Everyone wants to know all about the latest hot lure, the next bait trend or the secret bait the "pros" are using. And, why not? This is an evolving sport. The more knowledge we have, the better.
From a bait company owner and a touring pro, I have a dual interest in that question myself. But the whole thing is more complicated than you might think.
Back about 10 years ago a friend sent me a handmade version of a Whopper Plopper. I carried that thing around in my tackle box for years, only throwing it occasionally to see what it looked like in the water. I never caught anything with it.
A few years after that I saw all the interest developing in spy baits. I thought they looked silly. Nevertheless, I bought one and fished with it. It performed better than I thought it would but that was about all there was to it. Like the handmade Whopper Plopper, I carried it around without fishing it.
Since then, I’ve caught a ton of fish on both of those baits. In fact, I have even designed a spy bait called the Spin John 80 for SPRO that is coming out this summer.
I did get in on the front side of one new bait, though — the ChatterBait. I managed to get my hands on a few right after I saw the winner of a Lake Okeechobee tournament fish with one. I caught a 3-pounder on one of my first casts with it. That bass smoked it. I knew immediately that it was going to be a winner, and so did everyone else who fished it.
The Ned Rig is a more recent phenomenon although it’s been around longer than a lot of anglers think. Ned Kehde is credited with putting the technique on the map. Ned calls it a "Midwest Finesse Rig.” It’s recently caught on as a staple for all kinds of bass fishing and bass tournaments, too. It’ll work when other finesse rigs won’t. And don’t be fooled into thinking that it only catches smaller bass.
The power of this lure was on display last year when our Lake Oahe tournament was won largely with it. I’m so impressed with it that I’ve designed a bait for it called the Missile Baits Ned Bomb. We introduced it at the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. It’s been on fire since then.
But here’s the thing: The fire under all of these baits has been fueled by Bassmaster LIVE. There’s no hiding baits on LIVE. You see exactly what the pros are using when money’s on the line. It’s the light that shows bright on what the pros are really using. That gives consumers the biggest vote of confidence possible in a bait.
If you want to see the latest hot lures, just watch a few tournaments on Bassmaster LIVE. You can see Stetson Blaylock, the Johnston brothers and Mark Menendez fishing in real time. You can see what lures a rookie like Patrick Walters is using to be on top of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year leaderboard.
I love fishing tackle and especially what’s the latest on the scene. Until recently, however, I had more information than most anglers, and I had it before they did. Not anymore. Everyone has access to it at basically the same time. Stay on top of things. Watch Bassmaster LIVE.