I’ve always been a shallow-water angler. My local lakes set up best for it and I’ve become incredibly confident whenever I’m targeting bass in less than 6 feet of water. Because of my affinity for fishing in the dirt, I’m able to test a bunch of pitching and flipping baits throughout much of the year. Admittedly, some of them on the market these days are very similar and don’t really set themselves apart.
The Culprit Incredi-Bug, however, is different than all of the generic stuff out there. After thousands of pitches and flips with this bait, it has become one of my absolute favorites when I’m probing shallow water. It is a big-time producer in all types of different scenarios.
I’ll quickly run through what I’ve liked best about it.
It has some bulk to it
While its 4 1/2-inch length isn’t necessarily eye popping, the real difference maker with the Culprit Incredi-Bug is its bulky body. Not only does this added bulk allow the bait to hold up to numerous fish catches, but the plastic also seems a bit denser than other flipping and pitching baits I’ve tried. Both the bulk and density of the plastic allow for incredibly easy casting.
This bait is a little heavier than what you’re most likely accustomed to, but that’s a great trait in my opinion. With just a quick flick of my wrist, I’m able to make fairly complex skip casts underneath boat docks, bushes and other overhanging cover. I can also use a smaller tungsten because of the added weight, which allows the bait to come through thick cover easier.
Skips like a river rock
You’ll also notice the large, flat midsection of this bait. While it certainly increases its overall durability, this characteristic also lets the Culprit Incredi-Bug skip like a river rock. Lots of folks have trouble skipping Texas rigs on casting gear and I’ve always believed its due to bait selection. It’s really tough to skip a lightweight Texas rig if you’re using a bait with a ton of gawdy appendages. Bait selection is absolutely paramount.
Culprit designed this bait with shallow-water guys in mind. You don’t have to wind up and make a too-hard cast that can cause your accuracy to suffer. Just a quick underhand pitch can shoot this bait just about anywhere you need it to go.
I know I’m harping on the castability aspect a lot with the Incredi-Bug, but your ability to make quiet and precise casts is the most important thing when you’re fishing shallow water. This bait simply makes that aspect of shallow-water fishing much, much easier.
Subtle action, but enough for muddy water
As I’ve mentioned, this bait doesn’t have a bunch of wild and crazy things hanging off the side of it, but that’s all by design. Its sleek, streamlined profile translates into very natural crawfish-like presentation underwater that the bass have had a hard time ignoring. I’ve tinkered with it a bunch in clearer water in order to study its movements and I’ve been impressed. The bulbous ends of the appendages allow for more buoyancy, which creates action with very subtle rod movements.
While this action is more subdued, I’ve still caught plenty of bass in muddy water with the Incredi-Bug. Whether the appendages draw the attention or they can simply feel its larger profile with their lateral line, muddy-water bass will eat this bait all day long.
Remove the inner pincers for a smaller profile
Flipping and pitching heavy cover is my absolute favorite way to catch post-frontal bass, but again, bait selection remains important. In these situations, bass don’t always want a big, bulky bait with a bunch of action.
By removing the inner pincers of the Incredi-Bug, however, you can create an incredibly subtle profile that appeals to wary bass. In addition, this quick tweak can help the bait slide in and out of matted vegetation even better than before.
This is going to be a must-have in my boat. I think I have two packs left, so I’ll be making another order this week sometime. The color selection is huge, you can cast ’em with ease and they hold up to lots of abuse. This bait checks every box for me when it comes to soft plastics.