Month: June 2015

Latest Phillips Custom Rod

Rod # 0015 is a baitcaster, commissioned by a son for his dad on Father’s Day.  This latest piece of functional art by Les has the full custom works; Fancy red, white and blue threading, teak end cap, split grip, three-color eyelet detail, etc.  It’s a real beauty and is sure to be a treasured gift – and with its superior blank and sensitivity will simply out-catch all other rods.  More on Phillips Custom rods can be found here.

Thread and Phillips Custom Detail


Iso Teak Detail


Eyelet Detail

Angelfish on Steroids

This is the time of year when you can have the time of your life catching spadefish at the nearshore reefs.  Well, really, its getting a little bit past primetime but you can still catch them, as evidenced by this report.  I’ve heard it described as “as much fun as you can have with your pants on” and I’d have to say that is not far off the mark.

Bowed Up

So, I have been spade fishing a half dozen times, most often successfully, sometimes not.  Each time I have learned something new, and yesterday was no exception.  So, I finally got my good friend, neighbor, fishing buddy and VP of SSWA, Ray out to experience the thrill.  Thankfully, my plan came together and he had some sore arms by days-end.

We had a large time and caught about 15 spades, which was pretty good since we had zero jellyfish for bait.  We caught all our fish on fresh shrimp.

Spade Kiss

I’ll save the details on how to catch spades to a future post, but suffice to say it is very, very fun and as Ray said “Pound for pound the hardest fighting fish he has caught”.   They usually eat right at the boat, and you watch it all happen.  When they realize they are hooked its an absolute rodeo on inshore gear.  I have hooked a fish at the boat and had it break me off 40 feet down in a matter of seconds.  They will smoke your reel for sure!

Ray w Spade

A note on conservation.  When you figure these fish out, you can load the boat with them easily.  But that doesn’t mean you should.  They are very good to eat, but only fresh (in my opinion).  We watched a boat near us catch many, many fish and keep them all.   I wonder how many of them will be thrown away after a year in the freezer…  Anyway, we kept a few and released the rest.

Spadefish ISO

A great day on the water with a great friend.  Spades, give em a try!

Z-Man TroutTricks Now Available on our Online Store

As our business grows, we are adding products that we personally use and endorse for improving your inshore catching results with artificial baits.

We are now a distributor for Z-Man Trout Tricks and they can be purchased on our online store at along with TroutEye jig heads and bucktails.

We currently have 7 colors available that we have used and have had success with. We may add more as we get a chance to use them and see how they work for us. If you have a favorite color that you would like us to offer, please just let us know.

“Pairing the deadliest soft plastic trout lure I’ve seen—now constructed from 10X Tough ElaZtech®—with a perfectly matched jighead creates a complete system that is simply unmatched its ability to catch fish when other baits and presentations are ineffective,” comments Daniel Nussbaum, Z-Man General Manager and Executive Vice President. “Both products have unique features that set them apart from other inshore artificials and, paired together, will absolutely help anglers from Texas to Virginia catch more trophy seatrout.”

“The TroutTrick is an amazing bait, and our ElaZtech material makes it even more durable and gives it improved action,” adds Nussbaum. “I fished the ElaZtech versions paired with the Trout Eye jigheads religiously last fall and winter, and the combination consistently caught more and bigger trout than anything else I used.”

Rounding out the TroutTrick system, the Trout Eye jighead produces the ideal sink rate that optimizes the bait’s ability to produce reaction strikes. Created by South Carolina inshore fishing guru, Ralph Phillips, the Trout Eye jighead features an oversized eye, superb balance, high-quality 2/0 Mustad hook, and needle- sharp keeper barbs that make rigging with ElaZtech easy and grip all types of soft plastics securely. The real differentiator with the jighead lays in its oversized 3D eyeballs that create a prominent strike target that game- fish can home in on.

“In 40 years of fishing for blue marlin and seatrout to everything in between, I have learned that predators strike the eye,” remarks Phillips. “Our Trout Eye jigheads are designed to have the biggest eye possible for a jig this size, and they just simply produce.”

“The Trout Eye jig is, hands-down, the best inshore jighead I’ve used,” Nussbaum comments. “The keepers really grip our ElaZtech super-plastic, and the fact that it improves the effectiveness of TroutTrick made partnering with Ralph on distributing it a no-brainer!”

Package Small

ZMAN_TroutTrick_PR_Image (Rigged Fried Chicken)

Partnership with Z-Man Fishing Products for the new Trout Tricks

We are very excited to formally announce our partnership with Z-Man Fishing Products Inc.  Z-Man will be distributing our TroutEye jigheads along with their new product, the Trout Trick.  Those of us in Charleston, SC know all about the Trout Trick.  It has been a local go-to bait for about 5 years now.  It’s gratifying for me on a personal level, as one of my very good friends, Bob Sanders, originated this bait and worked tirelessly to get others to simply try them.  He already knew how effective they were.  In fact, he made a living off chartering people new to fishing by using only artificial baits, and only Trout Tricks.  That’s how effective they are.  It’s great to see his vision come to life thanks to the fine people at Z-Man.  Although they are called Trout Tricks, those of us who use them know that they just as well could be called Redfish Tricks, or especially Flounder Tricks.

If there were any criticism of the Trout Trick, it was how easy it was to tear.  A bait would not last longer than a few fish usually.  Well, Z-Man has solved that problem by now making them out of ElaZtech material.  With this material, the Trout Trick is almost indestructible.  ElaZtech material is naturally buoyant, and when rigged on one of our TroutEye jigs, will stand straight up when left on the bottom.  The weight of our TroutEye jigs is the perfect solution to the slightly more buoyant material.  This allows the Trout Trick to fall at just the right rate to trigger a reaction bite on a speckled trout.

Please click the image below to read the full press release from Z-Man regarding our partnership.  We are very excited to be aligned with such an amazing company.

Press Release Cover Image