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Lure Review

One Fisherman's Trash is Another's Hot New Bait


Date: 5/18/11
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Little Creeper
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.00 - EDITOR'S CHOICE!

Back in October of 2010, at the 2nd Annual Bass Jam thrown by MonsterTackle.com in Cotati, California, we met Benno Heune, soft plastic bait designer extra-ordinaire. Benno has been a not very well kept secret in Northern California amongst recreational and tournament fishermen alike who are all aware of his prowess at designing and pouring unique soft plastic baits. After several starts and restarts, at forming a company to make it all official, Benno has finally gained a foothold in the highly competitive soft plastic bait market with Little Creeper Bait Company and he's done so with a bait, most would argue, is in an already over saturated market.


Just what we need - another paddletail swimbait.


Little Creeper All American Trash Fish Specifications

Type Soft Plastic Swimbait
Depth Any
Class Paddletail
Size 6" (1 ounce)
Recommended Hook Size 6/0, 7/0 EWG
Colors/Patterns 17 known
No. Per Pack 2
MSRP $15.99

Yes, paddletail swimbaits have been a mainstay since Steve Kennedy let the secret out of the bag during his 2007 Bassmasters record setting win at Clear Lake, California. It's well documented that Kennedy used Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout during much of the tournament, but he also used a hollow bodied paddletail swimbait by Basstrix as his other primary bait during that tournament. Even though the Basstrix hollow bodied paddletail had been out for several years, Kennedy's win is what helped spawn that year long shortfall of Basstrix baits in the marketplace and what prompted other soft bait companies to release their interpretations of this bait. Even today, with the paddletail market having reached equilibrium, we continue to see new baits hit the market each and every year.

Benno Heune has been at it for several years, but this time, his Little Creepers brand looks like it's going to stick.

So, you can imagine our skepticism when Benno introduced us to his interpretation of this bait back in October, the All American Trash Fish. Thing is, Benno's take was less bait-like, and much more like an actual fish. It has elongated fins and very much resembles a stretched out, fancy tailed goldfish more than anything else

He's making a splash in Northern California with his All American Trash Fish.

Impressions: Little Creeper's All American Trash Fish is a six inch bait available in fifteen different colors. It's actually modeled after a hitch, but as mentioned above, it reminds us more of a fancy tail goldfish. It is a solid bodied bait made of plastic with two different densities targeted at delivering a product with both good swimming action and excellent durability.


We don't often see fin details like this in a soft plastic.

Field Tests: Earlier this year, in between rainstorms out on Clear Lake, California, a relatively hot swimbait bite was afoot. We took a break from What the Finesse activities to sample the bite and one of the baits we had on hand to test was Little Creeper's All American Trash Fish.

The tail not only swims, it has the right profile (some choose to trim the top part of the fin off for even more tail action).

Rigging: Right off the bat, the most pressing factor when deciding to tie this bait to the end of your line is the decision of which strategy to employ when rigging. The recommended hook for this bait is a 6/0 or 7/0, weighted, Gamakatsu EWG.

To ensure the tails remain intact until you open the package, Heune goes through great pains to support it.

If you're planning to rig the All American Trash fish straight up in this method, without modification, we recommend doing everything in reverse to minimize damage to the bait. Set your hook up next to the bait and align everything as if the hook were inside the bait. Pay close attention to where the hook should penetrate the bait, and go ahead and run it through. Then, curl the bait's head up and work the tying end of the hook, back through the bait's chin until the tying eye protrudes from the bait's mouth. This method will minimize damage to the bait and allow you to use your trash fish for longer periods of time.

This piece is specially made just to support the tail of the Trash Fish.

Trouble is, if you notice, even with a very large EWG, there's not  a lot of room for the bait to compress when you swing to set the hook on a fish. You can try finding a larger hook, but then you're going to run into difficulty with aligning the bait properly because of all those beautiful extra appendages (fins).

Hard to argue with results like this.

What our friends over at Hi's Tackle Box in South San Francisco recommend, is slitting the belly of the bait to create a cavity within the bait for the hook to travel through when you swing to set hook. This little modification mimics what a lot of the popular paddletail baits out there allow you to do an it will increase your hook up ratios tremendously.

There is a downside however, as the body of this bait is solid.

Another modification local tournament anglers are doing to this bait is to trim that top part of the tail fin off so it does not interfere with the swimming motion of the Trash Fish's tail. We took heed to the slit in the belly modification, but chose to fish our Trash Fish with tail fins intact.

There's a slot up top to conceal the hook point.

Next Section: Let the fish really eat it...









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