Daily Limit: Zona brings bait from the barn

These times call for innovation, and Mark Zona and Strike King did as much for a live Instagram presentation Wednesday to introduce a new soft plastic for virtual ICAST 2020.

Zona went into the history of the Ned rig before providing details on the new Strike King Rage Ned Craw, a soft plastic that’s already given him plenty of action. The live webcast, listed on ICAST’s Online Schedule, started at 10 a.m. Wednesday and went for 20 minutes.

With the world’s largest fishing trade show forced to the internet because of the coronavirus, the reveal was broadcast from Zona’s Man Cave near his Michigan home.

“I like this. I like the vibe of hanging in the barn,” Zona said in his comfortable, humorous manner.

He even put twin sons, Hunter and Jakob, to work, one on the camera and the other relaying questions from fans.

Zona started with some history of the Ned rig. He first learned about it while fishing on Table Rock Lake with creator Ned Kehde.

“He asked if knew what Ned rig was,” Zona said, answering no. “He showed me.”

At first, Zona thought little of the odd head, reminding him of his initial thoughts of the wacky rig some 20 years earlier. But Kehde developed it for the Midwest’s pressured lakes, and Zona learned soon enough of its abilities that he now calls a real “bite-getter.”

“He caught four or five behind me where the lightbulb went off. Maybe there’s some power behind that thing,” thought Zona, who now utilizes it plenty on both Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show and Zona LIVE on Bassmaster.com

“One of the things, and all of you Ned rig fanatics know this, it’s known for numbers,” he said. “It’s like a drop shot. It’s going to catch numbers. Whether you’re in a tournament or out with the family, you’re going to get action when you throw a Ned rig. The other thing is, it’s an alternative finesse tactic … and it does catch big ones.

“Historically, Ned rigs have been very, very, very dull in action. They’re very subtle. That’s one of the things that makes them so good on pressured fish … and in very cold water.”