soft plastic hellgrammites for fishing

How to fish with soft plastic hellgrammites

Hellgrammites are large aquatic insects common throughout streams in the eastern half of North America. The bugs get their name from their somewhat fearsome appearance. They're also predators that feed on other invertebrates like mayfly and stonefly nymphs... and other hellgrammites!

Eventually hellgrammites emerge from the water and dig small holes where they pupate until emerging as large Dobson Flies. After a mating ritual eggs are laid near the water and the cycle starts again.

Hellgrammites as fish bait

Hellgrammites are important to anglers because they are important to fish. These large insects are prized prey for fish from Canada to Florida.

largemouth bass hellgrammite

Where legal, live hellgrammites can be captured from the wild and used as live bait. Though they have large pincers that can inflict a pretty painful bite.

Many anglers prefer to use soft plastic hellgrammite imitations. These lures are easier to fish with and longer lasting. Plus, they don't bite! When used right, soft plastic hellgrammites can be just as effective as the real thing.

Angler's Emporium hellgrammites

Our custom hellgrammites are popular soft plastic lures used all over the United States. Anglers like Casey in Virginia have caught five pound largemouth bass on these lures!

Yet bass are hardly the only fish you can catch on hellgrammites. Most fish with a big enough mouth will eat them. We've caught smallmouth bass, rock bass, trout, steelhead, crappie and even blue gills on these soft plastic lures.

crappie caught on hellgrammite

We make our custom hellgramites in two sizes. The large 3" lures are great for bass and big trout. The smaller 2-1/4" lures are suited to bass, panfish and more moderately sized trout. Though be forewarned that exceptionally large fish have been known to hammer the small hellgies too!

Angler's Emporium custom hellgrammites come in ten colors. Black, chocolate, mayfly brown, natural, and pumpkinseed are closest to the colors you will find in the wild. Disco avocado and mystic smoke have just enough flash to draw in picky fish. Pink and white are standout colors that are attractive to fish in high and off colored water.

How to fish with hellgrammites

There are many ways to fish with soft plastic hellgrammites. Since hellgrammites live in flowing streams, the most effective method is to make your lure move realistically through the current.

Our favorite way to fish soft plastic hellgrammites is to rig them on jig heads. Insert the hook point through the front of the lure and out the back and you're ready to fish!

You can cast out and retrieve these lures. Just be sure to stop and pause repeatedly. Real hellgrammites crawl along stream and river bottoms looking for food.

Sometimes hellgrammites get swept up in the current and washed down stream. To replicate this, try drifting a soft plastic hellgrammite under a float. The key with this approach is to get a "dead drift" with your lure moving the same speed as the current. Cast upstream and let the rig float with the natural flow of the water. If your float stops or sinks, set the hook.

Of course hellgrammites can also be fished in still waters like ponds and lakes. We've even caught fish on them where we've never seen a hellgrammite. The lures just look buggy and lifelike with their many small appendages.

Try fishing our hellgies on a jig or under a float. Or fish them on a Carolina rig, Texas rig, or however you like to fish soft plastic lures. You might be surprised at the result!


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