How to Start Fishing: Grab a Grub.

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 lure types and how to fish them.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.