I will admit, I was a little hesitant to share this one, but some things are too good not to share I suppose. I have tried protecting good fishing spots or hot baits over the years so that I could get a little more enjoyment before giving up my seclusion on these patterns. But as I’ve gotten older I am trying to give back more to anglers. So I will give up the Charlie Brewer Slider Grub for big bluegills, shellcrackers and crappie.
This has been one of my go-to plastics for the last 5 years on a bunch of those big bluegills, shellcrackers and crappie you have seen on my Instagram page. I’ve thrown and experimented with hundreds of plastics for panfish and at least that many more for bass, and this is one of those just absolute fish catchers.
I’ll be speaking specifically about the 1-inch Slider Panfish grub. This is the absolute perfect size for bluegill and red ear. And it also doubles as a finesse crappie bait as well. So let’s get into it.
WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT THE SLIDER GRUB
The Slider Grub is arguably the “finesse bait” that started it all. This grub was made for panfish but a bunch of bass fishermen quickly realized you could get highly pressured bass to bite this bait when nothing else worked (i.e. bedding and cruising bass in ultra clear water). That was more than 50 years ago. Since then they’ve greatly expanded their line. And one of those expansions was making a smaller 1-inch Slider Grub.
This bait is small but has a meatier profile than most 1-inch panfish baits. I like that because that means you can put a heavier, short shank jighead on it and have arguably the perfect setup for bluegill and panfish.
The tail kicks very well at ultra slow speeds. Originally the tails were packaged in a ziplock bag and you would have to boil tails to get the kinks out. But now they come in clam shells and the tail issue is nothing now. You might have a little kink in a tail but because it’s so thin, it kicks even with a kink.
The only drawback is a short strike will occasionally take the thin tail. But I’ve also had days where one bait glued onto my jig caught 20 jumbo gills and red ears before it tore up. And since you get 15 baits per container, one purchase is going to mean a ton of panfish for you.
HOW THE SLIDER GRUB FISHES
The Charlie Brewer site recommends a 1/32 ounce head a pinching a small split shot onto the line above it. But you can do a lot better with short shank tungsten ice jigs and these grubs. I am also pouring some of my own jigheads with a do-it mold on size 6-8 hooks that are 1/16 ounce.
I like the heavier head from prespawn until they are done spawning. Then I will move up to a 1/32 ounce head and fish higher in the water column around shade around the mayfly hatch and then I will go back to the 1/16 ounce heads and fish a lot deeper into the summer all the way into fall and winter.
Early I like the Charlie Brewer slider for slow rolling just above the bottom and same for the spring spawn. I will fish it with two retrieves. Slow and steady ticking bottom every now and again. Or I will fish it like I fish a hair jig. Reel a half turn and let it fall to bottom. Reel a half turn and let it fall to bottom. I catch a ton on it. Panfish are lured by site first and then by scent I believe.
Panfish hunt their food. So they are watching and bluegills and red ears respond to small, short, sudden moves really well at times if they aren’t reacting to a steady slow retrieve.
What makes the Slider Grub so deadly is the tail kicks as it falls. It kicks as you lift it. It kicks at super quick or super slow retrieves. It’s always kicking. Not a lot of grubs this small will do that. Most curl tails this small won’t. They are generally to stiff and only kick at a medium to medium fast retrieve.
COLOR OPTIONS FOR SLIDER GRUBS
Maybe the best thing about the Slider Grub is that it comes in so many colors. FishUSA carries 21 different color options. I prefer really contrasty colors. I think sunfish are reactionary. I think they interpret a small flash of color as different things. So giving them a flash of chartreuse or orange has always proven to work for me. Slider Grubs offer a lot of dynamite contrasty colors that get bit.
RIGGING OPTIONS FOR THE SLIDER GRUB
I like a tungsten jig. But you can also rig it on a small jighead and pinch on some split shot as we mentioned. You can fish it below a bobber and slow reel the bobber to keep it above cover like grass or wood. You can put it on a spin head like a Road runner or a Beetle Spin. It’s very versatile because, like I said already, that tail always kicks.
I have had some 100-plus big bluegill days this spring on the Slider Grubs. That’s probably why I hated to let people in on it. I reckon it will get harder for me, the more people that fish it. But I’m hoping my little setup will help you all load the boat with a bunch of magnum panfish in the future.
Check out the full line of Slider Grubs at FishUSA.com.
Check out the full line of Panfish gear at FishUSA.com.