Grub Fishing 101
As my fishing partner Jeff Barkley used to say, “to a bass or walleye, this grub is just an innocent little bait fish swimming by.” That about says it all.
Grub fishing for me started years ago, mostly in the clear waters of Kinzua, a reservoir located on the upper Allegheny River in PA. Kinzua was loaded with tons of large stumps and big rocks, and also big smallmouth.
Back then there weren’t many choices of grubs. Smallmouth loved cuddling up to all this cover. While using a standard cast and drag or lift and fall presentation, it was easy to see that the smallmouth often darted out to chase the grub as I retrieved to get ready for the next cast. Thus, I began casting past the structure and swimming my grub past it. Over the next few years, I learned a lot about grub fishing and now, I would like to share some of what I learned. Hopefully it will help you catch more fish.
I always rig my grub tail down. I feel this allows the thin tail to swim more freely and stay out of the way upon your hookset. 90% of the time I am using a ¼ ounce unpainted jighead with an oversized hook. The other 10 percent I am probably using an 1/8 ounce, but in Lake Erie I sometimes go all the way up to ¾ ounce for fishing waters in excess of 30 foot. When I am fishing water 5 foot or less, I usually lift my rod tip as the grub hits the water and begin a slow steady retrieve. I almost never vary the speed of retrieve or use a lift and fall technique. Numbers of fish have taught me that. If I am fishing water deeper than 5 foot, I merely count down to my desired depth by using the old one thousand one, one thousand two etc. technique. I can’t tell you how many suspended fish I have caught in 20 plus foot of water in Lake Erie by counting down to 10 or 20 foot.
I always fish my grubz on spinning gear. I’ve fished rods from 5 foot up to 7 foot, all with success. I think this is more of a personal choice, but lately I have been using medium or medium light rods in the 6 to 7 foot length. I think it’s easier to control bigger fish near the boat with these types of rods. I often make long random casts and they’re easier on the longer rods. Some of my bigger fish often come on these casts. Don’t be afraid to try this.
Line type and size are pretty much the same. A personal choice. I’ve had success with them all, mono, fluorocarbon, even braid tied directly to my grub. They all seem to work well, even in clear water. I feel you should try several and make your decision on your level of comfort. I tend to go a little heavier than needed, I guess hoping for that bigger fish.
As I stated above, I fish with my rod tip up, usually around the 10 or 11 o’clock position. This gives me more of a feel that the grub is merely floating along. Due to the deep ribs on our Galida’s Grubz, when the fish hit, they merely hold on to it and swim off. There’s no tap tap type of hit. I merely tighten up and sweep the rod back as I continue to reel. You seem to lose more fish with a hard hook set.
If you have questions you are always welcome to private message me. Your questions may lead to further topics for Pros Pointers.