Blakemore’s Road Runner was introduced more than 50 years ago, yet somehow I’ve spent most of that time ignoring the little under-spin. But not anymore. Since the winter of 2007, this bait has changed the way I’ve tackled the tough days, the cold water days and even changed my concept of what you need to get a bigger bite in a pinch.

Today’s introduction to the Road Runner is the first of a three part series on this old/new bait. It’s mostly taken from my own experiences, although I was able to gain some insights from some specialists who have been holding out on us. In other words, there may be a lot more than I have to offer (there always is), but this series should put you on the fast track. No use waiting another 50 years to help your bass fishing.

The Road Runner has a wonderful reputation…as a crappie bait. (Note the packaging and a common crappie catching model pictured below.) And maybe that’s the reason we bass fishermen haven’t looked in that direction. The lures, by design, fish slow, the ideal crappie presentation speed, and that, of course, doesn’t fit that well with the uptempo bass game.

when-you-think-of-road-runners1In fact, virtually all accepted bass fishing variations of the under-spin, whether horsey heads or those with extended ball bearing swivels (so the blade can clear the body of the lure)–are larger or heavier baits so they can be fished faster–more like a “search” bait.

But I’ve come to see the Road Runner as most effective when you know about where the bass are–and ideally, in less than 15 feet of water. I’ll even qualify that a bit more. When fished at regulation (slower) speed, it’s better in stained to murky water.

And when it comes to bait (forage) size, it’s tough to argue the Road Runner is pretty good match to them all. Threadfin shad, as an example, may grow larger by the end of summer, but a great part of any population is still under two inches in length. Likewise, if present, silversides (smelt) or sculpin are also small or offer a small profile. And if you are talking fry–bass, crappie, carp or bluegill–they’re all bite-sized as well. The Road Runner fits them all.

Of course, I’m not sure reaction fishing all about a perfect match to the forage.  The largemouth, in particular, is a reactive predator. Pardon me giving it human traits but sometimes it’s disinterested, sometimes it’s lazy, and other times it’s just a bully. Why else would a top end predator bother with such a tiny morsel?

bulk2But they do. Again and again (and that’s why I buy them in bulk and customize them for the situation.) Chasing fish, inactive fish, and many moods in between. So now I find myself often carrying at least a pair of rods (sometimes three) that are set up for this reliable little lure.

Does that seem like a lot? Maybe. But I’ve got 40 plus years of catching up to do.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: How to fish the Road Runner


4 Responses to “Road Runners: You use those things for bass?”

by youngkansasfisherman

This was added awhile back, but i’m wondering what rod and reel setup do you use for the road runner? (you saying you bring along 2 or 3 for the situation) I’m thinking my reel is a little too “big” for the job. thanks!

by George Kramer

Don’t know what size reel you have, but you can control speed with your retrieve, youngkansas. Most of the time I use some model of 5.2:1 retrieve Pflueger President or Supreme in their “30 size” which is much smaller than other brands. I also use the 6.2:1 ratio, but I have to remember to slow down a bit. I have carried as many as three outfits, but have settled on an 8-foot, Cabo model used for speckled trout. There are similar rods out there. It’s parabolic and lets me put the full force of 6-pound or 8-pound (though it rarely happens) with little fear of breaking off. I’ll be talking about this more, probably next week with some other options.

I really like this bait because one day I had at least 18 different live and artificial baits and didn’t even get a bite, but when I put that white road runner on I killed the bass.

by George Kramer

I’m with you, Skyler. They get bit.