Stuff I think will be killer, I really like, or look forward to fishin’ — in no particular order:
#1 — Proven at this year’s Bassmaster Classic — Stetson Blaylock (3rd) and Micah Frazier (5th) both used it. Koinkydink? Don’t think so. Plus that little derby ain’t one where guys fish stuff just because…not that they ever do but you know what I mean.
#2 — The reason they fished it wasn’t just because it ran at the right depth and made a good sound, but also because it came through the grass real well.
#3 — Made of the mythical, highly sought-after by eBay hunters butyrate plastic which helps with “that sound”…sounds like “thud.”
#4 — When’s the last time folks got hyped about a new Norman bait??
Lil more info:
– Same size and weight as the Deep Little N, with the Norman gelcoat finish.
– Tighter action so it was designed primarily for colder water but….
– 1/2-oz, 2.75″, #4 trebles, 10 colors, MSRP: $7.99.
2. Rapala OG Slim 6
Gotta be a winner. Here’s why: I designed it in my garage, then gave it to Ott Defoe who made a few tweaks and there you go.
Hahahaha no way! Okay here’s why:
1. Designed by Ott a long while back — believe it was tweaked over time. Then other pros (like Mike Iaconelli) got a few from him and love it.
2. Already proven in tournaments, most recently Ott’s 3rd at the Eufaula, AL Bass Pro Tour derb.
3. Ott fishes in bare feet, even when it’s cold and rainy. He feels this connection to the water through the soles of his feet give his baits extra bassin’ mojo.
4. Every bait gets personally kissed by Ott or Jacob Wheeler before it’s packaged.
Okay not #3 and #4, but the other 2 are legit lol!
“OG” stands for Obese Gar, Own Goal, Octopus Gel, Old Geezer or Ott’s Garage — you pick. Here’s some deets:
> A non-rattling, easy-casting crankbait that swims with a medium wobble and tight side-to-side action…a lightweight circuit-board lip. The lure dives to 6′ when fished on 12-lb line.
> Ott: “A flat-sided balsa-wood bait…so much of the year it’s about imitating baitfish. I’ve been fishing balsa-wood baits my whole career.”
> “…we’ve kind of needed something like that. Something not as wide-action, but something not as tight-action and more castable — something inbetween.
> “The thinness of that circuit-board lip actually helps cut the water really well. It’s a really, really key component.”
> Another key detail DeFoe designed into the OG Slim 6 is the line-tie placement in the bait’s nose. “You want the line-tie up there to keep the action tight. It makes the bait more natural, more subtle.”
2.75″, 1/2-oz, 14 colors, MSRP = $9.99. Fishin’-wise Ott says:
> “I’m not burning the bait. It’s just a slow, steady retrieve. I’m going to reel that bait down to the bottom, bump it off of a piece of cover, stop and pause. Because I want the bait to hang there — have that bait just barely, barely rise — or even suspend.”
3. Berkley Frittside 5 Biggun’
#1 — David Fritts designed it, and David only designs great crankbaits.
#2 — Fritts designed it to be a better version of one of the baits he used to win the ’93 Classic at Logan Martin, AL…a handmade deal, not one of the Poe’s. David said:
> A guy named Steve Blazer made it. They were similar to baits that came from the late Ronnie Tapp, a great bass fishermen from SC.
#3 — 7 guys in the ’19 Classic fished the bait, which up til then was pretty much unknown. 4 were in the top 20, and Edwin Evers was highest (8th).
#4 — That same pecan farmer named Edwin won 2 trophies at once in the Bass Pro Tour Champeenship using a Frittside.
#5 — Once the word got out I think at one point the baits were even sold out?
#6 — 3 people in the Carolinas have named their kids “Fritts-Si” already this year.
Okay all true except for #6, which honestly might be true too, who knows?
