Tied Like Flies, Fished Like Lures, Buggs Catch Fish. That’s the slogan that owner and creator Heath Hippel chose for his line of lures about four years ago. For this fisherman, those words could not be more true. I started using Buggs shortly after purchasing my kayak in the summer of 2011 and have caught my fair share of redfish with both the Beastie Bugg and Curl-Tail Bugg, the majority of them being sight casted in less than a foot of water. To this date I have not found a better lure to throw when redfish are swimming through water so shallow you think they have no business being there. The soft landing, the flow of the bunny fur with the water, and the ability to imitate those tiny shrimp that reds key in on so often make the Beastie Bugg and Curl-Tail Bugg a must have in my tackle box.
For the past two months I have been fishing with the newest edition to the Buggs family known as the Hydra Bugg. I was excited to get my hands on this lure from Heath a few weeks before its initial release during a trip we made to Galveston in search of a few marsh reds. The Hot Pink immediately caught my eye since plenty of shrimp had been spotted the weekend before so I tied it on and added a 4″ hot pink glitter tail. I was excited to see how the fish would react to this lure with the new upgrades such as the dual rattle chambers, the larger curl tail, and a different shaped jighead than all the previous Buggs. On this particular trip I was able to use the Hydra Bugg in a variety of different scenarios with great success. I caught my first fish from a small pod cruising a shoreline, my next while blind casting a small channel with slightly deeper water, and another that was sight casted in eight inches of water. My initial thought while driving home from that trip was, “This Bugg is pretty versatile”. You can see the Hydra Bugg in action by watching the video below which was filmed on that day.
The reds had been all over it but I really wanted to see how the trout would react. There were a few key features that made me think that trout would be all over this lure. A few weeks later I got the opportunity when a friend and I made the drive to the Matagorda Bay area. I was able to catch a few trout fishing over scattered shell in about four feet of water while slowly bumping it along the bottom. After stringing three trout I decided to paddle into the marsh in search of a few reds and was able to pick up a couple near a grassy shoreline. While I haven’t had the opportunity to try them out on flounder, I could really see them being used with great success. The video below is of me sight casting a red in water that my kayak could barely float in.
What sets the Hydra Bugg apart from previous Buggs can be seen in the shape of the jig head, the addition of steel BB filled chambers, and the length of the longer curl tail. Heath still uses bunny fur which gives the lure that great realistic look while being bounced along a soft mud bottom or during a steady retrieve over scattered shell. While the original Buggs were all tied on a flat jighead that caused a slow fall through the water, the new Hydra Bugg is tied to a jig head that is more round in shape, which causes it to have a much faster fall. This Bugg also comes with two small air tight plastic chambers consisting of three steel BBs each. The plastic cases are held in place by a silicone band that will not warp or crack, and is located just above the small spring that prevents the soft plastic tail from sliding off. While the Hydra moves through the water, the BBs create a soft clicking noise that imitates the sound made by fleeing shrimp. While the Curl Tail Buggs come with a three inch tail, the new Hydra Bugg uses a nice four inch tail that gives it plenty of action as you work it through the water. You also have the option to change out the color of the tail depending on the conditions or to suite your personal preference. With fifteen colors available for purchase, you have plenty of options when it comes to customizing this lure to your liking. The Hydra Bugg is also a little larger in size than the previous Buggs which gives you that extra distance while casting and makes it a little easier for big fish to locate in the water.
While the Beastie Bugg and Curl Tail Jig will always have a place in my tackle box for those times when redfish are really shallow and spooky, the Hydra Bugg will too. The sound, action, and sight of this lure while its in the water makes it a great addition to any fisherman’s tackle box whether you are chasing reds through the marsh or pulling trout off of a shallow reef. My favorite colors so far have been the Chained Beast with a pearl tail and Hot Pink with a hot pink glitter tail.