Gene Larew Biffle Bug

Versatile softbait produces bass from top to bottom.

Veteran bassman Tommy Biffle made a name for himself cashing checks on the professional tours, and the soft-plastic bait that bears his name is an all-around performer as well. In fact, this beaver-style bug bait catches bass top to bottom in a variety of situations, everywhere from skinny water out to the abyss.

When the folks at Gene Larew gave Biffle their blessing to design the bait of his dreams, he drew on decades of tournament experience to build a hard-fishing softie that would catch bass when the chips were down. He introduced me to it on a trip to Texas’ famed Lake Fork, and I’ve been sold on it ever since.

Available in 3.5-, 4.5- and 5-inch sizes, the bait sports a number of smart features that set it apart from the crowd. For starters, it has a solid head that holds hooks fast; I’ve fished the Biffle Bug in a variety of situations, on both standard hooks and as a jig trailer, and even on long casts—where I loaded the rod and flung the bait as far as humanly possible—it resisted sliding down the shank.

The body itself is a study in bass attraction. Wide yet flattened, the supple torso is covered in water-catching, concentric ridges, and adorned with six quivery appendages plus a pair of pad-studded legs that spring to life at the slightest motion. As a bonus, you can pinch off the legs to tailor the Biffle Bug for glide-bait maneuvers. But I normally leave them intact for extra theatrics. Finally, the flattened tail features a concave shape that amplifies action even further.

When Biffle built the Bug, he insisted on a hollow body, thus creating another key feature. He likes to dose the cavity with Biffle Bug Juice, which he also helped bring to market. Actually a gel, it’s billed as an amino-acid based, crawfish attractant spiced with a hint of garlic. Whatever it is, the stuff works. I’ve boated bass of all sizes on gel-laden Biffle Bugs, including a 10-pound Lake Fork lunker that is my personal best from U.S. waters.

That fish struck while I was bouncing a Biffle Bug across a deep, offshore rockpile. Rigged on a football-style, free-swinging jighead like Larew’s Biffle Hardhead, the bait works great in lieu of deep-running cranks for covering water, probing structural sweet spots and triggering strikes.

You can also fish a Biffle Bug in shallow water on a light jig or Texas-rigged, or swim it weightless as a topwater. And of course it shines for flipping and pitching when rigged Texas-style on a 4/0 hook, with a 5/16-ounce bullet sinker pegged tight to its nose. With flipping presentations, adding a rattle can be a good call. I like to slide one in, then flip the bait out and swim it up and down in place amongst bushes, timber or other cover.

It’s also worth noting that Biffle Bugs are available in a fistful of bass-catching colors. Green-flecked Sooner Run is one of my favorites, but it’s wise to experiment with different shades until you hit the hot pattern at the moment. In the end, I’m confident you’ll discover the Biffle Bug is an all-around all-star—which should come as no surprise when you consider the bassin’ great who designed it.

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