Raise your hand if you ever get irritated with obstinate, early winter bass. I obviously can’t see you, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve got both your hands high in the air right now. Those little critters have a special way of twisting my brain in (even more) knots, making for some downright tough fishing days.
I’ve actually found a soft plastic bait that has proved very effective in getting bites in the toughest of conditions. The Zoom Swamp Crawler may not look like much but I’m telling you—it’s a bad little dude.
Very natural action
After experimenting with several different rigging options for the Swamp Crawler, I’ve learned that it’s pretty impossible to go wrong with it. I’ve been doing most of my recent damage on a shaky head, but I’ve also used it on a small Texas rig, wacky rig and weightless Texas rig with very impressive results.
When rigged on a light Texas rig or shaky head, the Swamp Crawler has a very slow fall to it. It’s noticeably thinner than most soft plastic worms but I think that’s what makes it so special. When it’s at rest on the bottom, it casually sways back and forth with the current and it doesn’t take much rod tip movement to make its tail kick upward before slowly falling again. I’ve been getting a lot of my bites on the initial fall and I attribute them to the very slow sinking action of the Swamp Crawler’s tail.
If you’re a finesse angler and like to use wacky rigs and weightless Texas rigs, be careful not to overlook this bait. It has a lot of similarities to the Zoom Trick Worm, but in a much smaller package that seems to really appeal to pressured, finicky bass. When wacky rigged, the Swamp Crawler has an extremely slow fall with a great parabolic bend that pulsates as it makes its way to the bottom. On a weightless Texas rig, expect a slow fall and a snake-like wiggling action when twitched just underneath the surface. I’ve been using 1/0 and 2/0 hook for this presentation and catching some grown ones with it!
You’ll hear some folks complain about the durability of this bait, but come on. It’s an extremely thin 6-inch worm, so of course you can expect a few rips and tears after long periods of use. But that’s the sacrifice you have to make with a super-finesse worm like the Swamp Crawler. If it weren’t so thin, it wouldn’t produce so many bites in tough conditions.
I’ve used this worm for a long time and I can confidently say that it’s pretty darn durable for something so small. If I remember correctly, my record for the most fish on one Swamp Crawler is five or six. I can’t complain about that.
You’ll notice the Swamp Crawler to be very stretchy, which aids in its durability. If you’re fishing it in warmer weather around shallow bluegill, it holds up very well to all of the jackhammering and pecking. When you catch a bass on it, the hook penetrates the thin plastic very easily, resulting in outstanding hookup ratios.
An outstanding value
I don’t like to buy plastics that only come four or five to a pack. I always feel like I’m about to run out, so I tend to shy away from putting them in precarious heavy cover areas where the big ones tend to hang out.
The Zoom Swamp Crawler comes in a 25-pack and will put you back $3.59 per pack. I’m pretty sorry at math, but I think that’s 14 cents per worm. That’s awesome in my opinion. With an affordable price and a generous quantity, you’re able to sling it into nasty rocks, sloppy grass and gnarly brush piles without having to worry about running out.
For me, the Swamp Crawler is just one of those baits that flat-out catches ‘em. If I have a guide trip or tournament in nasty conditions, you can bet I’m going to have one nearby. If you’re looking for something to help you combat tough fishing, I suggest taking a look at this bait.