There’s probably not a person in the world that has made more casts and caught more smallmouth on the Rebel Teeny Wee Crawfish than Bill Schultz. Here is some of his best advice on fishing the diminutive crawfish imitator.

The equipment:

Rod – 6’6” or 7’ light action. Ultra-light is also fine, but much heavier than light action hurts casting distance. I like the slightly heavier action for the fighting ability as well.

Reel – smaller/lighter reel with long cast spool.  

Line – 4# or 6# Silver Thread Excalibur or thin diameter braid/superline

Modifications -- The #14 treble hooks work fine but I do change out the back #14 for #10. I have found this to be extremely effective in better hook-ups. I don’t take off the front #14 as this treble can be very important in the entire effort. Adding the #10 does not decrease the vibration, but it does add a bonus -- the slight increase in weight makes the lure a small “suspending” crank.  

Catching Fish:

In rivers, my most productive is a steady medium-speed retrieve; slower in colder water conditions. I mostly make long casts and bring the lure against the current or cross-current to enhance the wiggle and vibration. Cross-current can be productive as it will surprise the smallies and increase reaction strikes. Retrieving with the current will take advantage of river smallies facing into the current waiting for food. But, the vibration from the tight wiggle is like a magnet, so that’s why I tend to retrieve with current less often.

Other retrieve options that have their place are twitching-and-pausing, reeling slowly and stopping to let the lure either suspend or slowly float to the top to mimic a fleeing crawfish, or simply as a topwater lure, twitching it every so often.

For me in identical river scenarios, the Teeny Wee has been much more productive than the Wee Crawfish. But I do know guys who swear by the slightly larger Wee Crawfish. There are many great colors, but I primarily use Ditch, Stream Crawfish, Chartreuse, Fire Tiger and Chartreuse/Green Back.

In clear water they all work. Typically, I do not match the hatch, but have on occasion. In water that is less clear, I usually use brighter colors, but I really feel that it’s the vibration from the tight wiggle that attracts the fish and encourages them to strike.

A few stories about fishing the Teeny Wee:

The first cast with the very first Teeny Wee Crawfish I ever used produced two bluegills. One was about 8 inches and the other about 5. I bought it to use on a pond I had access to in 1992 for the bluegills. It was on that pond that I found out how much the largemouth liked it, too.

My largest Wisconsin largemouth, 21-inches and between 5- and 6-pounds, came on a Teeny Wee, 4-pound test and a 5.5 ultra-light. Yes, it was a fight.

My largest river smallie on the Teeny Wee was more than 5 pounds.

Once on the Milwaukee River, while wearing waders, I had a smallie on one rod with Teeny Wee. My second rod had a Teeny Wee reeled up to the tip and the rod was in my wader belt. As I fought the one fish, I was leaning back and touching the lure to the water and pretty soon, two smallies -- one on each lure.

I’ve had numerous 75 to 125-plus smallie outings using just the Teeny Wee.

I’ve handed them to other anglers who weren’t catching fish and watched their faces light up when they started catching fish.

I have caught 17 different species of fish on the Teeny Wee. I can’t remember all, but know the number. I know I’ve caught smallies, largemouth, Northern, musky, catfish, steelhead, brown trout, rainbow trout, carp, redhorse suckers, bluegill, perch, sunfish, white bass, crappie, and others. The Rebel Teeny Wee catches anything that swims.

Based on my use of this lure during all or part of 300 wading outings and a number of outings in one of my boats over the years, conservatively, I’ve caught more than 5,000 smallies on this lure.