Yo-Zuri Snap Bean Review

Yo-Zuri Snap Beans Factory Picture

I first heard about the legendary Yo-Zuri Snap Bean years ago. I heard many stories of it’s fantastic ability to slay all kinds of fish – bluegills, bass, crappies, trout, and just about any fish in fresh water. The kicker is it is ridiculously small – either 1/16th oz or 1/32nd oz. I decided purchase the Snap Bean and give it a try. Here is my review and summary of the Yo-Zuri Snap Bean.

The Package

I bought my Snap Beans at a local Cabelas store. I thought they might be in one of the crankbait aisles with all of the other Yo-Zuri products but they weren’t. I had to ask an employee who just happened to know exactly what I was talking about. He guided me to the panfish section and we found one remaining set – the Tennessee Shad version. I personally have always liked this color scheme so I was fine with it.

Yo-Zuri Snap Beans Box

The package comes with two lures – a 1/16th oz and a 1/32nd oz. It’s a little odd to me that they’d come together like that – I’d prefer two of the same size in different colors or just a one pack that was cheaper. I paid $6.99 for the pair. This seems a little steep for two very small crankbaits. However, they are difficult to find and are very popular so I understand the price.

Size

Yo-Zuri Snap Bean Size

It’s really hard to comprehend how small these little guys are until you have them in your hand. They are tiny. As you can see from the picture, the 1/16th oz is about the size of a quarter and the 1/32nd oz is just bigger than a dime. There is one treble hook located on the back end of the lure which seems a little large, particularly for the smaller size. I’m sure you could do some modifying if you’re ambitious.

Yo-Zuri Snap Bean in Action!

I went to a local lake that has some decent shore fishing to test it out. The lake has large amounts of small bluegill so I figured this would be a perfect trial run. I noticed immediately that it was extremely difficult to get any distance on casts. I was using a lightweight rod and reel combo on 4lb test Berkley line and I could probably not cast more than 15 feet max with the smaller 1/32th oz Snap Bean on.

As far as the action was concerned, I was very impressed. It’s always a concern with something that small that it will run funny or not run at all. However, it had a very good wiggle to it. That being said, if there were any specks of moss or weeds on it, it would change to an unnatural motion. I think that’s to be expected though.

Snap Bean Back of Box

It’s also worth noting that Yo-Zuri Snap Beans are not floating lures. The package says they sink 4-6 inches per second. I found that it sinks much slower than that. In fact, it almost seemed like the 1/32th oz pretty much floated an inch or two under the water.

Does it Catch Fish?

I absolutely slayed the small bluegills! It was pretty impressive. Just about every time I had a clean cast without any moss or line twist on it I had a strike. I did miss quite a few strikes which I’d attribute to the small size attracting smaller gills.

Bluegill caught on snap bean

Small Bluegill on 1/32 oz Snap Bean

Like I said earlier, though, I was at a lake with an overabundance of small bluegill and I was fishing during spawning times. I caught over a dozen small bluegills and two crappies in probably 45 minutes on Snap Beans. I also was experimenting with some bobber rigs but had much less luck with that.

Crappie caught on Snap Bean

Crappie caught on 1/32 oz Snap Bean

I still want to test it on open water or on a river and try to land some larger fish. The casting distance and sinking ability concerns me, though. I don’t see it being a deep water bait and so it might be reserved for bluegills chasing insect hatches and shallow water situations. Also, because of the price, have concerns over using them in shaggy situations like sunken trees and rocks but that goes for all crankbaits. I have quite the collection of found river crankbaits that people lost while the water levels were high. One final concern is that I’ve been told the snaky pickerel has an appetite for the snap beans. Because they’re so small, it really wouldn’t take much for a Northern Pike to cut you off and swim off with half of your $6.99 purchase.

Summary

I really enjoyed my time fishing with these little guys. I would categorize them somewhere between a novelty item and a go-to lure. The fish seemed to love them and I believe you can probably catch just about any species of fish on them. The only downsides are your casting distances and the rather high price for such a smaller unit.

Spring Bluegill Fishing – 3 Essential Elements

Spring Bluegill Fishing

Springtime brings excitement to the lives of eager fisherman. Watching ice melt or checking extended forecasts becomes an hourly ritual in many parts of the country. The anticipation of getting out on an open lake or casting from the banks of the local river can get the most patient person giddy for fishing. Many believe early spring is the best time of the year to catch trophy fish. Bluegills are no exception. Here are 3 essential elements to spring bluegill fishing

Water Temperature

spring bluegill fishing temperature

A light switch flips on in those first few warming weeks once the water hits that perfect temperature. Many believe that magical temperature is 50 degrees. Some have it down to an exact number like 52 or 53 degrees. When the water reaches that magic number, bluegills begin to migrate from their wintering holes to the closest shallow areas they find with some cover. Most modern depth finders or fish finders have temperature gauges. If you’re bank fishing or wading, try using a common cooking thermometer.

Water temperature also varies greatly based on which part of a lake or river you are on. Shallow areas on sunny sides will almost certainly be up to a few degrees warmer than other locations. That degree or two can make all the difference. Start at the warmest location first. Early season Bluegill tend to congregate to these locations.

