“Tubing” is a favorite of many but not all. While very few critics might question the tube’s fish catching ability, some complain that the technique is not “hands on enough” and “boring.” To these points, I beg to differ and I’m very excited to share with you a few tubing techniques I’ve picked up over the years.
What does a tube and worm look like? Is it an eel imitator? A sea worm imitator? I’m not really sure, all I know is the tube and worm is truly one of the fishiest lures you can use when trolling for striped bass. Tube and worm sizes range from about 12” all the way up to a couple of feet.
I am a firm believer that bigger is always better with tube and worm. While the smaller tubes catch plenty of fish, I find without a doubt the larger tubes consistently catch higher numbers of larger fish.
Vastly Increase Visibility: At risk of stating the obvious, a larger bait will be more visible from afar, effectively increasing your presentation reach to fish in your area. A 24” tube is easier to see than a 12” tube from a distance. If you factor in how many miles you might troll in a day, and that you might add 10 more feet of visibility, that’s quite a reach.
5 miles of trolling = 26,400 linear feet
Say a 15” Tube has a 10’ radius = 264,000 sqft of trolling coverage
Factor an additional 40% of visibility for a 24.5” Tube: (it’s 40% longer) = 369,600 sqft
That’s an extra 20 square miles of presentation for every 5 miles of trolling!
Return on Energy: A very larger striped bass will swim great lengths to eat a very large baitfish, including a huge eel or sea worm. It you think about it, a 40-pound striper won’t expend a whole lot of energy to go and eat a small silverside or sand eel more commonly associated with big bait balls. But she won’t think twice about the biggest sea worm she’s seen in her life! That’s a healthy lunch!
Big Juicy: There’s no doubt that the “worm” part of the tube and worm is a huge part of the equation. The tube and worm is remarkably effective because it is both a lure and live bait offering. While a striper might come and investigate the tube from quite a distance, it is the sea worm that seals the deal. While big sea worms may be hard to find, bigger is always better. Often you will see a bump of the tip of the rod. That could either be:
A striper sampling the goods: If she likes what she tastes, she’ll come back for more. If you have a big worm, you’ll more likely have an offering for a second course!
A Bait Stealer: In the Northeast, porgies are know bait stealers while tubing. A bigger worm will give those little bait stealers more to work on and trust me, they’ll get out of the way if a 40-pound striper comes charging in to appropriate their snack!