Hot summer weather allows anglers, such as me, in eastern Connecticut to enter shallow flowing water in search of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. I choose the Quinebaug River between Central Village in Plainfield and Canterbury to do so, with a specific plastic creature bait now one of my favorite lures. By adding the Baby Brush Hog to my tackle box, I have found that I can entice a plethora of strikes from these species, guaranteeing an outing with plenty of action.
I have no idea what a bass envisions the baby brush hog as being, since it looks like nothing a fish would encounter during its daily travels. With a rounded head resembling a bullet, this pliable plastic bait features a 5.5-inch body equipped with "arms," paddles and a pair of tails. I rig mine Texas style, jabbing an offset worm hook into the top of the head and sliding the lure up beyond where the shaft of the hook offsets. As the baby brush Hog dangles freely from the offset area, I complete the Texas rigging by sticking the sharp hook point into what can best be described as what would be the "nether regions" of this lure -- the very bottom of the body.
I use a spinning reel and a 6.5-foot medium action rod when employing the Baby Brush Hog. I have a 12-pound test on my reels, more than enough to handle a leaping smallmouth or a big, thrashing largemouth. As for colors, I have found that any of the darker green Baby Brush Hogs work well. I put a small bullet weight in front of the presentation to give it added weight, allowing me to send it over deeper channels and to the shady banks.
The most success I experience with this plastic creature bait is when I flip it into the shady spots along the river bank. I make it a point to search out submerged logs, where big largemouth hang out during the hottest portion of the daylight hours, keeping cool in the shade and waiting for an easy meal to swim by. Smallmouth will seek shade, as well in the slower waters, but also exist in the oxygenated pools where fast water flows into deeper pockets. A Baby Brush Hog tossed into the swirling waters of these pools will not be ignored for long by smallies. You do not even have to reel it in; by simply keeping your rod tip up and letting it move about in the current, you will get multiple hits.
This particular plastic bait is much more durable than similar lures such as plastic lizards and crayfish. The various appendages stand up to repeated fish strikes. The lure will finally give out when the spots where you drive the hook point into begin to fray from wear and tear. A Baby Brush Hog sinks slower after it hits the water than typical lizard lures because of its design, and it moves more erratically, making it hard for bass to miss.