ORLANDO — Two years ago, Berkley introduced a new line of hard baits that took the fishing world by storm with a flashy appearance and fish-catching action that seemed impossible for the $6.99 price tag they carried.
They’ve been expanding the line ever since — and they unveiled another new addition this week at ICAST.
The Juke is a highly versatile jerkbait that was designed by a team of world-class bait engineers and pro-anglers, including Bassmaster Elite Series pro David Fritts. The bait can be cranked, twitched, burned, paused for underwater suspension and an even trolled in certain situations.
“I made these baits with a piece of clay four years ago, and we’ve just been kind of refining them since then,” said Fritts, winner of five B.A.S.S. events, including the 1993 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. “I originally wanted to call it the “Herring” because it swims a lot like a herring, with that back-and-forth motion. But I think “Juke” really fits it, too, because it will do so many things.”
Because of its herring-like motion, Fritts believes it will be an excellent bait on lakes where blueback herring are common — like South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell and Alabama’s Smith Lake.
The Juke, which will sell for $7.99, comes in three sizes and has a flat baitfish profile that creates maximum flash and roll. The coffin-shaped bill allows for heavy darting action and side flash with minimal rod movement, and the dynamic paint jobs that have become a hallmark of the Berkley hardbait line create a great selection of colors.
Oh, and the baits are plenty noisy.
“It’s a got a knocker and a rattle,” Fritts said. “It definitely gets their attention, and you can cast it a mile.”