest Column that explains how to employ the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.