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Lure Review

Targeting Bass in cold weather? ...turn to Yamamoto's Hula Grub

Date: 12/8/00
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Gary Yamamoto
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.58

Introduction: A lot of Bass fisherman have a complete selection of lures, but in reality they use only 10% of them on a consistent basis. The reason...pure confidence in the lures that that Angler has relied on time and time again to produce fish. When it comes down to the bottom line many tournament Anglers will turn to the proven performance of a jig, for these Anglers Gary Yamamoto produces a versatile lure called the "Hula Grub," which is able to not only entice bass to strike at multiple depths, but also produce fish in cold weather when other lures just don't seem to appeal to dormant fish. 

Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub Specifications

Material Plastic (Salt Impregnated)
Length 5"
Colors 87 Available
Salt Impregnated Yes
MSRP $5.98 (Bag of 10)

Impressions: The Hula Grub was first brought to my attention by a local fishing pro. The six inch plastic worms and single tail swimming lures I used which had consistently landed fish suddenly stopped performing with the change in winter weather. The pro told me that he relied on the Hula grub rigged with a 3/8 oz Jighead to target the near comatose bass that reside in deeper waters during the cold season.

I decided to entertain the tip and proceeded to buy a pack of Hula Grubs (Green Pumpkin, color #297).


Since that day my entire perception of jigs has changed! I now rely on the Yamamoto Hula Grub as one of my top producers year round, and a must have during the winter.

How I fish the Hula Grub: The real secret behind the Hula Grub is that it can be effectively used to target multiple strike zones and can mimic a variety of different baits that Bass find irresistible. For example, the front of the hula grub when reeled slowly on the lake bottom looks like a quickly retreating crawdad, pulling the lure in sporadic bursts the Hula can be easily mistaken for a frog.

If your familiar with fishing "jig & pig" combos, those same techniques carry right over for fishing with a Hula Grub.

For the tests I used:

Complete Rig for fishing with the Hula Grub

Rod Gloomis MBR783C (6'6)
Reel Shimano Calais
Line 10lb Trilene XL

To use the Hula Grub effectively to get horizontal strikes it is best to use a 3/8 to 1/2 oz football head. This head will have the weight to bring the Jig quickly to the target area as well as plow through obstructions you are sure to find at the waters bottom. A good way to fish for the low hanging Bass is cast over the target area, allow the Hula to hit the bottom, and slowly (I mean sloooooowly) crawl the hula on the ground back to you. 10lb line is a good choice because it is inevitable you will snag and with 10lb line it is possible to pull out and save the lure. When this happens it is necessary to check the angle of the hook, as it is common that the pressure from your battle to free the lure has severely bent the hook. Using a sensitive rod is not absolutely necessary but a big plus! With the Gloomis MBR783C IMX rod I was able to easily differentiate bumping into obstacles on the lake floor and slight hits from fish.

My favorite setup for "Hula Grubbing" includes a good casting combo

The other way to get hits on a Senko is simply placing the falling Hula in front of the bass. Many times big fish have taken the Hula seconds after splashdown. At first I thought it was just plain luck, but now I've learned that vertical Hula dropping is one of the best ways to target multiple depths.

The Details: Gary Yamamoto boasts 87 different colors of the Hula grub, and the ones that have worked well for me are the Pumpkin #297, Cinnamon #140, and Black #051.

Yamato sells the Hula Grubs either in one piece form or you can make your own combos with skirts and twin tailed grubs. At TackleTour we have done testing on both and recommend the single piece hula grubs for  Anglers just starting to use the Hula Grubs for 2 reasons:


1. Yamamoto sells so many colors of the single piece Hula grubs that chances are you will have something in your bag that will work for almost every condition.

2. The two piece grubs tend to be a little larger and seem to slip off jig heads easier, especially once they have been hit. Even single piece Hula Grubs will take damage from snag ups or hits and it is common for the grub to become loose or even lose a tail. The two piece grubs are more prone to this.

Of course experienced Hula Grub Anglers will most likely try out some mix and match combos like Green tails and a Chartreuse skirt for winter. All this flexibility is possible with Yamamoto's extensive line. (tip: later when you find colors you are confident with it is cheaper to build your own grubs with skirts and twin tails)

Ultimately when using the Hula Grub it is good to be flexible, and be willing experiment. I have seen local Anglers get pretty inventive with the Yamamoto Hula Grub jerking it, trailing it, swimming it, and flipping it!



Yamamoto Hula Grub Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Top notch quality of materials, very durable even after multiple strikes 8.5
Performance Works well at multiple depths both horizontally and vertically 9
Price A bit expensive in comparison to the many other plastics available on the market 6
Features These lures look great, and the combination of a skirt and a twin tailed grub add up to a fully featured lure 9
Design (Ergonomics) Strong background of proven performance from the Yamamoto pros shows through with a design that can mimic a variety of Bass enticing baits 9
Application Flexibility in the way you can fish this lure is excellent 10

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Great construction L Just a bit pricey for a plastic
J Very flexible lure  
J Many colors/combos  
J Proven Performance  

Conclusion: The Yamamoto Hula Grub is a great lure and a real winner in terms of ability to target multiple strike zones. I never leave home without a couple colors of the Yamamoto Hula, and view it as one of my staple lures. My confidence in this lure comes from the fact it has been able to produce fish of all sizes even in the coldest weather. While the Hula is on the high price category in terms of plastics, the design and construction of this lure shows through every time I crawl, drop, or flip it.

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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