Since the beginning of this blog, I have consistently said that there is one thing more than anything else that I look for in people to interview…passion. Todd Grubb has no shortage of passion for fishing. He also has his own YouTube channel and is a big fan of fishing the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50. We talk to Todd about both in this interview.
One of the things I love about your pics and videos is the passion that comes through. When did that passion for fishing get started?
I always loved fishing with my Dad as a kid down at his favorite spot behind the Oak Grove cemetery in Medford Massachusetts. He liked to throw live shiners with a hook and bobber.
I vividly remember the time when he accidentally hooked a turtle in the eye when I was super young. I took it home and named him Leo and gave him eye drops for years.
The passion for fishing that I have now didn’t start until two summers ago. I was at my local swimming hole trying to get my one year old daughter to get use to being in water. A good friend of mine was there fishing and I asked if there was a lot of fish there. He told me the place was packed with largemouth bass so Nicole and I went and bought an ugly stick from Walmart and decided to give it a shot.
Our first few times out I was focusing more on getting my daughter in the water while Nicole tossed out a rubber worm. Well she started catching fish every time we would go to the pond. Well one day in early July we went to visit my buddy at his house on a small pond in Brookline New Hampshire, and I told him I still hadn’t caught a single fish while Nicole had been on fire.
He promised me that we would catch me a fish that day. I went out to the middle of the pond and tossed in a line and got smashed by the biggest bass I had ever seen, at the time, at 3 1/2 pounds and the biggest bass for me until the last day of the year.
What made you decide to take your fishing to YouTube?
Before Nicole and I got our first rod and reel, I had been making little videos of Lyla with my phone to show her when she got older. Nicole surprised me with one of the best birthday gifts I have ever received that June when she got me my first GoPro.
So when we got the fishing gear and Nicole started catching fish the GoPro was there to document it all. Towards the end of the summer and going into the fall I noticed a big change in the bass bite and I turned to YouTube for advice of course.
I started to learn a ton about fishing and different baits/applications and actually started subscribing to a few channels for the first time in my life. At the end of the fall I bought my first little boat and was full on into fishing.
The bite got really slow and most of the people I knew at the time had stopped fishing so I put down my rod and watched a freakin ton of YouTube fishing videos. Seeing these kids travel all over the world and fish got me thinking.
That is when it all happened. December 31st I was invited by a friend to go ice fishing for my first time. I couldn’t pass it down. I had been dying to go fishing for well over a month at this point. We got on the ice right as the sun was starting to light up the sky and within the first hour I had pulled up the biggest bass of my life through a tiny hole in the ice. 4 1/2 pounds of GIANT bass made me freak out like a school girl and that day, after filming all the catches, I decided I was going to start my own YouTube channel. I thought up a name, got everything in order, and put up the intro to my channel along with all of the previous little videos I had made up on YouTube and got the ball rolling.
What do you want to convey about yourself and fishing through YouTube?
There are a few things I would like to convey with my channel going forward.
1 – To document the progress of a brand new fisherman and his family
2 – To show everyone that with time, effort, and some good friends anything is possible.
3 – I love to entertain, and I want my channel to be as entertaining as possible and also provide information on how to fish for the largemouth and smallmouth bass I have grown to love
4 – To progress in quality of my videos and fishing. If there is one thing I have learned in my short time here on this earth it is that you can always be better in anything that you do. As soon as you think you are the best at something you instantly are not. So if you take a look at my early videos and then take a look at what I have been putting out lately there is a HUGE difference in my audio/video/editing quality and my goal is to always be evolving and becoming a better angler/videographer on a consistent basis.
5 – To teach my two beautiful baby girls how to fish along with all the kids of their generation and beyond. My goal is to make fishing cool to kids and make them want to get out in the outdoors to really experience life. Not be stuck inside behind a TV screen playing video games or watching crappy television.
6 – I see all these dudes in the Midwest, California, Florida, and all these big bass zones getting a name for themselves and their states. I want to help put NEW ENGLAND FISHING on the map!
I want to focus on one of the baits that came through one of your videos, the rat. What specific model are you using?
Ahhhhhh the Rat… What a great bait. I use the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50. The confidence with this bait came in one night tossing it with two of my great friends Steve Tosti of “Don’t Eat Bass” and Colby Couture. Colby wanted to show me how the rat worked so he took me to “the pond that which we don’t speak” for a night of fun.
