If Doug Teel’s jetboat is on the Penobscot River, at least one rod is rigged with a Bullfrog Heddon Baby Torpedo. Simple as that. Often that rod is in a client’s hand, and in truth it’s pretty common to have everyone onboard fishing matching Baby Torpedoes.

“When someone starts catching fish on the Torpedo, everybody wants one,” said Teel, who operates Northridge Outfitters in Maine and spends the bulk of his summer days smallmouth fishing on the Penobscot River.

Teel has tried a variety of topwater lures, and many produce solid action on an outstanding smallmouth river. However, he has found nothing that comes close to matching a Bullfrog Baby Torpedo for calling up high numbers quality smallmouths day after day and in all kinds of conditions. The sound, shape, size and color seemingly are perfect for the waters Teel fishes.

Teel lets the fish dictate Torpedo presentations and encourages clients to experiment with cadences of jerks and pauses. Distinctive pauses tend to be critical to success, though, so he generally advises erring on the side of slow. In fact, when Teel fishes, he’ll commonly leave a Torpedo resting for a painfully long time as it drifts close to cover or just rests in an eddy, and when he does finally move it, the lure often gets annihilated.

While Teel targets a lot of visible structure like boulders and deadfalls and big, obvious eddies, he warns not to forget about the middle of the river, especially over broad rocky runs where the water is just deep enough that the rocks don’t all create visible current breaks.

“A Baby Torpedo is ideal for working that kind of area and finding the fish,” he said.

When a fish blows up on a Torpedo but misses the target, Teel advises just continuing to work the lure. It’s hard to keep from jerking it away when they hit really yard, but smallmouths often will come back and hit it again if you keep working the lure.

If a fish hits and misses and doesn’t come back, Teel likes to follow up with a wacky rigged YUM Dinger (another lure that’s usually rigged and ready in his boat).

“Cast right to where the fish hit, and it will usually get hit almost as soon as it lands,” he said.

Teel typically fishes a Baby Torpedo on a 12-pound test Silver Thread AN40. Either baitcasting or spinning tackle does the job, according to client’s preferences.