UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper Review

Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper Review
Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper

A bit of an offshoot of the popular finesse jigs made by Keitech, the Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper purports to do the job just as well or better for a cheaper price. It’s an American-made alternative designed by Bassmaster Elite Series pro and smallmouth expert Jamie Hartman (he’s got five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League AOY points titles to his credit, too), and it’s pretty dang good. Regretfully, I haven’t tangled with any smallmouths in my time with the jig, but I’ve caught plenty of largemouths on it to sell me.

 

Solid construction

Doing anything radically new with a jig is pretty hard, but the Lil’ Creeper has a handful of nice touches that set it apart. It’s a pretty standard finesse football jig, but the hook is amazingly sharp right off the bat, and the skirt is super-fine. The skirt is attached with a non-standard round rubber band that seems to flare the strands out really well. I haven’t seen the first sign of one wearing out or coming off yet. The hook is a short-shank model from Owner, and it’s a really nice size that just feels and looks right. I’ve fished the bait on 12- and 15-pound test, and though the hook will bend some when hung, it has been a champ with bass on the line.

One detail I like is the bait keeper. It’s just a standard lead barb, but its shape really does a good job holding plastics in place, which is a feature that some finesse jigs lack. I haven’t used the 1/4-ounce size, but the 3/8- and 1/2-ounce sizes have gotten the job done for me. The skirt only comes in five colors, which is probably plenty. I can’t imagine needing anything outside of what they offer. 

The weedguard is very sparse. It works fine in rock, but around wood the bait gets pretty sticky, which is somewhat to be expected considering the jig’s purpose. If the guard was a little more substantial, it might not hook fish as well, and that would be a crying shame.

 

The fishing

Designed for smallmouths, the jig is built with their slightly tougher, more compact mouths in mind. Up north, you might be fishing it a long way from the boat in 10 to 20 feet of water. I put the jig to work in 15 to 30 feet this winter on Kentucky Lake. Fishing deep rock, I didn’t get hung more than I expected, and I hooked and landed fish with remarkable consistency. Typically jig fish are pretty easy to land, but this little dude goes above and beyond the call of duty. I almost always hooked fish fairly deep in the top of the mouth, and the hook held up well for plenty of bass. Smallmouths are a unique challenge for tackle, but based on recommendations from a few pros and my confidence with the jig, I think it’s up to the task.

I usually tipped the jig with a smallish craw, and that seemed to perform well. The Jackall Chunk Craw and the Zoom Z Craw Jr. trimmed down a little both performed well when threaded on the hook. I never tried it with a chunk, but I would imagine it works well if that’s your style. I also think a smaller Keitech Swing Impact FAT (perhaps the 3.3-inch size) would work very well as a trailer.

I mostly fished the jig on a 7-foot, 2-inch, medium-heavy-power, fast-action Shimano Cumara (one of the original black ones), which is a fairly soft rod. Not that the jig can’t take it, but I don’t think you need a flipping stick to fish it effectively. A lighter Texas-rig rod or maybe a small swimbait rod paired with midweight fluorocarbon is probably the ticket in most scenarios.  

 

 

The verdict

It’s a very good jig. That said, the Keitech jigs (casting and football) and the new Picasso Aaron Martens Tungsten Football Jig offer stiff competition. The tungsten jigs have the edge on metal density, but they are more expensive, and I don’t see how you can beat the rest of the package the Lil’ Creeper provides. If tungsten isn’t a must for you, or you’re searching for a new finesse football package, I think the Lil’ Creeper is worthy of consideration for more than the wicked cute name.

