December 06, 2012
By Ned Kehde
The three-inch Hodad is a thick-walled tube that is endowed with a solid head and four creature-style appendages. The initial reports about its capabilities indicate that it should catch the fancy of scores of Midwest finesse anglers and their quarries.
Dan Quinn of Hudson, Wisconsin, is the Field Promotions Coordinator for Rapala and the son of In-Fisherman's senior editor Steve Quinn of Brainerd, Minnesota. In addition, he is an ardent and talented largemouth and smallmouth bass angler, who has become enamored with the effectiveness of the three-inch Hodad.
In an e-mail, Dan Quinn wrote that he employs it on an 1/8-ounce VMC Dominator Half Moon Jig with an exposed hook around lairs that are relatively free of snags. But when he plies areas that are embellished with reeds, lily pads, stumps, laydowns, brush piles, flooded timber and other snaggy obstacles, he affixes it Texas-style to an 1/8-ounce VMC Rugby Jig.
Dan Quinn has found the three-inch Hodad is especially effective for tentative smallmouth bass during the spawning season. He noted there are times when Minnesota and Wisconsin's spawning-season smallmouth bass will readily engulf about any lure that anglers adroitly maneuver over spawning beds -- even quickly retrieved crankbaits. Then there are spells when those same smallmouth bass are virtually impossible to entice. When the spawning-season smallmouth bass fishing becomes vexing, Dan Quinn has recently discovered that the best tactic is to employ a three-inch Hodad and jig with a deadstick presentation.
According to Dan Quinn, the Hodad's two long appendages flow back and forth as it sits head first on the bottom during the deadsticking presentation. And he suspects that it is the subtle movement of those appendages that incites the smallmouth bass to attack it when they aren't provoked by other baits and presentations.
In fact, on three different lakes, Dan Quinn caught an array of spawning-season smallmouth bass by deadsticking a three-inch Hodad and 1/8-ounce Dominator Half Moon Jig, and before he seduced them with the Hodad-and-jig combo, he couldn't inveigle any of those smallmouth bass with tubes, jig-and-craw combos, drop-shot baits and crankbaits.
His presentation of the Hodad consisted of making a long cast and then he would drag it onto the spawning bed and allow it to lie on the bed dead still. Within about six seconds, a smallmouth bass would pick up the bait. But if a smallmouth bass didn't didn't pick up the bait within 10 seconds, Dan Quinn would reel it in and execute another cast and drag it onto a slightly different area on the spawning bed. In short, he was searching for what spawning-bed anglers call the sweet spot. He wrote: "Honestly though, it didn't take many attempts to fine the sweet spot. Most times, the first cast did the trick. There is truly something special about this bait that drives bedding smallies wild! Since it is a new bait, I haven't had the chance to use it in a lot of other situations, but is a great finesse technique when the angler knows where some fish are that just won't bite."
Around the spawning sites, which were snag-free, Dan Quinn wielded it on a spinning outfit that was spooled with six-pound-test Sufix Castable Invisiline 100% Fluorocarbon line. He says the green-pumpkin-orange-black combination, which is a crayfish hue, has proven to be a very effective color in the Northern waterways that he fishes. What's more, the orange tint allows sight-fishing anglers to see bait during most spawning-season scenarios.
It is available in 13 colors and A package of 10 retails for $4.99.