Ever since soft plastic ribbed swimbaits took over space in anglers’ tackle boxes previously reserved for swim jigs, spinnerbaits and vibrating jigs, we’ve been looking for ways to increase hooking and landing percentages.
For those of us who knew Mike Bucca back when he was “Triton Mike,” a friendly fisherman looking for his place in the industry, it’s a little bit surprising to see him at a boat show, selling his namesake Bull Shad swimbaits. The dude is a rock star – posing for pictures, signing autographs, kissing babies. Watching him at the Richmond Fishing Expo this past Saturday reminded me of my 2007 trip to the Yokohama Tackle Show, where fishing fans lined up 100 deep to shake the hand of Yuki Ito of Megabass.
Shortly after pressing send on my last blog -- which bemoaned the fact that I’d neglected to add some critical items to my Black Friday tackle orders and would now have to pay full price for them – I got a pleasant surprise in the form of a cardboard rod tube from our good friends at Tackle Warehouse.
Back at the end of January, I blogged about how impressed I was with the Zappu Blading Pile Driver, a swimbait hook with a small willowleaf blade that paid big dividends for me on a recent trip to Mexico. I expressed some regret, however, that the largest size I could find was 5/0 – even my typical Japanese enablers on eBay didn’t have anything larger.
During our most recent trip to El Salto, the bite changed every day. It wasn’t so much the quality – our group caught fish over 7 pounds, and tons of fives and sixes, every day – as it was the way they reacted. One day you’d have a fantastic topwater experience and the next day, in similar places, under what seemed to be similar conditions, the surface bite would be weak.