Very rarely do I buy new baits and enjoy almost immediate success. But Kalin’s Lunker Grubs came as advertised.
These baits were recommended by a couple people in the fishing industry I have spoken with recently and I couldn’t wait to give them a shot.
I bought three packs of the 3-inch version in fluorescent orange, chartreuse salt and pepper, and white ice as well as a pack of the 4-inch version in white. Since I was river fishing, I went with some of the lightest jigheads I could get my hands on: Kalin’s Triple Threat Crappie Jigs in 1/32-ounce, 1/16-ounce, and 1/8-ounce weights.
Now I must admit, when it comes to plastics, I am traditionally a Yum and Gary Yamamoto guy. But it was hard to argue with the results my industry friends were getting with these baits.
Rigging is simple. Thread the hook on the jighead through the body of the grub so that the hook comes out around the third or fourth rib from the bottom of the bait. Then, move the grub body up toward the top of the hook.
The grub should be in a perfectly straight line and the tip of the tail should be facing down when you are retrieving.
Fishing this bait is about as easy as rigging it. When the bait hits the water, start slowly reeling in. If you feel rocks or weeds, reel a little bit faster. You want to work this bait just above the bottom.
On my first trip, I started fishing with the white ice pattern grub on a white 1/16-ounce jighead. Within a few casts, I quickly had six smallmouths. My dad, who was fishing a Senko with less success, wanted in on the action. So I hooked him up with a chartreuse salt and pepper grub on a chatreuse 1/32-ounce jighead. On his very first cast, he landed a fish.
As we began to lose daylight, I changed up to a fluorescent orange grub and, again, the action was hot.
My dad and I ended the night with 25 fish in about two hours. Just two days before, I had floated the same stretch of water with two friends, primarily using Senkos, and we only managed 31 fish in about 6 hours.
I love Senkos. But there is no doubt that the Kalin’s Lunker Grubs outperformed them on a stretch of water I am very familiar with.
First and foremost, these baits are incredibly easy to fish. There is almost nothing to it.
The action on these grubs is incredible. I find the spinning and flickering of the tail to be superior to the action provided by a Mr. Twister (an old favorite.)
These baits are also durable, especially with the Kalin’s jigheads that feature the wire keeper on the back of the main hook shank that holds the bait in place. Before I found my stride, I hit rocks, got caught up in branches, and tangled in weeds. All of these are regular occurrences when river fishing. But these baits didn’t flinch. I only had one bait that suffered a minor tear the entire night. Even then, it was still fishable.
The grubs worked with every size of jighead I tried. This made adjusting to varying water depths quite easy.
It’s hard to beat the price, too. You can score a 10-pack for less than the cost of a dozen nightcrawlers and in the right circumstances, they’ll catch substantially more fish.
There aren’t many. But, for the sake of discussion, I’ll be nitpicky.
When tossing the lighter jigheads, which is often a requirement in the rivers I fish, you have to be careful with your casts. It takes quite a bit of force to get any distance and this can lead to tangles on your line or spool.
The only other critique I have to offer with these baits is that they really only cover one small portion of the water column effectively. If that’s where the fish are or you’re fishing shallow, that’s not a problem at all. However, I have found these baits lose effectiveness when you have to pick up the pace on your retrieves.
Especially if you are targeting bass and panfish in shallow water. I can’t think of a faster way to increase your catch totals.