Crock-O-Gator Bait Company's Swamp Bug

Crock-O-Gator Bait Company's Swamp Bug

Recently a veteran Midwest finesse angler told us about Crock-O-Gator Bait Company's three-inch Swamp Bug. In this finesse angler's eyes, it looked to be an ideal bait to rig on a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, and when we examined a photograph of it, we agreed. And after several behests from this finesse angler, we contacted James Dill of Sunrise Beach, Missouri.


Dill is the proprietor of the Crock-O-Gator Bait Company, which Don Carroll of Farmington, Missouri, started in 1984. Dill, who is a longtime and noted fishing guide on the Lake of the Ozarks, purchased it in 2010.



We talked with him on May 8 about the history of the Swamp Bug.

According to Dill, he and his brother Dan Dill of Cole Camp, Missouri, began developing and field-testing the Swamp Bug three winters ago. His goal was to create a bait to catch largemouth and spotted bass at the Lake of the Ozarks when the water temperature ranged from 38 to 44 degrees. What's more, he wanted a bait that replicated some of the characteristics of a gizzard shad and a crayfish.


Six pairs of ribs encircle its torso, and six appendages radiate from both sides of the torso. Each appendage is seven-eighths of an inch long, and they emanate from between each pair of ribs. It isn't endowed with a head; so, when it is attached to a jig, the head of the jig becomes its head.


Its tail is curly and similar to a traditional grub tail.

In the cold-water months, Dill likes to employ the Swamp Bug on Crock-O-Gator's  1/4-ounce Shakey Football Head Jig with casting outfits and fishing in the upper sections of the Lake of the Ozarks. He prefers to slowly drag it along the bottom, moving at a pace that allows the tail to subtly undulate and throb and its 12 appendages to twitch alluringly. He often deadsticks it, and Dill says its tail and appendages are so flexible that they will delicately gyrate during every deadstick presentation.

Even though it was created as a wintertime bait, Dill and other anglers have discovered that it inveigles largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass throughout the calendar year. It is especially affective during the prespawn, spawn, and post-spawn periods. Once the cold-water season ends, Dill will ply nearly every nook and cranny of the Lake of the Ozarks' 55,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shorelines.

Of course, most Midwest finesse anglers will wield it on spinning tackle and affix it to a 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig or similar jig, and the hook will be exposed. At times, depending on the disposition and location of the largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, they might use it on either a 1/32- or 3/32-ounce Gopher jig. And they determine which one of the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves is the most effective during each outing.

Dill also makes a six-inch Swamp Bug, and except for its size, it is identical to the three-incher.

Dill says that other anglers find that it works well on drop-shot rigs, Carolina rigs, split-shot rigs, as well as a trailer on a skirted jig. It looks as if it would work well on a swing jig similar to Gene Larew Lures' HardHead Jighead that Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Oklahoma, uses.

It is available in seven colors: Black & Blue, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Candy, Green Pumpkin Orange Flake, Moss Candy, Plum, and Smoke Shad.

A package of 10 three-inchers can be purchased for $3.80. A package of five-inchers sells for $3.80.

Footnotes:

Anglers can contact Dill about his baits or a guide trip at 573-204-9005 and crock-o-gator@live.com.

Anglers can also examine Crock-O-Gator's website at http://www.crockogatorbaitcompany.com/home.html .

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall. Bass

Using Crankbaits For Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - January 31, 2016

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall.

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures. Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat! Bass

Topwater Lure Secrets for Bass

Jim Edlund - April 26, 2018

These secrets will put more and bigger bass in your boat!

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Trailer Bass

Trailer Bass

Doug Stange introduces us to some terrific jig trailer lures for largemouth bass.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Lock cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers nationwide. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

See More Stories

More Bass

What makes intercepting a trophy smallmouth more likely? The answers might be surprising. Bass

Catching Trophy Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - July 01, 2019

What makes intercepting a trophy smallmouth more likely? The answers might be surprising.

It's no surprise that Bass

Snapping a Tube Finds Aggressive Smallmouth

Joe Balog - August 06, 2018

It's no surprise that "snapping a tube" will find smallmouths.

Surface lures get old but they never die. Bass

New Topwater Lures With Exceptional Qualities

Steve Quinn - June 04, 2018

Surface lures get old but they never die.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×