Anyhow, the Frittside first came out in the #5, #7 and #9 sizes, but APPARENTLY — I still don’t have one! — the 1/3-oz, 2.25″ #5 was the deal. So this year Berkley is rollin’ out the Frittside 5 Jr (1/4 oz) and the Frittside 5 Biggun’ (3/7 oz) — and of the 2 new’ns, David likes the Biggun the best. That’s good enough for me…and anyone honestly. Talked to him today:
> “I’m a bubba bait man and I like big baits. …that [Biggun’] was actually made with the rest of them originally — I thought that was the best one. I let Bobby Lane tie it on and throw it, and he said it’s best crankbait he’s ever tied on.
> “…gonna replace [several cranks], so many things this is good at. …throws well, and of course it’s silent and has that wood action — took us forever to get that done.
> “That bait, from 6.5′ and up it’s just irresistible — that roll in combination with the vibration. …been working on these things for 3 years. I think it’s the best one out of all of ’em, not that the Jr won’t be real good up north or in a pond or super shallow. But for a normal tie one on and catch a good one, that’s the one.”
He likes his Lew’s signature Perfect Crankbait Rod with a Lew’s BB1 Reel (5:1) and either Berkley X5 BRAID (for real) or Berkley Trilene Sensation mono.
I’ll get into his crankin’ setup in a future Blaster but will give you this: His fave color is “honey shad,” but if he wants a big bite he’s all about “long ranger” (yellow/silver back) and “rubbertail” (like a chart bluegill/baby bass) — “they will get a big bite,” he said, so there you go.
’96 Classic fact:
> “Fritts tried to avoid detection by the other pros during the Classic practice period by dressing unusually and fishing from a 1976 bass boat with a 50 hp outboard. The tactic didn’t work. Several pros recognized him and even stopped on the water to say hello.”
Lol! Believe he was a Classic rookie too?
4. Yo-Zuri 3DB Jerkbait 110
Also comes in a 110 Deep version. Here’s the deal:
#1 — 2 years in development because the Yo-Zuri pros wouldn’t settle.
#2 — Brandon Cobb, who’s a jerkbait master, told me this bait’s the real deal:
> Great action, comparable to “that” jerkbait.
> “I like the way it feels…doesn’t get a lot of slack when you jerk it,” meaning the hooks won’t get tangled.
> “…stays at depth well when jerking. Some bait will come up a lot when you jerk it aggressively but this one doesn’t.”
Brandon fishes it on a 6′ 11″ M Ark signature rod (out in Sept), the lighter-weight Abu REVO MGX Reel (6.4) and 10-12 lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluoro — 10-lb for typical pre-spawn jerkbait fishing, and 12-20 for ultra-shallow baitfish spawn fishing.
Quick story — the biggest fish he caught at the ’19 Lanier Elite was on a prototype of this bait:
Oops that’s the 11 he caught at Fork lol! BUT one of the things he was doing there was that crazy shallow jerkbaiting thing…more on that in a future Blaster….
5. CatchCo Mike Bucca’s Baby Bull Gill
#1 — Mike Bucca makes a mean swimbait. It beats up on bass. Maybe Mike’s mean too? Don’t think so but never considered it before…. Maybe the word “bull” comes from “bully”??
#2 — The Baby Bull Shad is good AND user-friendly. No special gear needed.
‘Nuff said man….
6. Nishine Lure Works Erie 115SD Jerkbait
Every Nishine bait is good…or great. Because main man Hiroshi Nishine is really a bait craftsman, with his own company. So I’m pretty confident this jerkbait will be real good…plus Nishine already has the 95SD (Shallow Diving = 4′) and the 115MD (Mid Diving = 7′) so this ain’t a completely new deal for ’em.
The 115SD is supposed to go to 6′, and I believe that ^ color is “BPB chartreuse smelt — 8 colors total, 3/4-oz, #5 Ichikawa Kamakiri trebles, each one comes with a snap and weight:
Not sure why those are all hard baits — just they way it worked out….