How to Start Fishing: Grab a Grub.

By Andy Whitcomb

Mar 07, 2016

When learning to fish, selecting the right lure can seem complicated.

When learning to fish, selecting the right lure can seem complicated. However, there are a few lures that seem to work anywhere and will catch anything. The curly tail grub is certainly on that short list.

Originally created in 1972, the curly tail grub is found in almost every angler’s tackle box. This soft-plastic lure has a ribbed body and a tail that forms a large “C” shape when it lies flat. However, when pulled through the water during a retrieve this curled tail undulates and creates a tantalizing rippling motion.

This basic shape is available in many colors. Pike anglers use white especially early in the season. A dark green is a staple for smallmouth anglers. And you can’t go wrong with chartreuse.

Sizes vary greatly. 1” models work great for crappie, trout, and sunfish. 3” lengths are loved by bass and walleye anglers. Saltwater fisherman may use this lure in 5” to even 10” lengths for species such as striped bass, redfish, and halibut.

Often simply paired with a round head weighted jig, it commonly is bounced along the bottom. It also can be successful with a steady retrieve or twitched occasionally for a little more erratic action. Many times you can even catch fish on the drop so be ready!

To rig, run the hook through the nose and thread down the body enough to hide the shank of the jig hook. Or just hook through the tip for even greater action. If you make the hook exit the body early and then bury the hook tip again, you’ve got something almost “weedless.” It also works as a great addition to other lures such as spoons, spinnerbaits, or topwater lures.

The curly grub tail was one of my first lures as a kid and it has never left my short list of “go to” lures. My kids and I always have a variety of colors and sizes on hand. Want to learn more? Check out these articles on techniques for fishing with lures.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.