As summer temperatures heat up, slab crappies and bull bluegills can become more challenging to catch. They have often times moved on from their spring spawning grounds and can be in multiple locations in a lake as their metabolism is at its peak. The Yo-Zuri Snap bean is a great lure choice to entice these hungry bulls and slabs.
At 1” long and 1/16 oz., the Yo-Zuri Snap Bean is big enough to get the attention of big panfish, but it is small enough to still get fish to bite when they are more finicky. The Snap Bean is one of the most versatile mini hardbaits available as I have successfully used it with a bobber, casting, and trolling and drifting while fishing crappies and bluegills. This versatility is one of the most important features of the lure during the summer as it may be necessary to fish it several differ ways in the same fishing trip.
Using a bobber can be a solid choice when crappies and bluegills are stacked in submergent grass. In this situation, I use a split shot about a foot above the lure and set the rig so that the Snap Bean nestles just above or just at the tops of grass. Using a cadence of one or two reel cranks followed by a pause can elicit strikes from fish which are deep in grass and unfishable with other setups. Patterns like the Silver Black, Perch, and Tennessee Shad are good options in grass as they emulate the minnows which often inhabit these weed scenarios. When fish are finicky or lipping and spitting out the lure, I tip it with a 1” or smaller yellow grub as that small trailer can sometimes turn reluctant biters into feeders.
Casting Yo-Zuri Snap Beans with 4 lb or 6 lb Hybrid line is preferred when fish are stationed in isolated cabbage patches. Once again, I use a split shot about a foot above the Split Bean rigged up on an ultra light rod. The key to fishing isolated cabbage patches is to get as close to the vegetation without scaring fish (20 yards or closer) so that all sides of the weeds can be fished. Working the Snap Bean painfully slow is key in this scenario as the idea is to cast the lure next to cabbage plants and let it sink slowly to the bottom. If a fish does not hit it by the time it hits the bottom, I reel up and cast again as most strikes usually occur on the fall. Pink, Black Purple, and Gold Black are all great colors as they can easily be seen by fish surging out of cabbage to eat.
Trolling and drifting Yo-Zuri Snap Beans can work great in shallow sand/rock (10’ of water or less) which is adjacent to weeds and when chasing suspended schools of panfish over deep water (fish 15’ deep in 30’ of water, for example). As with bobbers and casting, I usually go with a split shot a foot above the Snap Bean to help with getting the lure down to the desired depth. The Crawfish Snap Bean is my favorite pattern when chasing crappies and bluegills in sand/rock areas as this color is similar to the small crustaceans upon which they are feeding. The Perch, Silver Black, and Tennessee Shad patterns all work great when trolling or drifting for suspended panfish as they look like the minnows that big crappies and bluegills are eating.
When others give up on big slab crappies and bull bluegills in the heat of summer, the Yo-Zuri Snap Bean can put fish in your boat. Stock up on these dynamite mini hardbaits today!
As the ice thickens, snow accumulates on top of it, and fish have seen just about every bait imaginable offered by ice anglers in northern states, catching walleyes and northern pike can become a bit more of a task in mid-winter than at first ice. By the middle of January through early February fish have become more lethargic, and in many cases are reluctant to chase down bait than they were earlier in the year. However, this is no reason to put away your noisemakers that have worked throughout the open water and early winter ice fishing season! The 3DB Vibe can be a great lure which creates a disturbance in the water that can be used in more way than one catch walleyes and northern pike in mid-winter.
The Yo-Zuri 3DB Prism Fire Tiger Vibe is probably my most versatile lure that I use on lakes where perch is the forage species for northern pike and walleyes. Like in open water, it can be used effectively throughout the ice season to catch fish. The first way that I employ the 3DB Vibe is to rip it through the water column, making as much noise as possible and trying to get a reaction strike. This approach with the Vibe through the ice is great in mid-winter wherever the first big drop-off is in the lake. Usually, I look for quick transitions from 12 feet down to 18 feet or more and set up right in the middle of the transition. In this scenario, the goal is to catch fish that are moving up breaks and transitions before they get to the flats at dusk to feed on forage species.
While rapidly ripping, jigging, and swimming the 3DB Vibe can be a great way to catch some northern pike and walleyes in mid-winter that are cruising drop-offs, there are time when I simply use it as a decoy to draw fish in from a long way off. Even the most finicky of fish can be drawn into the area to investigate all of the commotion caused by the 3DB Vibe. When fish approach while pulling the Vibe through the water, but will not strike it directly in mid-winter, I employ a second Yo-Zuri product, the Snap Bean tipped with a fathead minnow only a few feet away under a slip bobber at the same depth that I am jigging the 3DB Vibe. What happens is that northern pike and walleyes will come cruising right up to the Yo-Zuri 3DB Vibe to investigate, see the Snap Bean setup, and will leave the Vibe to catch the easier smaller meal with the Snap Bean and minnow. In this case, the Vibe is used just to get the fish’s attention, and the Snap Bean tipped with a minnow is what seals the deal. In this scenario, I move to the top of the flats in 8-11 feet of water as the focus is less on reaction and more on catering to feeding fish after dusk.
Whether you are using the Yo-Zuri 3DB Vibe to get fish to bite it directly, or you are using it as a decoy to draw in finicky fish from a distance so that they bite a Yo-Zuri Snap Bean tipped with a fathead minnow, the Yo-Zuri 3DB Vibe is a top-notch choice that can keep catching fish for you throughout the mid-winter ice season.