15 Minutes with: Joe Higgins
Pro Staff: Fished impressions
Why do you like tube and worm for kayaks?
Fishing a tube and worm form a kayak in 5- 20 feet of water is the most effective way to cover a lot of water and find big striped bass along the rocky coastline of the north shore. Once i know where the fish are i can throw other lures (probably Hogy’s) in the area i have found fish or simply continue to catch fish on tube.
What’s the best Kayak for Tube and worm and why:
There really isn’t a wrong kayak for fishing tube and worm– it is very easy to put a rod holder in the front of any kayak, paddle or pedal, i prefer to hold the rod while using a pedal kayak to thumb the reel as i let line out- but make sure you’ve got a good grasp on rod as it’s likely to get a good tug from big bass.
How fast are you trolling?
I vary my trolling speed but tend to troll at 1 knot -very slow. Although i have caught many bass on a somewhat fast retrieve.
Do you have a favorite season for trolling tube and worm?
Hot lazy summer days when i’m not seeing any surface feeds or bait are my favorite times to troll. I will troll a tube and worm getting from point a to point b.
Best rod for Kayaking with tube and worm and why:
I use a nice 8 foot med heavy St. Croix musky rod, it’s sensitive enough for me to feel what is going on as i troll tube and having the length to maneuver the fish over bow of boat is important to me.
What reel are you using?
I use a Penn 965 bait caster reel — I find thumbing the reel the easiest way for me to get line out.
What Kind of line do you use?
I use 40lb Power Pro Braid tied to 4 feet of 25lb. Fluorocarbon.
How deep do you fish them?
I tend to fish in 5- 15 feet of water and have never used lead core. The slow speed of kayak can get the tube down to the depth i am finding fish.
What kind of swivel?
If I’m using a swivel i will use an Owner ball bearing barrel swivel
What length tube do you like and why:
The bigger the tube the bigger the fish. I use tubes from18- 24 inches long– I think the longer tube weeds some of the smaller fish out.
Do you fish with a spinner in front of your tube, why?
The only reason I will fish with a spinner out front is that i think it helps detect seaweed or debris in an area– I’ve been fishing The SI Tube without a spinner and and haven’t had that much issue with weed. I’m beginning to think maybe the spinner is actually a weed attractant
Is the worm necessary?
Definitely. And the bigger the better no matter what the bait guys say. I think have that little extra wiggle at end of tube is important– the tube is the appetizer and attractant but the worm is the meal.
What’s your biggest striper on a tube and worm?
My largest striper is a 48 inch striper caught a few years back. But the summer is not over and I’m hoping for a bigger one in the coming weeks.