One day I celebrate hardbaits, the next I celebrate softbaits.  I cannot make up my mind lately which I like better.  I like them all, well, I like the ‘good ones’ from each category and work every day to understand which ones are good and which are junk.   The Little Booger from The 3:16 Lure Company is a sneaky little swimbait that fits into a tournament and more ‘numbers of fish’ sized swimbait category than it does trophy fish.  The Little Booger does things that you have to see to appreciate and understand.  How many popping swimbaits are you aware of?  How many popping baits are softbaits?  How many popping baits can put off a v-wake and swim in between pops?    The Little Booger is cool like that, and it’s a bait I’ve reconnected with this year, and wanted to share.


The Little Booger, a classic line thru, boot tailed swimmer, but the concave face and head give it something unique. Popping, swimming, waking and this thing proportionally is way bigger than almost all the conventional popping baits you are familiar with, but still small in the scheme of swimbait fishing.


Popping and Spitting Swimbaits

The Little Booger was developed to target fish that were keyed on bait, small threadfin and gizzard shad in the Southern California lakes, where the fish bust on bait all day long right in front of you, and you throw your  tackle box at them trying to figure out something they’ll eat besides the natural bait that seems to be in the billions.  Mickey Ellis is all about catching big fish, but the Little Booger is a tool he developed for a special application when fish are busting on bait.   The concave face of the Little Booger provides you a swimbait that not only swims, but pops, spits and dimples the surface.  Was does that mean?   This is a baitfish style swimbait. Not a trout, not a baby bass, not a bluegill…..but more like I’m trying to catch a ‘bigger’ one that is clearly eating threadfin, gizzards, or blueback herring.   The baitfish eaters.

Little Fat Boy. The Little Booger is approx. 4.5″ Long and 1″ Wide and is a little fatty of a bait. The bait is a classic Mickey Ellis tear drop shop, when looking at the top profile.


High Sticks:

I find myself fishing this bait with a fairly high stick, so I can pop and spit the bait along.  But as you can see in the video, the bait slow wakes and swims really good on it own, so its one of those baits you cannot fish wrong.   I have found the bait to be an excellent high speed topwater fishing swimbait, where just like a topwater bait you’d fish and cover water with, you can do the same thing with the Little Booger.  At times she skips across the water and even comes out of the water.  Long 8 foot rods give you additional abilities to make popping baits chug, pop, spit, dance, and skip.  I feel like I’m fishing a swim jig to some extent with the bait, because I can sorta high stick and swim, and just keep things moving and know that no matter what, the bait is fishing along just fine.

I use a #2 ST-36 Owner Stinger Treble Hook, and fish the bait on 17# copolymer/mono. One single hook, rigged line thru, with one prong impaled at the bottom of the channel on the belly, two points down. Because I’m using 17# line, I feel like I’m not over torquing the fish, because the line tends to have good stretch to it, where I’m not over doing it with an 8 foot rod and swimbait gear on a little #2 hook. Definitely could use a #2 ST-56 or ST-41 hook here instead, but I like the sticky nature of that ST-36, especially when I’m around busting and boiling fish that slash and nip, but don’t always crush and inhale baits.


The Little Booger comes in a 2 pack, for $7.99.  You’ll find the plastic to be beautifully poured and your baits perfect out of the package.  Mickey does excellent work in softbaits, including packaging.  I have re-glued in the plastic line thru insert on a bait or two after some fishing time, but other than that, these are resilient little swimmers that do something a little different than most, when it comes to the topwater spitting, popping, chugging game.

The 3:16 Lure Company Little Booger Photo Gallery:

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