This day has been a long time coming, but it’s really exciting that it is here…The announcement of our Eye Strike Weedless jigs as a Z-Man product, officially known as Weedless Eye jigs! Fans of ours have known that we have had these available for sale for a year now. They are truly one of our own favorite products, and are a game changer as far as getting the Eye to where the fish are. With the Z-Man announcement, that means that they will now be available at tackle shops nationwide, and at large retailers as well. We are very confident that once people try them, they will spread the word quickly through social media. It’s exciting stuff for us!
We have said it before, but we are very honored and proud to be partners with Z-Man Fishing!
Also looking forward to the reception it gets at ICAST 2018…
We are proud to announce the first two of several 2018 new Eye Strike products. We have expanded our very popular line of RedfishEye jigheads, to include a 3/8 oz and 1/2 oz option! These new jigs feature the same 4/0 Mustad Ultrapoint hook as our other RedfishEyes, but use a proportionately larger eye to accommodate the slightly larger head. These new jigs have been in high demand from our customers who fish in areas of deeper water, fast-moving water, or where the target fish are super-sized! Like our other RedfishEye jigs, they come in 6 eye color choices and are available as retail 3-packs, or in bulk with big discounts applied. They are available now exclusively on our online store.
The Story Behind the Omnipresent Trout Eye Jighead
LADSON, SC (April 19, 2018) – “If you look at a lot of the greatest saltwater lures out there, they all have one thing in common,” observes trout and redfish fanatic Ralph Phillips. “Eyes. A large, lively set of eyes. Underwater, eyes can be the trigger, the one anatomical detail that really attracts predator fish to a lure.”
Many seasons ago, when Phillips first met Dave Fladd, neither angler had lure design on his mind. Instead, the friendship was all about exploring the Lowcountry for the big redfish and trout that haunted its immense network of tidal creeks. It’s a bond between fishing buddies that remains today — years after the anglers laid claim to one of the most popular saltwater jigheads ever made.
The challenge in designing the Trout Eye, recalls Fladd, an optical engineer by trade, “was to make a jig whose head was predominantly a big pair of 3-D eyeballs. At first, we just made the jig for ourselves — sort of the ultimate trout and redfish jig that married perfectly with our favorite Z-Man softbaits. We started by pouring the jigheads six at a time on Ralph’s back porch. We had no idea what would happen next . . .”
A Z-Man Fishing TV exclusive, Project Z: ProFileZ takes you on the water with the folks who count on Z-Man Fishing Products daily as tournament anglers, guides, and industry professionals. Take a trip with us to our ProZ’ home waters to learn their stories and how they’ve ended up where they are today—as well as why they rely on Z-Man baits day-in and day-out.
Ralph and I are really proud of our partnership with Z-Man Fishing. We were asked to to a shoot with Shane Clevenger and Daniel Nussbaum last Fall and here is the result. The video focuses on the origins of our business and partnership. Ralph and I make a great team that is built on trust and mutual respect. Our complimentary skills really make the difference. We hope you enjoy the video as much as we had making it! As a fellow videographer, I always gotta hand it to the the one behind the camera and editing software: Shane, who is really, really skilled. It’s not an easy thing to do, to shoot great video like this, and edit it to this quality. Great work Shane, and thanks!
As of 30-March-2018 we are at $5,605 toward our goal of $25,000.
We met with the Charleston Coastal Anglers club last night and had a presentation by Waddell Mariculture, showing what they do and how they will use the money. Did you know that their operating budget only covers 9 months of operation? The rest is dependent upon donations and grants.
The CCA had a vote and they decided to help our cause and we can’t wait to see what they come up with. Some of the things we heard were very exciting.
We also have had a number of companies donate in-kind, through products. We are trying to decide how to go about setting up a raffle or silent auction for them.
Lastly, Vapor Apparel approached us about wanting to help. We decided to create a Project ReSpeck performance shirt with the logo on front. They will be available in 2 or 3 weeks and 100% of the proceeds will go to the fund! Big thanks to Vapor Apparel!
We still have our special Project ReSpeck jigs for sale on our store for a $20 donation. 100% of your donation goes straight to the fund, so if you donate $20, then $20 is donated. We give you the jigs for free.
This past weekend was the first members tournament for Summerville Saltwater Anglers. I had the pleasure of “guiding” two of my favorite people – my neighbors son Josh – a student at USC, and avid fly angler – and Grant. Some of you might remember Grant, who last time I took him in the salt had a grand slam including a club record striper. The kid can fish!
At the crack of dawn I walked out to prep the boat and was met by tree branches swaying in the wind…okay…that was not in the forecast! The strong wind made it difficult to fish artificials, because it limited the locations we could target that were somewhat sheltered. Most productive areas were almost unfishable due to a lot of bow in the line and the inability to get the lure down in the strike zone. Why are tournament days always a struggle?
That’s okay, because we started the day the right way, with a Hardees Chicken Biscuit. That was the day maker for Josh, so it didn’t really matter what we did from then on 🙂
We made frequent moves trying to find a bite and picked at a few fish here and there. Once the tide started out, we found a decent trout bite and in a 30 min span we each had trout to measure over 17″. That was fun. Josh had the hot hand early on, and Grant was wondering what was going on… Then Josh let him in on the secret weapon. A 1/4 trout eye jig and the “rat tail”, aka a StreakZ 375 in Ralphs Shad color. The next few minutes were a blur, as Grant put 1, 2, 3 upgrades on the deck. It was great!
