The Tackle HD Mega Mite is a disgusting looking creation but man, does it catch fish. A mix between a worm and a creature bait, this 8-inch aberration is the oversized brother to the same brand's 5-inch Hellgrammite. The smaller Tackle HD Hellgrammite was created from a 3D scan of an actual hellgrammite, the larval state of an eastern dobsonfly.
Yeah, I definitely had to look all this up.
But what was apparent at first glance is that this thing looks like something a fish would eat. I spent a lot of time in little creeks as a kid; there was one just a couple hundred yards from my house growing up. I'd catch all sorts of minnows, bream and crawfish either on a hook or in minnow baskets. I'd also use a dip net to take a scoop of leaves and silt off the bottom of the creek and then sift through the haul by letting the creek wash away the sediment.
The remnants were typically either a sucker or some nasty-looking little bug resembling this hellgrammite creature, though the bugs I'd find were an inch or two long. Had I found an 8-inch one of these guys I'd have likely never returned. The point being, this thing looks a lot like things fish see on a regular basis. And apparently after a little research, the real hellgrammite is a prized lure for live bait fishing and found in various parts of the United States. So, if you have the stomach for it, let's take closer look at the 8-inch Mega Mite now.
Again, the Tackle HD Mega Mite looks real. It has all sorts of little appendages and a couple small pinchers coming out of its head. I don't know how important it is in reality to the fish, but I like that the pinchers kind of mask the weight of whatever you choose to rig the bait on. And roughly 3/4 of the bait has a segmented, almost ribbon-like look to it, which creates a nice action when swam through the water and dragged along bottom.
Once you get over the initial shock of the look of the bait, it's refreshing to see someone try something different. Almost every soft-plastic company now has a finesse worm or ribbon tail worm. And while reinventing the wheel does produce a better bait at times, seeing Tackle HD break the figurative mold by casting a literal brand new one is commendable.
You can catch several fish on one of these baits, and I really like that about it too. The bait is soft, but not ultra-soft like we see a lot these days. I've caught 4 or 5 fish at a time on one of these baits without the head even tearing. Bass that would have slung a softer bait 20-feet through the air during the battle.
Even when you do finally tear the head, there's enough material to pinch a bit off if you'd like and use the bait some more. And the segmented tail isn't quick to tear off either, which if I had to guess the tail would be the reason for the slightly tougher material. Had this bait been made of ultra-soft plastic, the long tail paired with short strikes would have resulted in a lot of short tails and no fish. Instead you have a bait that will hold up, but is still lifelike and has great action.
Because this bait doesn't require a lot of effort on the angler's part to appear lifelike, you can do a lot with it. The best presentation I've found with it is just a slow and simple drag. So the the bait is perfect for shaky heads, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and wobble heads. It would also be a fun bait to use on a Neko or wacky rig. You could even rig this thing on an oversized drop shot if you'd like and try power shotting it with a baitcaster.
Being that it does look so different, there's really a lot you could do with it to give the fish something different to look at where they usually see a very select few artificial worms and jigs. And speaking of the bait's versatility, it could even come in handy around Halloween when looking for decoration ideas or perhaps it would make an invaluable asset in a prank war with your significant other. Lay one of these on the toilet seat, close the lid and just wait... though I don't think that was the initial intent of the Mega Mite at the onset.
Though I kid, the Mega Mite is a serious bait and not a novelty item. And it's one I've already caught good fish on. Because the bait is a little longer at 8 inches, you do need to give the fish a little time after the initial bite to ensure they have the hook. But the durability of the bait will keep you from burning through baits even if you get a little over eager on the first few strikes. Add to that the versatility and lifelike design and you've got yourself a bait worth trying out. Who knows, it could be just what the fish are sifting through the silt for in your area right this minute.