Zaldaingerous, presented by Bassmaster, is a new YouTube series sponsored by Amazon featuring Chris and Trait Zaldain. Along with a transparent look into the Zaldain’s home life, hard-fought victories and heartbreaking defeats, the grind of the tournament season and exhilarating road trips, viewers will enjoy unprecedented insight into the outdoors, gear and fishing techniques. Watch the premiere show here.
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Running July 13 through Dec. 14, each of the 12 bi-weekly episodes will be accompanied by a live YouTube chat hosted by Chris and Trait. Episodes will be available on Amazon Prime, and you can purchase the gear used in each show at the Trait & Chris Zaldain store on Amazon.
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Native Californian Chris Zaldain and his wife Trait packed up for a weeklong road trip from their Texas home back to his roots. Destination: Lake Mohave, where the Zaldains have another home on the Colorado River, below Lake Mead.
The desert is a special place for Chris. “It’s where I spent a lot of time growing up, learning about bass fishing, and I love coming back here.” So does Trait. “There’s just nothing like it anywhere else. The scenery, the fishing, all of it.”
After a 17-hour drive across Interstate 40 through New Mexico and Arizona, the Zaldains arrived at their home. “We bought it to be close to some of the best desert bass fishing around.” Nearby is Mohave, a smallmouth bass paradise, and upstream is Lake Mead. Say no more about its reputation as a quality bass fishery.
Nebo takes the lead as the Zaldains tour the neighborhood. Call it their happy place to unwind, take in the fresh desert air, and begin a special project. “We’ve been wanting to do this for a long, long time,” said Trait.
The Zaldains are here with videographer Mack Green to produce a YouTube series in collaboration with Bassmaster. They will share their passion for teaching the sport. Trait outlined the series like this. “We want to be totally transparent, spontaneous and unscripted. If we miss a fish or a plan doesn’t work, then so be it. We adjust. That’s all part of the sport.” Expect lots of underwater footage and aerials. Mack gets ready to launch the drone.
“What we want is for the viewer to feel like they are in the boat with us. Chris taught me about fishing for spawning smallmouth using a Ned rig. In the video he goes into detail on what it is, how to rig it, why to use it. We share that with the audience.”
“Sight fishing for smallies along the Colorado River chain is special because you just can’t miss,” said Chris. “These bed fish standout like a grain of pepper in a heap of salt, thanks to the crystal-clear, snow-melted water draining from the Rocky Mountains.”
Technically, the white ring around Lake Mead is made of minerals deposited on the rock walls when the lake's water level was higher. But in reality, the ring-line signifies much more than that; it symbolizes a lake in the midst of more than 15 years of drought.
The water inflow into the Colorado River has been below average for 13 out of the past 16 years, with average water inflow since 2000 just 79% of the previous 30-year average. The period 2000-2015 had the lowest water availability of any 16-year period in the last 60 years.
Teamwork rolls through from hook set to landing. “Mack was flying the drone when we saw the bed,” said Trait. “I hooked up with the fish almost immediately, so Chris grabbed the camera to film it. I lost the fish but saw one cruising while rerigging, tossed at it and hooked back up again. I think it was the same fish.”
It was a memorable week for the Zaldain’s in the desert. Lake Mead and all its vast area, and the backwaters of the Colorado River flowing into Lake Mohave all provided the setting for getting away from it all.