There are many baits that will catch bass during certain times of the year, but only a handful of baits will catch bass year round. Some of these baits include jigs, spoon and blade type baits and the tube bait.
The tube bait has been around for several years. The key thing about the tube bait is that it is very versatile. By this I mean it can be fished in deep to shallow water, in clear to stained water, in cover or open water, and can be fished from top water to the bottom and all depths in between. All this just by changing the way the bait is rigged or by the way it is presented on the cast. There are not many other baits that can do all that.
A tube bait look just like what its name says. It is a tube-shaped bait with two inches to four inches as the standard size. Some companies make a super tube around six inches long. These longer tubes will float pretty well and can be fished in areas where you would fish a top water or a jerk bait or floating worm.
Anywhere that you would fish a Carolina-rigged lizard or a fluke, you can fish a Carolina-rigged tube bait also. Most lizards and flukes will float up while a tube bait will sink faster.
One trick to make the tube bait float up better is to take a small piece of foam like packing foam and pushing it up into the tube bait. The foam will help the bait float up.
Most places you would fish a crank bait you can fish a tube bait by slowing or speeding up your retrieve or adding or taking away weight to stay in the depth you want to fish. Anywhere you would fish a worm or jig on the bottom or in heavy cover, you can fish a tube bait. Just rig it the same way on a jig head or Texas-rigged like a worm and you are ready to fish.
Tube baits come in every color, but you can’t go wrong by fishing the shad or crawfish pattern baits.
Most anglers like to fish a tube on lighter, clear line, but you can also night-fish a tube just like a worm on heavy line and tackle. As you can tell, you can fish a tube from top to bottom in most water depths and colors.
I have received several pictures and reports of good smallmouth bass being caught on tube baits on Dale Hollow Lake, Lake Cumberland and some Tennessee lakes.