Structure

Finding habitat is vital in any season. Spring is no different. Despite being aggressive, predatory fish, bluegills still worry about being eaten. And rightfully so. Muskies, northern pike, catfish and even large bass can chomp down on 8+ inch bluegill with ease. Cover varies from water body to water body. In some lakes, rock piles and sunken logs can be the ticket.  Weeds typically aren’t too prevalent in early spring but you might find some hardy weeds off the bottom. Docks and boat houses that are near deep water can also hold schools in the right settings.

Spring Bluegill Fishing Sunken tree Cover

Sunken trees can provide cover for concentrations of spring bluegills. photo via Joelk75 flickr

Structure is vital to spring bluegill fishing because it’s the best way to find concentrations of fish. You might stumble across a bull in transit or get lucky in a spot. However, to catch multiple fish, you need structure. If you aren’t having luck with a specific type of structure, mix it up and try another type. Rocks or trees or weeds.

Presentation

Presentation, in fishing terms, is the lure or bait you use, how you use it. Obviously, there’s no way you’re catching a fish without presenting something it wants to eat. Spring bluegill fishing is a great way to test out different presentations. A variety of techniques will work.

Despite this, there are a few consistent elements that all bluegill fishermen should apply. The best advice is to fish slow. In any season, bluegills aren’t known for following baits long distances or striking from far away. In the spring time, this is double true. They can be slow to make a run at a jig or bait. It’s almost as if they are debating it in their small fish mind. Little or even no movement can land a large amount of bluegills. Consider utilizing a float to control depth and movement.

Common early spring bluegill fishing live baits include wax worms, red worm/night crawler pieces, and crickets. Small leeches can also work very well but bluegills are masters at pecking them off. A number 8 hook works really well. Never go bigger than a number 6 hook if you’re looking for just bluegills.

Spring Fishing Atlas Mike's Glo Scents

Some fishermen have great success using artificial baits as well. Small plastics and Berkley power grubs will frequently catch fish. A surprisingly few amount of panfish anglers use bait sprays. Bait sprays give you’re your jig that little extra kick that can be the difference between a small nibble that’s spit out and full slurp. Berkley Gulp! Alive! Attractant Spray is widely available and comes in many flavors. Atlas Mike’s Glo Scents is another cheap oil that does the trick.

Go Fish!

Spring bluegill fishing is fantastic. You can’t catch fish sitting on your couch or at your computer. Get out there and slay them!

5 Bluegill Baits You’ve Never Tried

Everyone knows that nightcrawlers, plastics and small flies are effective bluegill bait. However, it’s time to think outside the box. Here are 5 Bluegill baits you’ve never tried.

1. Marshmallows

Fishing With Marshmallows

zimpenfish via flickr

Yes…marshmallows. Marshmallows have been a secret weapon for fisherman for a long time. Trout, carp, catfish and even our coveted bluegills will strike on marshmallows. The small sized ones work best for bluegill bait. There are two strategies:

I. Cast them out with a fly line or regular line and retrieve them. If there’s not a heavy weight on them, they’ll float and make a pretty good action while you reel them in.

II. Attach them with a weight and use a bobber or have them sit off the bottom. Many fisherman will use a worm, cheese, or powerbait with them to enhance the scent.

Regardless of the strategy, marshmallows are a cheap, fun way to catch fish. You can mix it up and use flavored/colored marshmallows as well. It’s also a great way to get rid of those stale ones in the back of the cupboard!

2. Bread balls

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Traditionally, breadballs (sometimes called doughballs) are known for being catfish or carp baits. However, bluegill will also nibble on them when given the chance. Additionally, you can beat the price. Everyone has some old bread that’s a few days past the expiration date. The process is simple: get a few slices of bread, wet them, and roll pieces into the shape of a ball no bigger than a dime.

The biggest downside is that it’s easy for them to pick clean off of the hook. However, with some patients and good technique, you can be slaying them in no time.

3. YoZuri Snap Beans

Yo-Zuri Snap Beans

These little guys are incredible. They are essentially mini-crank baits that zing through the water. Using Snap Beans is a great way to locate active fish. Another big benefit to using them is that despite their size, other species of fish will also strike.  Bass, crappie and trout will all go after these guys. Be careful to only use light line though. They can be difficult to cast.

4. Live Crickets

This might seem like a no brainer to some, depending on which part of the country you live in. In the Southeast US, fishing with crickets is common. However, in the upper Midwest, few fishermen use them. If you can’t find them in a bait shop, you can go to just about any pet store and find them there. Lizard, snake and other reptile owners use them as pet food. They are usually pretty reasonably prices as well.

The key to using them is to keep them alive as long as possible. If large enough, try hooking through a leg or back part of the abdomen to keep them alive long.

5. BOOYAH Micro Pond Magic

BOOYAH Micro Pond Magic

These are just flat out cool. Pretend like you’re bass fishing with these miniature 1/8 oz spinner baits. Along with the YoZuri Snap Beans, these are effective weapons in finding active fish and covering a lot of ground quickly. Keep in mind that bluegills tend to only follow a short distance so don’t retrieve them too fast or you might miss a strike.