Here at Wired2Fish, we spend countless days filming underwater video of lures and fish. Kyle Peterson leads our field production efforts and shares 7 baits that stood out to him and others in 2020 and what attributes make each of these baits distinctive and effective. Observing baits working their magic underwater offers unique insights into lure design and helps connect the dots as to why some baits work while others fall short. As Peterson notes, most standout baits share an ability to catch fish and your eye. Maybe we’re not all that different from fish!
Kyle’s 7 Bait List That Caught Fish and Our Attention:
- 13 Fishing Jabber Jaw Crank 60. The Jabber Jaw is a unique squarebill crankbait in that its bill articulates against a metal flange to generate a distinct metal on metal clicking sound akin to a bladed jig. While the Jabber Jaw performs standard squarebill deflection maneuvers excellently, its sound sets it apart from others and allows it to generate strikes when fished in open water. Additional, quality components like premium VMC Hybrid Treble hooks are sticky sharp and keep fish pinned.
- Hardcore Shad 75SP. Is it a crankbait, jerkbait, or trolling plug. The Hardcore Shad does it all in true multi-species fashion. Despite its bass intent, this bait has the potential to excel for a variety of predator fish. While we’re still in the learning phase with this bait, it excelled on a recent cold water jerkbait bite. The Hardcore Shad casts far, gets deeper than most jerkbaits, and has a taller profile that flat-out triggers bites.
- Rapala OG Slim 6. This true Tennessee flat-sided crankbait was designed by Ott DeFoe himself and excels for cold water bass relating to shallow water cover. Like a Shad Rap, OG (Ott’s Garage) has a subtle and delicate action only balsa can deliver, yet is sized and fitted for making long casts and dancing around gnarly cover. It was a proven producer for Ott during his 2020 tournament season and is sure to add value to your prespawn cranking routine.
- Strike King Thunder Cricket. This sexy bladed jig is outfitted with premium components and generates a standout action and sound, all the while being affordably priced. If you’re looking for a high-performing bladed jig at a stellar price, you’ll want to consider the Thunder Cricket.
- 13 Fishing Whipper Snapper 80. Mimicking small baitfish can be the deal, and this little jerkbait mirrors small forage perfectly while delivering exceptional jerkbait action. Consider it during tough bites but where bass are still showing a preference for hard baits. Its small size means it’s best fished on spinning gear with a light braid to a fluorocarbon leader.
- Savage Gear Line Thru Baitfish Spoon with VMC Bladed Hybrid Treble Hook. This unique spoon has a hole down the center that allows it to spin freely around your line as well as separate from the hook. This spells unique action that fish aren’t accustomed to and near elimination of line twist and torque common to conventional split ring-equipped spoons. We further dress this presentation with either feathered or bladed treble hooks for additional flash attraction. We’ve hammered smallmouth on it, but consider this bait for largemouth, pike, walleyes, panfish, whitefish, and a range of saltwater species as well.
- Berkley PowerBait Shaky Snake. The underwater showcase what impresses us so much about this bait. The action is unbelievable, literally shaking lightly and seductively with little to no rod movement. Moreover, Kyle is impressed by its consistently straight fall, which rockets to the bottom with minimal line twist. If you’re into Neko or wacky rigging, this is a bait you need to check out, plus bass don’t let go thanks to the PowerBait flavor. Check it out in detail in Mitch’s largemouth Neko rigging video.