 

Details

Company: Riot Baits

Product: Riot Baits Lil’ Creeper

Colors: 5

Weights: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 ounce

Price: $4.79 each

Tags: jody-white  article  tech-tackle-reviews 

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

We’re almost halfway through the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, which means we’re far enough along now for a little retrospective on what’s happened thus far. READ MORE »

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Ron Nelson, the Pro Circuit Angler of the Year leader and a renowned sight-fisherman, used a Keitech Swing Impact FAT for blind-fishing and sight-fishing at Martin and earned a runner-up finish. California’s Kevin Hugo took seventh at Lake Havasu and caught some of his biggest bass sight-fishing with a Little Creeper All American Trash Fish or Sunfish. Though the reasons why they settled on swimbaits varied, both pros can offer valuable lessons for any angler tackling a spawning scenario. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Martin

AOY Update: Lake Martin

Through three events of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, second-year pro and 2019 Polaris Rookie of the Year Ron Nelson remains atop the Angler of the Year standings after a second-place finish at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

FLW Postpones Events Through April 5

FLW Postpones Events Through April 5

Out of an abundance of caution and the uncertainty of venue availability amid rapidly evolving restrictions, however, FLW will reschedule all tournaments through April 5, except for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama, for which practice has already begun and extra precautions have been instituted.  READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Hailing from Ocean Springs, Miss., Andy Niles has now won on Okeechobee two years in a row. In 2019, he picked up the win in the Southeastern Division event on Okeechobee, and this year he got the win in the second Toyota Series Southern Division event of the year. Weighing a total of 44 pounds, 7 ounces, Niles takes home a new Phoenix bass boat for his efforts. Friday was Niles’ son Cooper’s 8th birthday, and though he’s probably not going to get the boat for a present, he’ll at least get a very happy dad. READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »

FLW Postpones College and High School Events

FLW Postpones College and High School Events

FLW, the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, announced today the cancellation and postponement of multiple Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing events due to travel restrictions implemented by universities and high schools nationwide in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

The weather is still splendid, but day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been tougher than day one. While keepers were pretty easy to come by early yesterday, that hasn’t quite been the case today. Still, the weather is good and there’s plenty of time left for the lake to turn on. READ MORE »

MLF, FLW Suspend Public Gatherings

MLF, FLW Suspend Public Gatherings

Major League Fishing and FLW announced the suspension of all public gatherings associated with their events through April 12, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee was great from a fish-catching standpoint, but somewhat lacking from a big fish perspective. In the lead, Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla., put 19 pounds, 14 ounces on the scale. Behind him, three other pros also managed 19 pounds or better, and there is an absolute stack of anglers in the mid-teen range. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been a beauty so far. Takeoff went off without a hitch in the morning, and there’s basically been just a light breeze and sunny skies all day. Though it hasn’t been oppressively hot, it has been quite warm, and after setting down on their first spot, many anglers probably never put their hoodies back on. READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. READ MORE »

Bank Battle Set for Lake of the Ozarks

Bank Battle Set for Lake of the Ozarks

When it comes to prespawn in the Ozarks, there may not be a better place to catch a giant bag of bass in the spring than on Lake of the Ozarks. And though the weather has been a little up and down over the last several weeks, things are setting up for a solid start to the Toyota Series Plains Division season March 26-28. READ MORE »

Wheeler Should Produce Mega Mixed Bags in March

Wheeler Should Produce Mega Mixed Bags in March

If you love mixed bags of big largemouth and smallmouth bass (and who doesn’t?), you’re going to want to pay close attention to the Toyota Series Southeastern Division opener on Wheeler Lake March 26-28. Local pro Sam George, who fishes the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, expects to see mid-20-pound limits cross the weigh-in stage, and predicts the winner will almost certainly weigh both green and brown fish. READ MORE »

Big Weights Headline FLW South Africa Event

Big Weights Headline FLW South Africa Event

With 38.03 pounds, the duo of Robbie Olivier and Neels Beneke of Team Gamakatsu Outdoors 365 took home the hardware in the FLW South Africa KZN Region Cast-for-Cash tournament on Feb. 20. Their five-fish limit was more than 12 pounds heavier than the second-place stringer (25.39 pounds) weighed in by Marc Meyer and Oliver Field of Team Stoner Farm. READ MORE »