March 10, 2014
After we published a short column about NetBait's Bama Bug Finesse Worm on Feb. 17, a Finesse News Network angler said that we should feature some of the other finesse products that NetBait makes. He noted that Midwest finesse anglers are perpetually searching for soft-plastic baits to affix to a jig. We agreed with that angler's suggestion and gave Justin Sward of NetBait and Greenville, Alabama, a telephone call.
Straightaway Sward said that some Midwest finesse anglers might be interested in NetBait's new three-color laminated process, which they began working with in 2012, and as 2014 unfolds, more and more of their baits will be manufactured in tri-color hues.
At this moment, NetBait manufactures six tri-colored T-Mac worms, and those colors are Leshia's Magic, Bold Bluegill, A-Magic, Bama Twist, Hardy Magic, and Flippin' Brown Hi Lite. He described the Bama Twist hue as one that has a green-pumpkin back, Junebug belly and a chartreuse line down the center; its tail is also highlighted with a chartreuse hue. According to Sward, NetBait will be adding additional colors to their tri-color line up during the summer of 2014.
Besides the tri-color feature, each T-Mac is injected with pork fat, salt and scent. The T-Mac is seven inches long, and Sward says it a very durable bait.
Durability plays an important role with the soft-plastic baits that Midwest finesse anglers employ, and that is because they often catch more than 10 largemouth bass an hour, and if their baits aren't durable, an hour's catch of largemouth bass can tear more than five fragile soft-plastic baits to smithereens.
In the eyes of most Midwest finesse anglers, however, the T-Mac is too long. By necessity, Midwest finesse anglers have spent most of their lives customizing baits with a pair of scissors or a razor blade in order to have a soft-plastic bait that fits on their 1/32- and 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jigs. Therefore, they can shorten the T-Mac to create a four- or five-inch worm. What's more, they can use the three-inch segment that includes the egg sack and head as a skinny Senko-style bait, which should work well on a 1/32-ounce Gopher jig. Thus, a package of 14 tri-color T-Macs will make 28 Midwest finesse baits, and the retail price for a package of 14 tri-colorT-Macs ranges from $3.79 to $4.09. As for the regular-colored T-Macs, there are 20 in a package, which costs from $3.79 to $409.
Sward said one of his favorite baits is the four-inch Paca Punch. He called it a solid-body rendition of NetBait's much lauded Paca Craw. Power anglers flip it, punch it, Carolina rig it, and jika rig it. They also use it as a trailer on a skirted jig. From a finesse angler's perspective, it's a hefty bait, but its solid torso will allow Midwest finesse anglers to shorten it a tad and affix it to a 3/32-ounce Gopher jig and retrieve with a drag-deadstick-and-shake motif. Like the T-Mac worm, it is injected with pork fat, salt and scent. Two new laminated colors have been recently introduced, and those colors are Coosa Special and Perfection. A package of eight can be purchased for $3.49.
Baby Mad Paca
Sward thought Midwest finesse anglers would be interested in examining and working with NetBait's Baby Mad Paca.
Some anglers would describe it as a 4 ¼-inch bait when its two curly tails are relaxed and bent towards its head. Other anglers would say it is a 5 ¼-inch bait when its two curly tails are straight. Still others proclaim that it is a 4 ½-inch bait. Sward described it as "a very versatile creature bait" or brush-hog-style bait.
It is embellished with four appendages. Two of them are curly tails at the end of its torso. About three-quarters of an inch from the tip of its head, its torso is adorned with two small claws. A pair of larger claws are also attached to the torso, and they are situated about an inch below the first pair of claws. Sward said the claws possess the same configuration of the claws that adorn NetBait Paca Craw and Paca Chunk. These four appendages create alluring and unique gyrations and undulations.
Midwest finesse anglers will rig it on either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce Gopher jig with an exposed hook and employ a variety of retrieves. And it looks as if it could become one of the standard-bearers in many Midwest finesse anglers' repertoire — especially in April and May. When this occurs, we will report about it in our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing.
The Baby Mad Paca is available in 20 colors, with some of the most popular being: Alabama Craw; Bama Craw; Black and Blue; Black Blue Flake; Green Pumpkin; Green Pumpkin Candy; Green Pumpkin Red; Hardy Craw; June Bug; Okeechobee Craw; Summer Craw; and Watermelon Red.
They are infused with pork fat, salt and scent. A package of 12 can be purchased for $3.59.
Mini Kickin' B
Sward says he loves the Mini Kickin' B, which is a 3 ½-inch beaver-style bait with a torso that is similar to NetBait's B-Bug. Its torso is flat and ringed with 15 sets of ribs, which are divided by a grove that runs from its head to its tail along its back and a similar grove along its belly. Its head is embellished with two tiny antennas. Along the sides of its torso and about 1 1/4-inches from the tips of its antennas, two long and curly appendages extend from its torso and they reach about one inch above the tips of the antennas. NetBait describes these two curly appendages as frog-like feet.
Sward likes to use it on a Chatterbait or as a trailer on a skirted swim jig. Power anglers will also punch with it and work with it on a football head jig. It can also be employed as a topwater bait, and its frog legs create a faint buzz, as it courses across the surface.
Many Midwest finesse anglers are always searching for a small beaver-style bait, which they affix to either a 1/16-ounce or 3/32-ounce Gopher jig with an exposed hook. Midwest finesse anglers can retrieve the Mini Kickin' B on a Gopher jig by employing six different presentation styles: swim-glide-and-shake retrieve; hop-and-bounce retrieve; drag-and-deadstick retrieve; straight-swim retrieve; drag-and-shake retrieve; and the stroll.
It is available in 14 colors: Alabama Craw; Bama Craw; Black/Blue; Black Blue Flake; Black Neon; Black Sapphire; Green Pumpkin; Green Pumpkin Candy; Green Pumpkin Red; Magic Craw; Okeechobee Craw; Summer Craw; Toledo Special; and Watermelon Red. It is impregnated with pork fat, salt and scent.
A package of 10 can be purchased for $3.69.
Sward said the Little Spanky is a 3 ½-inch rendition of the five-inch Big Spanky. Its conical head is about a half-inch long, and at the junction of its head and torso, it is endowed with a distinct chin. Its bulbous torso is about 1 ½ inches long, and there is a hook slot on its belly and one along its back. Its back is also graced with a row of ribs. Its tapering tail is about 1 ½ inches long and adorned with a boot, which some anglers call a paddle.
Sward said some power anglers wield it on an Alabama or umbrella rig.
Midwest finesse anglers, however, can rig it on either a 1/16- or 3/32-ounce Gopher jig, and swim it as they normally retrieve a grub. What's more, they can use it to traverse along the bottom by utilizing these four presentations: hop-and-bounce retrieve; drag-and-deadstick retrieve; drag-and-shake retrieve; and the stroll.
It is available in 12 colors, which includes some tri-color patterns: Albino; Bluegill Magic; Clear Lake Special; Copperfield; Houdini; Kinkin' Perch; Pearl; Sexy Shad; Silver Shad; Smokin' Magic Shad; Trash; and Watermelon Red.
Each Little Spanky is infused with pork fat, salt and scent. A package of nine can be purchased for $3.79.
(1) For more information about NetBait, please see their website at http://netbait.com/.
(2) Here is the link to the column about NetBait's Bama Bug Finesse Worm: https://www.in-fisherman.com/2014/02/17/netbaits-finesse-worm/.