Bass Bait With an Elite Status

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Largemouth bass famously cruise inside weedlines, slop, and thick salad for quick and easy meals. They also lurk deeper in cabbage, coontail, and milfoil beds and depth breaks doing the same thing. Bass are eating machines, no bones about it. Find a way to penetrate the jungle and the days can be rod-bendingly epic.

Of course, this can make our job as bass anglers difficult. It’s a hassle cleaning off vegetation after every cast. And while every tackle manufacturer offers a solution—and there are dozens of tactics to combat the weedy stuff—it’s hard to beat working a weedless swimbait, Beaver-style bait, or grass/swim jig to find—and hook—these salad-roaming beasts.

Along these lines, Northland is proud to launch the new Elite Series Cabbage Crusher, a slender, upturned bullet-shaped, weedless jig built specifically to operate in vegetation.

The bass-heads at Northland put a lot of thought, testing, and re-testing of designs into the final, retail-ready Cabbage Crusher. After much discussion, the team settled on a 60-degree tie eye which slips nicely through weeds and heavy cover and features a gap large enough for the stiff, heavier fluorocarbon employed by a lot of bass anglers plying vegetation.

Next comes the weed guard, which is made of titanium for both strength and flexibility. And it’s a dual wire weed guard – rather than one single grass guard – another key design feature. The bait glides through heavy cover without sacrificing any of the hook gap needed to sink the metal home on a fish. A molded-in bait holder and wire keeper combine to keep plastics and skirts exactly where they’re supposed to be, not sliding down the hook shank.

An any angler who’s been around the block knows that a primo bait starts with a good hook. That’s precisely why Northland partnered with best-in-class hook manufacturer, Gamakatsu, the esteemed hook maker that offers the best wire for strength and consistency, best tempered hooks that don’t break or straighten, and best hook point, which is worked to a blood-drawing point through a secret, proprietary sharpening process. This means when you do get a strike, contact is made, and the fight is on.

Gamakatsu Sales Manager, Ted Thibault, comments: “Gamakatsu sources the finest, high-carbon grade steel available and because of that it ensures there won’t be any blemishes in the metal that can weaken the hook. Secondly, our tempering system is brought up to an exact temperature that’s perfect for whatever hook we’re manufacturing. You still want some give. If it’s too rigid, it’ll break. Hooks require a little bit of flex to the wire. Lastly, it comes down to our sharpening process. It’s very proprietary. I don’t even get to see how they do it when I visit Japan. What I can tell you is the sharpening process is the most modern in the world and creates a perfect conical point that is unequaled in sharpness.”

Thibault adds: “Working with Northland has been a great. They have an expanding assortment of multispecies products. Having that Gamakatsu logo on the package makes a difference. And so does that yellow and red Northland stamp. In customers’ minds, both brands mean fish-catching quality.”

Northland Marketing Manager, Charlie Peterson, adds commentary on the new jig: “First, the Elite Series Cabbage Crusher has a titanium weed-guard which bends nicely and slithers through the salad, no matter what kind of vegetation you’re fishing. Its design is part finesse, part power, and a great way to fish big plastics in heavy cover. It works great with a skirt and trailer as a swim jig when the cover’s not all the way up. You can also add a big swimbait to it, or a Northland Crazy-Legs Skirt, or dual Buck-Shot Rattle Claw to bring some noise, and Impulse Paddle Minnow for added attraction, or the Beaver-style bait of your choosing. With the latter – Beaver-style baits – it works great for working beds of sparse cabbage or pitching wood. It has a finesse-style grass or swim jig-style head that slides through vegetation and around timber. Early-season it’s deadly in the shallow, dead vegetation and weeds just emerging, and later in the season I fish it in deeper cabbage with a craw plastic or a grub and just swim it back slowly to the boat.”

For rod and line set-up, a good choice is to fish it on 15- to 20-pound fluorocarbon main line or 30-pound braid with a 20-pound fluoro leader. For rods, any medium- to medium-heavy power baitcaster—depending on how thick the cover is—is recommended.

High school senior, second-generation guide, and Lake Minnetonka bass club member, James Donelan, had the chance to beta-test the bait and rigged the black 3/8-ounce Elite Series Cabbage Crusher with a black and blue jig skirt and shiner-colored Impulse Paddle Minnow. The result was a 20 fish day, as he worked everything from the shallow foot-or-so junk near shore and lily pads to cabbage and coontail in depths around 10 to 12 feet.

Knowing serious bassers will fish inches of water to 20-feet or more in clear lakes, rivers, and reservoirs – using either a finesse or power approach – the new Northland Elite Series Cabbage Crusher is available in 3/16- and ¼-ounce with 4/0 hook size as well as the heavier 3/8- and ½-ounce versions with a 5/0 hook. Colors include Black, Green Pumpkin, Rusty Craw, and Silver Shiner to match whatever the predominant forage is in your body of water. The baits come two per card with an MSRP or $6.49.

Looking for a way to get more bites in the vegetation-filled bass lakes, rivers, and reservoirs you fish? Give the new Cabbage Crusher a shot, either with a big swimming plastic, a Beaver-style bait, or dress it up as a jig with your own favorite skirt and tip it with the plastic of your choice. The options are endless…

Northland’s Cabbage Crusher will be available in four sizes – 3/16-, 1/8-, 3/8- and ½-ounce – and four colors: RUSTY CRAW, BLACK, GREEN PUMPKIN, and SILVER SHINER, two jigs per pack. MSRP $6.49

Available late 2022. 

ABOUT Northland® Fishing Tackle

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high quality components, and most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working! Word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand! For 40 years now, John and the Northland® team have been designing, testing and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for crappies, bluegills, perch, walleyes, bass, trout, northern pike and muskies.