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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Secrets to Busting Big Fish

Secrets to Busting Big Fish

The In-Fisherman staff tackles super-tough customers, trolling up 50-inch muskies!

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Humminbird Mega 360 Imaging Sonar

Humminbird Mega 360 Imaging Sonar

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

See More Trending Articles

More Bass

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Baitcasting vs. Spinning: Choosing the Right Bass Combo

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Learn why and when to use each in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Get great tips on catching more bass with swim baits in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Cover Water, Locate Hungry Bass with Swim Baits

Game & Fish Digital Staff - March 10, 2020

Get great tips on catching more bass with swim baits in this episode of Beyond the Bait...

Learn how wind, water clarity impact topwater bass fishing in this episode of Beyond the Bait Powered by Streamlight.

Topwater Techniques, Lure Selections for Bass

Game & Fish Digital Staff

Learn how wind, water clarity impact topwater bass fishing in this episode of Beyond the Bait...

Most of the time, versatility pays the bills. Bass

Bass Tournament Trends Today

Steve Quinn

Most of the time, versatility pays the bills.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now