An SSWA member, Steven, is a big bass fisherman who is relatively new to the inshore salt game. But as I have come to appreciate, bass fisherman are usually very good fishermen. They know how to cast, how to work an artificial bait, how to feel the bite, and how to find the fish. Converting to salt is no big deal, because they already have the knowledge – they just need to apply it in a different way.
Steven is a fan of our TroutEye jigs and was out yesterday and had a great day. First, he caught his personal best redfish (31″). He caught six more and completed his lowcountry slam with a trout and flounder. But the icing on the cake was a SHEEPY caught on artificial bait for the grand-slam!
All his fish were caught on Trout Eye jigheads. Way to go Steven 🙂
Those of you fellow junkies who share our addition to topwater fishing will attest that there is nothing quite like an aggressive blowup on a topwater plug. Each species of fish takes the plug in a different way. Trout can be very eager, often banging the plug two feet out of the water in their attempt at a meal, but if you have been in this game long enough, you know that the gator trout don’t really do that…they slurp. We hope for this kind of subtle take, as it often means you have a two plus pounder on your line. My personal favorite to catch on top are striper. There is nothing quite like the heart stopping, vicious strike of a striper.
That brings me to the redfish. Reds are a blast on topwater! Because they are built for bottom feeding it is not easy for a redfish to take a topwater plug. In order to strike they must raise themselves out of the water or roll upside down, both of which they will do. The result is like someone threw a bathroom sink in the water! Fellow pluggers are nodding their heads right now 🙂 The visual of a big red coming up like Red October, pouncing on the plug, then turning away in a splash will stop your heart, and create a life long addition.
With all topwater strikes, it is important (although difficult for most) to NOT set the hook. This is especially true for redfish. Wait until you feel the red on the line before setting the hook. You probably won’t need to set the hook at the red will turn and one of the 6 or more hooks will find somewhere to land regardless.
Ralph hosted Dr. Martin Toporek and John Smoak (SmoakStack Studios) for some fishing yesterday. They found some eager reds hanging around a submerged oyster bed near a large flat. Walking the dog over the oyster bed produced three reds over 25″. The smiles say it all…
All pics by John Smoak of Smoak Stack Studios
They also found a few pre-front trout using the NEW Z-Man Trout Tricks made with ElaZtech material and TroutEye jigheads. Look for the new TT’s to hit the shelves in a matter of weeks with 14 colors including the original color.
As you probably know, we are very fortunate to have partnered with Z-Man Fishing Products, a world-class fishing company right here in Charleston. Trout Eye jigheads will be distributed by Z-Man starting in 2015 as part of their product line. We should be seeing press releases on it soon. It’s all very exciting for us!
Today we had Joey P., sales manager at Z-Man on the boat as our guest. If you follow Z-Man on social media you might recognize Joey as having recently caught a 42″ redfish inshore on 10lb test and a TroutEye jighead. He had a much bigger beard then! Our target was trout, and we started out throwing plugs and the Z-Man Pop ShadZ. We had a lackluster bite with Ralph landing the only trout – We had many swirls and non-committal swipes with most of our offerings getting at least a little attention. Still not a real aggressive topwater bite yet for us, but that will change any day now.
The sun came up and we moved locations and started fishing sub-surface. Joey brought with him some samples, namely 3″ MinnowZ with the tails colored chartreuse using a new “special sauce” that Z-Man is cooking up. Joey and Ralph started throwing this while I fished the original Trout Trick (now a Z-Man product as well). It didn’t take long for Joey and Ralph to start whacking em. I held out for a while with the TT and managed a nice trout at about 19″ but the numbers were with the paddle tails.
Ralph and I don’t often fish paddle tail grubs, instead favoring jerk shads most of the time. It has most to do with the way we are used to working the lures. Well, this day has awakened me to the MinnowZ. I eventually switched over and we caught some beautiful fish on them. Big trout (We had 4 gators over 21″ today), a 23.0″ red and an 18″ flounder. We were catching big trout and you can imagine the smiles on all our faces 🙂
We had a really fun day. The wind kicked up to a gale by 11AM and that is when we put it on the trailer. Keep an eye out for Z-Man press releases coming in the next few months about Trout Tricks and Trout Eye Jigs!