Wednesday, April 18, 2007


By Lynn Burkhead

The soft-plastic tube-style bait is another weapon that Evers keeps a healthy supply of in his tackle box. That's been true since the three-time winner on the BASS circuit experienced some big-bass success during a tournament several years back on Toledo Bend Reservoir. The tactic: flipping a black neon tube into flooded buckbrush.

"They were holding between two pieces of cover," he recalled, "and I would throw it in there, move it as slowly as possible. And I was catching big ones."

Today, fishing tube baits is one of the pro's favored methods for targeting bass. "I think tubes are a great year-round bait, especially spring through fall," Evers remarked. "They're a basic imitation of a crawfish or baitfish, depending on what color you fish."

On the topic of fishing tubes, Evers said, "My favorite way is to use a flippin' technique in the spring. I'll be flippin' bushes, grass, anything that could be spawning cover with a 3/16-ounce or 1/4-ounce Bass Pro XPS Tungsten weight head."

As for the color of the tube itself, Evers usually lets the bass' current feeding habits on shad or crawfish dictate that, although he also likes fishing a black neon tube. Whatever color he's actually using, he'll hook the soft plastic onto the tungsten-weighted jighead's big 4/0 hook sporting an extra-wide gap. Frequently, Evers will also put an XPS Big Tube Rattle into the tube, which he'll cast and retrieve with a 7-foot medium-heavy rod, a high-speed reel, and line in the 20-pound fluorocarbon or 65- to 80-pound Spider Wire range.

The key to fishing this bait, in Evers' view, is to work it slowly -- to the point that, to a shallow springtime bass, it becomes a source of irritation. "I'll flip it in the bushes, let it sit there, hop it up and down, and let it sit there for an extended period of time," he offered. "A lot of times, the fish won't pick it up on the initial fall. But as you leave it in there and hop it up and down, air is coming out of the tube in bubbles as it falls. It's an added attraction for bass."

Evers recommends leaving the tube bait in cover for 10 or 15 seconds, or maybe longer if the bass are locked down to the spawning beds. He'll also leave it a little longer when the water is murky or the bass aren't very aggressive.

While Evers likes to fish a tube bait tight to cover and a little faster as the pre-spawn moves into the spawn, he reminds anglers that such a lure can be an excellent choice later on as well. "It's a great bait in the post-spawn," he observed. "You can flip it into flooded bushes, into other flooded cover. Or bring it closer to surface. Use that rattle, and bang it on branches, and shake it on braches higher in the water column during the post-spawn period."

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