by Charles Stuart
Gitzits, or tubebaits as
they are more commonly known, are without doubt one of the
strangest looking lure yet to be invented.
My introduction to them came through my bass club
on Long Island. A founder member of the club, Joe Modashel, and
his wife Alicia, known to many who fish the area have over the
years mastered the technique of fishing these baits. I am sure
Joe would admit to the fact that Alicia outfishes him with this
type of lure. Joe, if it is any consolation I know how you feel,
my Linda does exactly the same thing to me!
Well, to get back to the
Gitzit. Let me begin by explaining the ways in which
this bait can be used.
Flipping. This is
the method used by Denny Brauer last year (1998) to win the
Bassmaster Classic. Using a spinning rod and reel, loaded with 15
pound test, I tie a 2/0 Gamakatsu wide gap hook directly to the
line and fish the larger 3 a half inch baits with a small lead
weight (called a GITZIT Glider) inside the lure. The lead is
there purely to add to the overall weight and assists in bait
presentation. I prefer one eighth of an ounce, but if conditions
are tough, I will reduce the weight to a one sixteenth of an
A tip here for those of you unfamiliar with this
type of fishing. Place the lure in your hand and close your eyes.
Hop the bait up and down in your hand and "feel" the
weight of the lure. I guarantee that when you pitch or flip the
lure into the water and remember the feel of the total lure
weight, you will be able to detect bites more easily.
Presentation under docks or
into weed edges should be made with the same delicate
entry, as you would use for a jig and pork. The less surface
commotion, the better. Allow the bait to fall naturally, giving
extra line from the spool if needed. Often the bait will be taken
on the fall, so watch your line. Once the bait reaches the
bottom, feel the weight of the lure with your rod and twitch the
bait slowly back towards you. If the lure feels heavy or seems to
be stuck set the hook! I would rather stick a submerged pad or
piece of structure, than lose a fish.
Hot colors for Long
Island, NY include, but are not restricted to: black, black and
blue, black with red flake, pumpkinseed with black flake, green
pumpkin, green with a cinnamon tail and watermelon with black
rules apply here as they do for flipping. Casting a distance with
a lure like this will make a quiet entry into the water, a little
more difficult. The best technique is to raise the rod tip just
as the lure is about to enter the water. This slows the bait in
the air and will lessen the impact on landing. Casting a longer
distance than you would have for flipping requires additional
attention to the line. Feeling the bite can also be aided by
running the line over a finger in front of the reel. Subtle
movements are often felt with this method when retrieving the
Carolina Rigging. I
see faces frown at the thought! So let me share this with you.
Carolina rigging a Gitzit can often pick up the larger fish that
hold deep and are wise to worms and lizards. I have fooled many 3
pound plus fish into taking a Gitzit fished this way, so please
do not over look it when the fishing gets tough.
Texas style. Finally,
Gitzits can also be fished Texas style with the weight on the
nose of the lure. In heavy weeds I will allow the weight to run
freely on the line. I find this eliminates a lot of snagging in
the weeds. If the weeds have open areas, peg the weight with a
piece of toothpick, making sure the excess is snipped off. I will
not use a weight over a quarter ounce as it most certainly
effects the lure action.
Stuart is a pro angler, journalist and NY State Guide who fishes
the B.A.S.S., RED MAN, FOXWOODS and the ABC Tours in the
Northeast. Born and educated in England, Charles fished
professionally in England when he lived there. Charles has now
lived on Long Island, NY for over 15 years. He's fished most
lakes, rivers, streams and ponds on the island. He has fished
from the Canadian border to Florida in search of largemouth and
One of Charle's
objectives is to use the knowledge he has gained to teach young
fishermen and women the joy of the sport and the art of
"catching". Charles feels that, unlike other sports,
all members of the family can enjoy fishing together. To Charles,
fishing is a sport that does not place pressure on a child to
succeed, thereby building the child's confidence and self-esteem.
Charles is sponsored by
Bullet Weights, G.Loomis, Budz Fishin Wayz, Gamakatsu, Lake Hawk,
Chevy Trucks, Hawg-ly Lures, Power Resources cranking &
trolling motor batteries, Uncle Josh, Ike-Con Fishing Tackle,
Snap-Set Spinnerbaits, Map-Trap, and Stamina Components.
You can email Charles