Tube Trailers – Advanced Bass Fishing Techniques

Modified Tubes – The Tube Trailer Effect

This subtle change to your tube can yield big results in your catch.  To date, field tests have shown the darker colors to be effective for largemouth and the lighter ones for smallies.  Nothing is written in stone here but one thing has been universal…once you get on a bite with tube trailers, you take the trailer off and the bite stops.  Put the trailer on and you’re back on aggressive fish.  By adding color and action to a tube, you will get a different bite.

The first prototypes of the tube trailer appeared in 2000 and you could find them in the Xtreme Bass Tackle catalog.  Since then, more companies have jumped on board but most have been conservative in their color selection.  This is for a good reason: anglers have yet to discover what an effective tool this bait can be.

I’m drifting an 11 foot flat in Lake St. Clair (Michigan) and we are routinely hooking up with 2 lb. smallmouth which is fun, but it’s not gonna cut it at tournament time.  My partner continues to do the “same old, same old” while I slip a white tube trailer onto my 4 inch Canadian Mist.  Now that is quite a contrast!  Immediately, I begin picking up the bigger fish in the school.  Coincidence?

The next time we are fishing Grassy Island outside of the St. Clair River channels.  This island is primarily sand and bulrushes with long shallow flats that give way to a 3 to 8 foot break and a weedline.  Anyone who fishes with me knows that I am a real fan of the inside (shallower) break for smallies, but nothings cookin’ here.  I insert a dark melon pepper tube trailer into the same 4 inch Canadian Mist tube and go three for three with fish in the 2 to 3 lb. class; Made something out of nothing.

Have you ever been hot-to-go on a school of bass only to find the bite shut off like someone threw a switch?  Like they said, “Play time is over!”  One of my top tricks is to switch flake color in my plastic baits.  I did this once over a two hour period; switched six times after the bite “shut off” and continued to catch fish.  My partner, who was throwing our “top” color couldn’t get bit again.  If you’re throwing red flake, switch to green, from green to blue flake, from blue to purple and so on.  Tube trailers accomplish the same effect by adding a trailer color to any color tube you’re using.

Customers have called over the years and confirmed my personal experiences.  It’s no magic bullet but once they start eating the modified tube, you take the trailer off and the bite is off too.  This has been true for both largemouth and smallmouth.  Once you see the two tendrils swinging off the back of your bait, you too will be convinced this modification can help you put better fish in the boat.

Rigging Your Tube Trailer

Tube Trailers can be easily inserted into any tube that you are already using.  Start with your tube rigged normally with a standard tube head.

Put the jig hook point through the center of the nub of the Tube Trailer.  Thread the nub of the Tube Trailer along the hook shank and into the tube.

Fully rigged tube with Tube Trailer.

When To Use Tube Trailers

I use tube trailers primarily as an upgrade bait.  Every season I take these out when I’m catching average bass and after attaching a Tube Trailer to the tube, end up upgrading my catch.  I’ll inform anglers about what works or what doesn’t work through my research.  It’s all good information.  Tube Trailers haven’t let me down since 2000.  My staff and I use them under tournament conditions.

Early season bass respond well to tube baits that are two-tone in nature.  One effective method to use is dipping the tube tail in a dye.  Usually a red, orange or chartreuse color.  Tube Trailers accomplish the same thing and add more action at the same time.

Post-spawn bass tend to school up and eventually go on a feeding binge.  There is a tendency for these aggressive fish to ignore natural tones and go after bright colors and baits with extra action.  Tube Trailers allow both options and allow you to continue to use the same bait and presentation you are used to.

Summer bite bass become very color selective.  This is a time when a color trigger can make all the difference and keep you on a spot instead of “leaving fish to go find fish.”  Tube Trailers come in a variety of colors and it won’t take long until you find what works best on your body of water.

Fall pattern bass school up and Tube Trailers become a strong option once again.

How To Get Started

I don’t use Tube Trailers 100% of the time, but I have customers who do.  Here is how I would recommend that someone get started using Tube Trailers and building confidence:  Work an area until you have caught all of the weight you believe is available.  It could be a 2 lb. average, it could be a 3 lb. average or more.  Before you leave the spot, insert a Tube Trailer and make some casts.  If you upgrade your catch, it will establish confidence in the bait and presentation.  You will be on your way to getting the most weight out of the area and the most out of a presentation you already use.

God Bless, Good Luck and Good Fishing…


Xtreme Bass Tackle TOLL FREE – (877) 485-2223

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(c) Wayne Carpenter

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One Response to “Tube Trailers – Advanced Bass Fishing Techniques”

  1. Jerry Johnston Says:

    I gotta try these Wayne…. I think your testing is proof enough that this could make the diff. between 2lbers and 5 lbers. I will have to check out our locals carrying your tubes and see what selection would be a good one to start with. Do you have any recommendations of color to go with the G3 for the ultra clear inland lakes during the post spawn?


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