Yum® Baby Dancin' Eel
Target Species: Largemouth Bass
Also Good For: Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Northern Pike
OK, call me naive for running out and buying something I saw on TV. It was one stormy Sunday morning a couple weeks back that I couldn't go fishing, so I did the next best thing...watch Bill Dance Outdoors™ while I work on the web site. He was throwing the Yum Dancin' Eel and, in typical Bill Dance fashion, landing them left and right. I had seen this lure on the shelf several times, but just couldn't get up the nerve to throw it in the cart. After watching I decided that next time I place an order, I was going to try one out.
The Dancin' Series comes in three sizes: the Dancin' Tadpole (6"); the Dancin' Eel (5"); and the Baby Dancin' Eel (4"). I knew from experience that I'd need to downsize since most of the locations I fish are very pressured and these fish have seen just about everything that could possibly be thrown at them. I chose the Baby Dancin' Eel in Royal Shad, the same color Bill Dance was using on TV.
The body style has always struck me as odd. Some call it a crankbait, others consider it a plastic. I classify it as a swimbait. The lure is armed with a typical crankbait style plastic lip with a soft, tadpole-like body and a single treble hook dangling from the belly. There's a weight in the head and the tail is thin, pliable and somewhat buoyant.
Fishing the Lure
As soon as I cast, two things struck me immediately. There is a very narrow retrieve speed that must be maintained to allow the lure to run true and when you do find that sweet spot, the action of this lure is absolutely undeniable.
I like to test lures at Kent Lake, Michigan. The primary reason is that I know the lake, I know the pressure it gets, and as crazy as it sounds I even know some of the fish - good ol' boys that will just glare up at me almost as if they recognize me, ignoring my lures as if to say...nice try with that one buddy. So I took it out to Kent and the first time I got the the Baby Dancin' Eel running true, even the most seasoned veterans were at attention.
When you get this swimbait to run true, it's awesome! Problem is that if you vary the speed in the slightest, the lure will tend to roll vs. the beautiful tail flapping motion it is designed for.
There are times the bill seems to dig and because of the body design, the hook has a tendency to come around and grab the tail if you speed up, jig the rod, or slow down. Without a doubt, fishing this lure takes a little practice and a lot of consistency.
Bill Dance is a legend and the Yum Dancin' series is an awesome option if you have some basic experience on retrieval techniques and maintain a consistent speed. There really is no other lure out there like it and even finicky fish are intrigued when you have it running true. For that it gets high marks for action. However, the overall rating gets docked a few points for durability (you'll only catch one or two Pike before replacing it) and versatility because of it's finicky nature. If you have a well rounded tackle box and plenty of experience with crankbaits and swimbaits, by all means you need to try one out. If you are still learning, you may consider options that are naturally easier to fish as having the lure foul can be frustrating. Overall we rate it Very Good and a must have for the experienced angler.