For several years, Northland Fishing Tackle's soft-plastic baits have played a significant role in the tackle repertoire of a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers. For instance, Brent Frazee of Parkville, Missouri, who is a veteran Midwest finesse angler and member of the Finesse News Network, has used Northland's Slurpies Swim'n Grub to beguile unending numbers of largemouth bass from a fewof the community reservoirs that lie in the suburbs around Kansas City.
Recently Northland introduced three new soft-plastic baits that should interest Midwest finesse anglers and catch the eye of their quarries.
They are the Impulse Ringworm, Impulse 3 ½-inch Tube, and Impulse Hellgramite.
According to the folks at Northland, their Ringworm was designed for walleye and black bass anglers to wield on 3/32- and 1/18-ounce jigs. But Midwest finesse anglers will spend most of their outings with it on either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig.
Between its cone-shaped head and the beginning of its forked and curled tail, the torso of the Ringworm is encircled with 37 high-relief ribs. During the retrieve, these ribs undulate subtly and release air bubbles, which are thought to be alluring in the eyes of largemouth and smallmouth bass. The Ringworm's tail twists, turns and gyrates provocatively when anglers employ all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves.
(For information about those six retrieves, please examine this:
The Ringworm is impregnated with Impulse Attractant, which includes a substance that Northland calls a baked-in Micro Plankton formula.
It is available in six colors: Cranberry Blue, Firecracker, Hot Chartreuse Silver, Pearl White, Pinkie, and Smoke.
A package of eight can be purchased for $5.39.
The Impulse 3 ½-inch Tube exhibits a slim profile. It is endowed with a 1 ½-inch hollow body and head. There are 14 two-inch tentacles that radiate from around the opening of its hollow body.
Nowadays anglers tend to rig a tube two different ways. One of the methods revolves around inserting a jig, such as Northland's Inner-Tube Jig, into the hollow body of the tube. The second way is to Texas rig it, using a slip sinker and a wide-gap hook.
But veteran Midwest finesse anglers, such as Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, and Dion Hibdon of Versailles, Missouri, say that a tube will exhibit a more provocative action if the head of the jig is outside of the tube rather than inside it or rigged Texas-style. When the head of the jig is outside the tube, it spirals as it falls, and the Hibdons have found that this corkscrew-type movement as the tube falls can generate a lot of strikes that can't be achieved with an Inner-Tube jig and Texas-style rig.
The head of Hibdons' tube jig is endowed with a few strands of fiberguard, which shields the hook and allows the Hibdons to retrieve it through some snag-infested lairs. But most Midwest finesse anglers rarely have to probe snag-infested areas in order to catch vast numbers of largemouth bass. Therefore, they rig their tubes on a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with an exposed No. 4 hook, and the head of the jig is on the outside of the tube. One of the virtues of the No. 4 hook is that it is small enough to be relatively snag-free even around lairs that are littered with a variety of snaggy objects. What's more, these small hooks are as efficient at hooking largemouth and smallmouth bass as the big hooks that the majority of bass anglers employ. These small jig hooks also exhibit the wherewithal to handle lunker-size bass. For instance, Mike Poe, who is a veteran Midwest finesse angler from Siler City, North Carolina, caught and released a nine-pound largemouth bass on a mushroom-style jig and No. 4 hook on Mar. 22. In sum, we recommend that Midwest finesse anglers use small mushroom-style jigs with small hooks with Northlands' new tube.
The Impulse 3 ½-inch Tube is available in four colors: Green Pumpkin, Smoke, Watermelonseed, and White. It is also impregnated with Impulse Attractant.
A package of eight can be purchased for $5.39.
The two-inch Impulse Hellgramite looks to be a soft-plastic bait that a goodly number of Midwest finesse anglers should occasionally add to their repertoire — especially those anglers who ply waterways where the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass primarily forage upon small invertebrates.
It is endowed with a diminutive head and a small torso. Two legs are attached to the torso slightly below the junction of its head and torso. Its tail consists of 10 small segments and 12 pairs of legs. The folks at Northland say that the legs twitch seductively. Two short antennas protrude from the tip of its tail.
Midwest anglers can affix it to either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig and retrieve it with their classic swim-glide-and-shake presentation. They can also retrieve it with the drag-and-deadsick motif.
Burton Bosley of Sutton, West Virginia, is one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse, and he thinks we should employ more bobber presentations, which is in some ways similar to the float-and-fly tactic that smallmouth bass anglers employ in cold-water situations in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Ozarks. Back in the 1960s, the late and great Chuck Woods of Kansas City, who is the forefather of Midwest finesse fishing and creator of the renowned Beetle, showed Bosley how effective it was on windy days to affix a bobber a few feet above a Beetle rigged on a 1/16-ounce jig and allow the wind to move the bobber and Beetle over various shallow-water largemouth bass lairs. When the Impulse Hellgrammite is attached to a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jig, it looks as if it would work well on Bosley and Woods' bobber method.
It is available in six colors: Bubblegum, Crappie, Limetreuse, Natural, Pink/White, and White. Like the Impulse Ringworm and Impulse 3 ½-inch Tube, it is impregnated with Impulse Attractant.
A package of 10 can be purchased for $3.99.
(1) For more information about Northland's baits, please examine their website at Northlandtackle.com.
(2) If and when Midwest finesse anglers employ the Impulse Hellgramite on a bobber rig, we are eager to read about how, when and where it was done. So please post those insights in the comment section below.