Grant is kind of a flounder whisperer. He was saying that every time we have gone together he has caught at least one. Well, didn’t he put the only flounder of the day in the boat yet again…streak intact! I’d bet that it will score in the tourney too.
We had a brief respite from the wind while it clocked around to the NNE, then it turned on again like a turbo fan! Time put her on the trailer boys…
Another fun day with the future of our sport, Josh and Grant.
Ralph and I had separate trips back to the salt recently, and we were both pleasantly surprised with the results. Bait fish have yet to show up in numbers, I think delayed a bit by the last few weeks of relatively colder weather. All we observed was lots of glass minnows around. Not surprisingly, smaller profiles far out performed everything else, with the ol’ mainstay that Ralph made famous – the StreakZ 3.75 in Ralph’s Shad color – being the best performer.
I had a lot of luck with that profile as well, but also had very good success with a Swimmin’ Trout Trick in Mood Ring color. It’s a similar size and profile and the color is money in that clear water of the Wando river. And when I say clear, I mean CLEAR. It won’t be that way much longer – when the water starts to warm and the algae starts to grow again. But for now, its working real good.
So, in separate trips we each had similar results. Inshore slams, plus 20 +/- trout (!) from around 10″ up to 21″. Very encouraging! Speaking from personal experience, all the trout I caught, except for one, were snakes. In other words, very skinny. Mark my words, but the next two to three months will be a very aggressive bite with the trout, as they fatten up for the spawn. I truly believe it is still very important to release all these fish, at least until late summer, so that they can have a very successful spawn. Let’s let these fish rebound as fast as possible so we can all get back to and enjoy the world class trout fishery we have had the last few years.
As a reminder, try to handle your trout as little as possible so that their slime coating remains. We gently pinch them behind the head and only handle them there. Please wet your hands before handling them and also use a rubber net. Of course, dropping them in the boat does them no good! It’s the little things that will really make a difference whether your fish lives after release.
Check out this documentary “The Million Dollar Idea” about the invention and origin of the Z-Man Chatter Bait. The inventor was Ron Davis, Sr and we are friends with Ron Davis, Jr who built a business around the product. It’s a great story and very inspirational.
The wind machine (and king tides) has been relentless for the past few weeks. That hasn’t kept us off the water, however. Instead, we have been taking advantage of a little freshwater pond fishing recently – using Eye Strike jigs and Z-Man ElaZtech, of course. We have been field testing a line of new products that we are not quite yet ready to reveal, however, they are working pretty damn good!
If you aren’t tuned in to the comings and goings of freshwater fish, the bass are about to bed and we are seeing evidence of it, with lots of buck bass being caught in the shallows. The next few weeks should really turn on the bass. However, the name of the game right now is Crappie. The bite has been really good, and a great offering is a 1/8 oz TroutEye Finesse jig rigged with a Z-Man Slim SwimZ. It makes a great minnow imitation and of course the big eye seals the deal. The crappie are hammering it.
We had the pleasant opportunity to spend a day with Marc Descenes of VIP Adventures. Marc manages a series of sand pit ponds in the general vicinity of 17A south of Summerville. He has been doing this for 20+ years and he has about 6 ponds available for annual membership to a select few, and a few more that he only guides on. It’s a great opportunity for someone to be guided to a bass of a lifetime. Look him up if interested.
Our goal was crappie, and crappie we got. Slab crappie. They are an awful lot of fun to catch on ultra light tackle.
And, it doesn’t get much better on the table!
Remember, ALL predators strike the eye, saltwater, and FRESH. Give em a try.
It’s time again for our annual Ashley River Cleanup. This is an event I started a few years ago to address a problem that we observed while fishing the upper Ashley. Quite simply, it was full of trash. Literally everywhere. Something had to be done, and the Summerville Saltwater Anglers (SSWA) fishing club was a great avenue to tackle the problem.
Our annual cleanup of the historic upper Ashley river is this Saturday, March 3rd. Over the past 4 years, SSWA along with many volunteers from other fishing clubs, tackle shops, etc have helped remove an estimated 20 TONS of trash from the upper Ashley!
The Ashley is the only local river with a large population at its head-waters, and, its a very long river, so a can that enters the river way up by 17A, for example, will not make it to the harbor by the time the tide turns, so trash remains in the river for the most part. I don’t believe this trash comes from boaters and fishermen. It comes from roadside ditches, especially near our tributaries. A hard rain washes it into the creeks and into the river, where it is hard to get to.
That’s why we need YOU, our boating community to help. The best, most efficient way to collect the trash is by using a boat to get up in the marsh at high tide. A net on the end of a long pole is a great tool to gather trash.
Saturday is a high tide. +7 ft at Matceba at 11AM. Fishing will be tough. Might as well come up and spend a few hours giving back to the waterways that we all derive so much pleasure from!
I’m excited that this year we have joined forces with Dorchester county and Charleston Waterkeeper to get many (maybe as many as 100) land-based volunteers to help remove trash from the areas where the trash would eventually end up in the river.
We can use all the help we can get, whether you want to bring your boat, join the land based crew, or volunteer with logistics.
Boat volunteers, please arrive no earlier than 9:30 AM. Land based volunteers should arrive at 8:00 AM. Our cleanup is based at Jessen Landing, which is behind the SCFCU bank at the corner of Ladson and Dorchester Rd. Overflow launching will be at Dorchester Boat Club nearby. If we need you to go there we will direct you there with a map.
Hope you can join us, the weather looks to be perfect. Sunny and Mid 60s. Should be a great event. See you there!