In today’s highly specialized world of tackle and gear it seems like there is a bait for every individual situation. Lures have become so refined that the consumer cannot possibly ever catch unless they have a pocket full of cash and camp out at the local tackle shop. Now it’s one thing to have to worry about saltwater tackle and it’s quite another thing to worry about freshwater tackle, try worrying about both of them at the same time. Anglers on the upper coast of Texas are both blessed and cursed with this situation by having fresh and salt water so close in proximity to one another. Fishermen who frequent Sabine Lake really have more choices to deal with thanks to the brackish water that surrounds this coastal hot spot.

Over the years many anglers have been searching for a bait that produces well in both environments and the one most have settled on is the tube jig. For many years the tube jig has been a consistent producer for freshwater anglers, particularly in clear water venues where tournament fishermen like to finesse these baits. Tube jigs have been Carolina rigged, Texas rigged, flipped, and pitched for largemouth and smallmouth bass all over the country. Sabine River anglers have been catching striped bass on these lures during the winter for quite some time; this pattern produces plenty of redfish and largemouth as well. The resemblance between the tube jig and a crawfish or shrimp is as undeniable as the results they provide.

Now we all know the merits of the tube jig in freshwater, what most folks don’t know is how good this bait performs in salt water. During one particular outing in the vast marshes around Sabine while searching for redfish I became a tube jig convert. My clients were having a terrible time trying to get the redfish to eat; no matter what they tried the redfish would not cooperate. In an attempt to figure out the puzzle I rigged a three inch tube jig weed less on a spinning rod and began to absolutely crush the redfish. The subtle presentation of the tube was entirely more than the redfish could stand, even fish that had been spooked would pick up the tube as they swam off. After that eye opening trip I rarely ever venture out without a supply of these versatile lures.

Tube jigs come in two basic types, hollow body and solid body, and each one catches fish. I personally prefer the hollow body style because I can rig it more ways than the solid body. The hollow body tube works great, especially when you stuff the hollow cavity with foam or cotton and soak that with fish attractant. One of the first guides I ever saw fish this bait was Capt. Dickie Colburn of Orange Texas. Dickie took his extensive knowledge of freshwater fishing and applied it to saltwater where he quickly adapted his tube fishing techniques. While fishing light line with tube jigs Colburn basically wrote the book on flounder fishing in the Sabine area, he was using this technique long before other so called experts ever had a clue.

The versatility of the tube jig along with its fish catching prowess makes this lure one that any angler should not be without. If you have never given these lures a chance you owe it to yourself to try them out and see what you’ve missing, the results will certainly surprise you.

About Chuck Uzzle