Today we’ll be reviewing the Netbait B Bug. Me and the ole B Bug go way back. I was (super affectionately) deemed Shaye “B Bug” Baker by one of my teammates on the Auburn Bass Fishing Team years ago. Now MLF pro Matt Lee started calling me that after I caught a few key fish on a Netbait B Bug during the 2009 FLW College Fishing National Championship on Fort Loudon.
The event was televised, I caught a 6-pounder on camera the final day on the B Bug and… I was more than a little excited.
I shouted out the bait, something along the lines of, “Netbait B Bug baby!” and of course, then came the nickname that Matt and a few others still call me to this day.
The Netbait B Bug is not created equal
Although a lot of these beaver-style baits look similar at first glance, each one is a little different. For instance, the consistency of the Strike King Rodent and the D Bomb make them a good bit different from the Reaction Innovations Beaver and the Netbait B Bug.
The former baits are softer than the latter, the softest of all four I’d say is the D Bomb. Softer baits in this genre fold up and tend to fall more vertically, where stiffer baits like the B Bug and Beaver have more of a horizontal gliding fall, especially when rigged with a light weight.
What is it good for?
Though the B Bug is a great bait to punch on a heavy weight in thick cover, it sets itself apart from many other baits in this genre when looking at techniques that take advantage of the its gliding characteristic. Rigging this bait on a light Texas rig gives you a lure you can toss beside shallow cover and the bait will glide by it with a really natural approach that mimics a swimming bait fish. Some days, this is the look bass will react to best. Where other days, the more vertical fall is better because it triggers a reaction strike.
This is a bait that is built well for a Carolina rig as well, again because of the bait’s tendency to glide. Think of a Zoom Super Fluke on a C-rig; it has a similar slow-gliding fall to one side as opposed to a vertical fall. The B Bug is also a great bait to fish on a wobble head and a great bait for punching heavy cover. But of all its uses, flipping shallow cover like stumps, docks and brush is by far my favorite.
Design and modifications
We already talked a little about how the consistency of this bait makes it a little stiffer than some others that share its genre. That’s due to the density and type of soft plastic Netbait uses when making the B Bug. The material is a little tough but the hook has no problem shooting right out of it. Since it’s a fairly durable material, one bait is able to hold up to a half-dozen fish caches typically.
There are a few key characteristics that go into this fairly streamlined bait. The wide body helps the bait glide on the fall and it also does a good job of opening a hole for the four appendages on the back to slip through when punching this bait. Covered with ribs and having these four appendages on the back gives this otherwise simple looking bait a lot of flare.
The B Bug comes from the manufacturer with the two middle appendages attached to one another. You have the option to leave them like this, which does a good job of imitating a baitfish, or you can gently pull them apart so the bait looks more like a crawfish. You can even go a step further in modifying this lure by plucking off the outer or inner appendages to give the bait a different look entirely.
Color choices, BaitFuel, price point and final thoughts
The B Bug comes in a wide variety of fantastic colors. The only one I’d like to see that they don’t have is a pearl or white for sight fishing in the spring. But outside of that, there are some strong color schemes for clear water, muddy water, open water, vegetation and for mimicking a variety of bait species.
Netbait offers the B Bug in both a non-scented version as well as a version pre-impregnated with BaitFuel, the newest scent to hit the market from American Baitworks.
An 8-pack of the unscented B Bugs sells for $4.29, where an 8-pack of these baits impregnated with BaitFuel goes for $4.79. I haven’t had the chance to fish with the BaitFuel version of the B Bug yet, but I’d say based on what I’ve heard from lots of reliable anglers, it’s worth the extra 50 cents. Especially considering this is a great bait to fish slowly, which I believe is when scent makes the biggest difference.
If you’re looking for a great bait to pitch around shallow cover, the Netbait B Bug is built to please. Also compatible with wobble heads, Carolina rigs, punching and more, a pack of these baits are handy to have around whatever the conditions may be. With a bunch of good colors and available at a decent price, you won’t be disappointed trying this old favorite of mine out for yourself.