How to Fish a Tube Bait

How to Fish a Tube BaitTube baits are effective for catching multiple species of fish, but are most commonly used for largemouth and smallmouth bass. They work well in deep or shallow water and can be rigged with several different methods. The baits are legal in tournament use and valued by professional fisherman in clear, shallow water. Tube baits have a hard rubber body that is more firm than the typical soft plastics. The firm tube creates an erratic swimming motion when retrieved and has the ability to attract aggressive strikes.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Open jig hooks
  • Jig heads
  • Texas-style bullet weights
  • Gitzit tubes
  • Tube bodies
Step 1
Rig tube baits on an open jig hook or on a tube jig head for jig fishing. Fish the tube bait in the same manner as you would fish a jig. Drop the tube from a boat and jig at a predetermined depth, or cast the tube and retrieve it by reeling and bumping the rod tip to impart a jigging motion on the tube.
Step 2
Rig the tube bait on a flipping hook with a Texas-style bullet head. Use a thin tube and use a toothpick to peg weight on the nose of the lure to fish through log jams, weed beds and cover. The thin tube and heavy head will pull through the cover in an aerodynamic fashion. Move the weight several inches in front of the lure for fishing in open water, and the lure will swim in an alternating upward and downward motion.
Step 3
Use the original "gitzit" tubes for fishing on a light line in clear water. The tube will make a light splash and sink quickly when used with lead weight, or will sink slowly without heavy lead weights. Use the heavy weights in deep, clear water and the small weight in clear, shallow water. Also use gitzit tubes for fishing along deep drop-offs, and vary the weight until you begin catching fish consistently.
Step 4
Fish tubes in colors that are consistently productive. Black and charcoal, pearl, rainbow, olive and tiger-striped tubes are effective in a variety of conditions. Use the black and tiger-striped tubes in murky water with low visibility, and the pearl and rainbow-colored tubes in clear water and on bright days.

Tips & Warnings

Tube baits are a valuable addition to any tackle box and are often overlooked by anglers. Tube baits allow you to fish in a variety of conditions with a single bait, and are effective for smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Fishing and casting tube baits will require practice. Tube baits fished in heavy cover can become snagged if the angler is not an accurate caster. Practice casting and flipping tubes at targets in an open area before attempting to cast in difficult situations.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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