Glen Freeman of Zwolle has a new weapon in his bass fishing arsenal. So does Zack Hughes of Quitman, Texas, who boated a 10-plus-pounder on the first day he fished with it at Lake Fork.
The two guides are catching bass on brilliantly colored straight-tail plastic worms that hit the market in early June. Manufactured by Mister Twister LLC, The Tri-Alive 6.5 Nightcrawler lives up to its name because, well, it looks exactly like an earthworm.
But the true calling card for the 6 ½-inch plastic worm is the color, or, in this case, multi-colors. There are 15 different hues available after approximately 25 were eliminated in the decision-making process by Mister Twister General Manager Chuck Byrd, Sales Manager Darryl Laurent and FLW Tour pro Clent Davis. At the request of many bass anglers, Byrd took the mold of the artificial lure manufacturer’s plastic worm discontinued 12 years ago and had it adjusted to accommodate tri-colored plastic worms in January and February, Laurent said.
Colors are key
“We started running colors in March. We ran about 40 to choose from to pick the 15 we have,” Laurent said. “He sent the mold off to have it re-gated so we could shoot three colors at one time to get those laminated as clear as they are. We have colors for clear water and for off-colored water, also.”
And they aren’t just any colors, Freeman and Hughes agreed.
“Well, I just started fishing it this year. Their colors are pretty unique. That’s the main thing. That’s the dominant deal. It’s just the right size,” Freeman said. “You can finesse or power fish it, either way. You can fish it deep or shallow. I love them.”
He said his favorite colors — the ones triggering bite after bite at Toledo Bend — were watermelon fire and grape mist. “Here’s the deal. They’ve got some colors fish haven’t seen before. All the pressure this lake’s seen the last two, three years, it’s something the fish haven’t seen. That’s where the colors come in handy. Their colors are pretty unique. I love them,” he said.
“There is not a color out there like it,” Hughes said after returning from another successful fishing trip. He and his customers rigged Nightcrawlers on a football swinghead jig that day and caught 17, and Hughes noted that although none were lunkers, all were good-sized bass.
“I just got these a week ago ... and caught a 10.38 the day I got them,” the 36-year-old Texan said about the hawg. That big bass fell for a drop-shotted Nightcrawler.
“It’s my go-to bait this year,” Hughes said.
“Obviously on a drop-shot, you always use a straight tail worm. The fish haven’t seen that. It gives fish something different. It gives customers something different to throw,” Hughes said.
“We even Carolina-rigged it this week,” he said, “but it’s best on a drop-shot and football swinghead jig.”
“I can see in the spring using it as a wacky worm,” he said.
Mostly, Hughes fishes the Nightcrawler in deep brushpiles and deep timber on his primary spot, Lake Fork.
And the Nightcrawler is tough, Hughes said, noting on his recently completed guide trip that day he caught multiple fish with it.
Freeman is fishing his Nightcrawlers differently, but with the same results.
The 68-year-old veteran guide and tournament angler said he has been strictly Texas-rigging the new plastic worm in 15- to 25-foot depths, targeting everything from points to ridges to humps, “not around any grass or anything, sometimes wood, natural structure.”
The biggest bass he’s caught in the short time he used it was an 8-pounder, he said.
Hold the salt
Laurent said the plastic worm doesn’t contain salt. Many shaky head-style specialists told him during its development stage they wanted plastic worms without salt because salt weighs them down.
For more information on Mister Twister’s Nightcrawler and other Mister Twister artificial lures, go to www.mistertwister.com or call (318) 377-8818.