Crews’ Missle bait can blow into a big bass’s cover quickly
When well-known pro bass fisherman Mike “Ike” Iaconelli wanted a jig with a smaller profile built for flipping, he got in touch with his good buddy and fellow Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews of Salem, Virginia.
Crews had started Missile Baits in 2012, two years before Iaconelli, a Bassmaster Classic winner from Pittsgrove, New Jersey, talked with him about building a compact flippin’ jig.
Crews obliged and Iaconelli used prototypes of the lure to win a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the Delaware River in 2014, speeding up the process of lure development. It took four to five months to design and tweak the lure, but today the Ike’s Mini Flip Jig is a favorite among bass fishermen. You can count Iaconelli and Crews, plus many other touring bass pros and regular anglers, among those who have made it a go-to bait.
“I use it a lot. It’s one of those baits I’ve always got tied on. I fish this bait pretty much all year,” Crews said. “In your area (Louisiana-Mississippi-Texas) for sure. It’s real good around cypress trees because it doesn’t get hung up. You can drop it around those roots (cypress knees) because again, it doesn’t get hung up.
“From its name, the Mini Flip, is good for flipping in bushes and around docks, but it also excels as a skipping bait. Plus, I’ll cast it and fish points, and road beds because it comes across cover. I’ll fish it out 15 to 18 feet deep, too. It’s a real versatile jig.”
No braid necessary
A notable aspect of the Mini Flip Jig is that it doesn’t have to be tied on braided line. Flourocarbon line or monofilament line in the 20-pound range is perfect for getting bass to bite.
“If you call 20-pound test ‘light line,’” Crews said. “But a lot of flippers do call 20-pound test light line. I use Sunline Shooter Flourocarbon line, 18 or 20 pound test, most of the time and I have real good success with that.”
Since its introduction approximately seven years ago, no changes have been made to the original design of the flippin’ jig. It continues to do its job, which is to trigger bass bites.
However, Missile Baits is adding five colors to the original eight colors.
“We’ve got new skirt colors coming out this year,” he said. “It’s taking a while to get the skirts in,” he said about the new colors. “They are brown craw, black neon, Ike’s secret (smoke purple/green pumpkin/black blue), bluegill and larvae craw (red/orange/black). Ike’s secret, it’s a neat color. Bluegill, it definitely looks like a bream.”
It’s “frog hair”
The skirts are special, too. The material is a silicon material called “frog hair,” or fine cut, as he described it, that helps the jig breathe a little easier and gives it more of a finesse look, he said.
Ike’s Mini Flips are available in ½, ⅜ and ¼ ounce sizes. Each is armed with a black 4/0 VMC hook.
“What’s unique for the Mini Flip is it has a weight forward design centered around the hook shank. It falls straight and it falls fast. It goes in and out of cover because of that,” Crews said. “The jig design is all about balance. That’s what we like about it, the balance of that jig.”
Crews uses a Missile Baits Baby D-Bomb for a soft plastic trailer on the Ike’s Mini Flip, which features a cone-shaped weedguard. He pinches a third off the 3.65-inch twin tail, ribbed creature bait, which is the baby brother of the Missile Baits D-Bomb.
The Ike’s Mini Flip’s weedguard is designed in such a way it enables it to get in and out of the heaviest cover 99 percent of the time, he said. Crews very rarely trims or otherwise modifies the weedguard. Neither does anybody else he knows that fishes it.
“Not usually, because it’s the right weedguard at the right angle and not too thick,” he said. “It’s the perfect size for a good hookset.”
For more information about the Ike’s Mini Flip and other Missile Jigs products, go to www.missilebaits.com or call 855.HOOKSET.