He hooked me up with his swimbait rod and one of his extra rats. What an epic night that was. I’ll never forget how many big fish we got between the three of us. Not only was I hooked on night fishing but I needed my own BBZ Rat!
Is this a largemouth bass bait only or do you also use it for smallmouth bass as well?
Fishing the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50 totally works for largemouth and smallmouth. The only thing is the smallmouth have a hard time getting it in their mouth so downsizing to the 40 works well for smallmouth. Although I have caught plenty on the 50 and if you are going for that big bite you might as well toss the big one.
I know you love fishing the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50 at night. What are the keys to effectively working this bait while night fishing?
When I fish the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50 at night I don’t fish with my eyes. I use my ear. I will toss the bait out and give it a second. When you retrieve the rat, it knocks loudly and has a loud rattle in it as well. You can hear it clear as day. If you hear the bait on your steady retrieve you are doing it right. So I listen for the knock and when I hear a splash, since the bass explode on it, I set the hook.
Are there specific conditions that you will also use it during the day?
My favorite times to toss the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50 are from dusk until dawn with little to no wind. But I have had some awesome full days with the rat as well! Usually its an overcast day with a light breeze and maybe even a touch of rain.
If the fish are busting the surface go for it. I do the exact same thing I do at night. I actually look away from the bait and use my ear to make sure the bait is doing the right thing. I did a little challenge one day with a friend and I pretty much only tossed the rat all day while he tossed conventional tackle and the Rat was the winner by far. Check out the YouTube video from that day.
How much does color play a factor in these topwater baits?
I have found that I personally like a SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50 with a white bottom. From there I will change up the color of the tail. I usually go for a white tail during the day or in clear water and a chartreuse tail at night or in muddy waters.
What setup do you use for throwing the SPRO BBZ-1 Rat 50?
I use a “Fishing with Flair” Favorite Froggin Flippin Stick, an Okuma Citrix 364 Series Casting Reel, and 20lb fluorocarbon line. The rod is extra heavy, fast action and long. The rod can toss that rat a mile and has a hell of a backbone when you get a big mama on.
You want a 300 series reel to hold the amount of 20lb line that you are going to want to toss a bait that big and it also needs to be able to handle a 2 plus ounce bait. The 20lb fluorocarbon has the perfect amount of stretch and doesn’t get caught in your treble hooks the way braid does. I recommend braid or mono for any rat smaller than the 50.
What are your favorite local waters to throw the rat?
My Favorite local waters to toss the rat is any place I haven’t tossed it yet. I am dying to get the boat into some of the bigger bodies of water in New Hampshire this summer and toss it around. It works literally everywhere. I love to change it up and not keep tossing it at the same place.
I have found that tiny shallow ponds with a lot of weeds/milfoil are incredible but I also love pulling them out of docks in 5 feet of water that drops off to 15 feet near the boat. I have had luck tossing it in 3 feet of 51 degree water and just as much luck in 10 feet of water in front of a grass line…the thing just calls up GIANT FISH.
Before we end, what is in the works for the channel?
I have so many ideas and things I want to do with the Fishing GrubbZ channel going forward. I have a fishing news program I want to get off the ground along with a “how to fish” series. You can expect some more big giveaways and MUCH MORE in the ways of tossing bigger swimbaits. Just got my first good fish on my MS Slammer on my birthday!
But the biggest and most exciting thing I have going on right now is a second channel that my good friend John from “John’s Fish Tales’ came up with. It is called “Hooksets for Kids” and it is a charity channel in which all the money generated from the channel, once monetized, will be donated to a different children’s charity once a year.
Basically John realized that not everyone has money to donate to charity but we all have time and in our community almost all of us make our own fishing videos. So the goal is to get the channel to 1000 subscribers as soon as we can and get the 4000 hours of watch time to get monetized and instead of accepting money from people as a donation we will be accepting videos for the channel and of course views. This is going to be huge and it is much bigger and more important than my channel. I feel like with a lot of work we can really make a huge difference in some kids lives!
You can also be expecting more traveling fishing videos. I love fishing in New Hampshire but I want to travel the states/the world and catch fish. I took my first ever fishing trip to Florida to fish with Captain Mikey Moser of Sawgrass Bassin last month and it was one of the best experiences of my life. So you can count on many more videos in different parts of our beautiful country!
Thank you Todd for the great information. Great idea on the new channel. Wish you best of success!