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Lure Review


Imperfectly Perfect, the Little Creeper All American Sunfish (continued)

Retrieve: While the All American Sunfish can be fished like a traditional soft bodied swimbait it also can be rigged and retrieved a variety of pretty creative ways. Because the bait is only four and a half inches in length it is small enough to be rigged with a stand up jighead and dragged on the bottom to mimic a feeding bluegill, or even fished on a drop shot rig. You can get pretty creative with retrieve options with a lure of this size, and the sunfish offers more flexibility than so many other swimbaits in this regard.


One of the best things about the All American Sunfish is that they can be fished on just about any rig, no need for a massive swimbait rod

What really makes the Sunfish such an effective bait is how good it looks in the water. Donít get me wrong, it has a nice rustic charm right out of the package but letís face it, it really isnít going to win any beauty contests as they do not have ultra-realistic finishes or eyes. The magic is in the fins, and while they may look floppy and un-lifelike out of the package, once in the water they flare out and quiver genuinely with each and every move of your rod tip. All the imperfections in the baits somehow disappear and this is one bait that looks good just sitting still, or worked very slowly.


It is actually very difficult to get all these fins on a hand poured swimbait but Little Creeper nails it

Performance Ratings for Little Creeper All American Sunfish

Castability (1-5)
Ease of Actuation(1-5)
Quality of Movement (1-5)
Position at Rest (1-5)
Durability (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
5
4
5
2
21
25
8.4

Durability: If there is one thing that could be improved on these baits it is the durability. The All American Sunfish is by no means the most fragile soft bodied swimbait but it isnít the toughest either. This is the trade-off you make for having such a soft supple bait. After two or three fish the baits get tore up, mostly from the hook ripping through the bait. You will lose a fin here and there but for the most part having some glue nearby is a requirement if youíre going to be fishing these baits all day. I guess the good news is the baits work and having to repair them due to damage from fish is certainly better than the alternative of not getting bit.


The Little Creeper's tail features multiple fins and kicks back and forth nicely

Price & Applications: Retailing for 19.99 for a pack of two baits, the Little Creeper All American Sunfish is certainly not cheap. The baits do last through a few fish but will get beat up to the point that if you do not mend the baits they will start looking pretty tired. The good news is that even when they are damaged they still catch fish. Nonetheless I prefer to keep the tears from getting out of hand and mend-it works well on these baits. You can use them for fishing multiple species including largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass. They will also work on toothy species and I have caught Pickerel on them but this only accelerates the wear and tear on these baits.


These long fins may not look like much but in the water the slightest movement makes them kick hard

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Little Creeper All American Sunfish

Bait to Bait Consistency (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Realism (1-5)
Available Sizes (1-3)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
4
3
N/A
11
15
7.3

The Sunfish is good for a wide range of conditions and applications and there are plenty of patterns to match the hatch. The profile may look like a bluegill but it also can pass for a juvenile Crappie or fat shiner.  This bait can be used to target fish at multiple depths and I have even caught fish jigging it like a spoon or rigged drop shot when I graphed fish holding on structure. It also should not be underestimated as a deadly bed fishing bait during the spawn. Put a football head into this bait and go to town, the bass get absolutely pissed off at the sight of this bait bobbing up and down or swimming through their beds.


The All American Sunfish is available in a variety of patterns, enabling anglers to effectively match the hatch

One of the best things about the Little Creeper All American Sunfish is that it seems to appeal to big fish. The majority of fish I caught were actually pretty decent. Even though it has a medium sized profile it seems to intimidate smaller bass from trying to take it out, naturally culling out some of the juvenile bass. That isnít to say that once in a while you will get that little rat that tries to bite off much more than it can chew.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Little Creeper All American Sunfish Swimbait Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality This bait exhibits the handmade quality we used to see in custom soft body swimbaits. Are they the most detailed or totally consistent lure to lure? No. But they have a rustic quality that makes them both unique and interesting all at the same time 6.6
Performance The Little Creeper All American Sunfish is a fish catching machine, the only issue is it does take a beating after a few fish 8.4
Price A fair price for a custom swimbait. There are many cheaper plastic swimbaits out there but few as soft and hand crafted at this price point 6.5
Features Custom hand poured swimbait quality. It is actually very difficult to make a hand poured bait with such amazing protruding fins but in this area Little Creeper nailed it. The other thing that makes this bait so good is how soft the plastic is, allowing for a more realistic motion 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) While the Sunfish may not be the most realistic looking bait out of the package the magic is in the fins and in the water it seems to come to life. It is easy to fish on just about any casting rig due to the small size and low weight 7.3
Application The All American Sunfish can be rigged a variety of different ways and it is able to be fished in a wider range of applications than your average swimbait. The small size makes this a good bait when fish want something bite size and do not underestimate this lure for bed fishing 9

Total Score

7.71
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Custom design and custom quality we used to find in classic swimbait pours - Custom design and quality comes at a higher price
+ Extremely soft plastic gives bait a nice action - Durability. The trade off for that that
+ Fins come to life in the water  
+ Offers more flexibility than many other swimbaits  
+ Can be fished a variety of ways effectively  

  

Conclusion: Little Creeper swimbaits all have a rustic personality to them, the kind of hand poured quality that you used to see on swimbaits before they became mainstream. Which is really no surprise as each and every bait is made by the companyís owner, Benno Huene, or his trusted associate. These baits are not made in big batches, rather they are hand crafted the way that custom swimbaits used to be made. While there is a Berkley bait modeled after the popular Trash Fish the All American Sunfish continues to be produced straight from Little Creeper. Like the Trash Fish the Sunfish has accounted for both quality fish caught by swimbait enthusiasts as well as a bait that professional anglers have won money on, especially here on the West Coast.

 


Though it may be relatively small and unassuming looking swimbait the All American Sunfish can pull lunkers!

While there is no doubt that this companyís offering are best known here in the West there are many anglers that are now employing the Sunfish from coast to coast. In many ways the Sunfish is an easier bait to fish than even the original Trash Fish and Jumbo Minnow, as the lureís shorter profile is less intimidating and is easier to rig a variety of ways. But like the original, once anglers spend time to properly rig and retrieve this bait it can be a fish catching machine. Forget the fact that these baits donít offer ultra-realistic paint finishes or advanced weighting systems, these somewhat rough looking baits exhibit a profile and action that fish are attracted to, and at the end of the day isnít that what should be the most important factor when selecting your next soft bodied swimbait? If you are looking for a proven bluegill imitator the All American Sunfish swimbaits are so very imperfectly-perfect.

Looking for the Little Creeper All American Sunfish?
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