Zoom Baits are synonymous with bass fishing and when they released a new lure, it gets anglers attention. I've been fishing the new Zoom Beatdown the last few weeks and already it has become a new favorite option for me on a Ned Rig. Considering the first 10 minutes I fished one I landed a 6-pound bass and broke off another big one, I was quickly impressed with how it looked in the water and more importantly how it fished.
There is not much special about plastics for Ned rigs. But that is sort of the point. It has been well documented in various studies that bass prefer a forage of about 3-4 inches and a simple straight profile. That's what made baits like the tube, shaky head, and even spy baits such an immediate sensation.
The Zoom Beatdown is approximately 3 1/4 inches long. It features a blunt-nosed, thicker end and tapering rounded tail. That profile does more than anglers would think at first glance.
The two main things you want in a ned rig are the abilities to glide and a bit of tail wag just behind the hook.
The Zoom Beatdown is firm for better rigging on a ned head but soft enough that the bait has some undulating on the fall, a bit of tail wag when you shake it and the bait is a bit thicker and heavier in the head section so it glides through the water.
All of this adds up to a very natural action in the water to provide a lot of versatility in presentations.
Where I have found the most success with the Zoom Beatdown has been fishing it around pods of small baitfish on this late spring and early summer. The fry and bait on the lake is all very small around 1 to 3 inches. This is a perfect profile for bass that are roaming around places like boat docks, flooded cover and even just around shade hoarding pods of small baitfish.
I have been casting it and reeling it just a foot or two under the surface on a slick days where I've seen a lot of bait congregating. Then I've also been catching fish by fishing it vertically around shade cover. I will pitch the bait out on the cover, let it pendulum down and give it some pops. If it hits bottom I will shake it a bit and then start a slow reel.
I've been catching some big ones on the fall through bait and shade which tells me this bait has the right action. I think it mimics a small bait fish falling out of a pod of bait into the bass's strike zone.
I've stuck with mostly three colors thus far, although I'm sure all 8 of the colors work. You can't go wrong with Green Pumpkin in anything Zoom makes, and I really like how they did their California 420 color with a darker back and lighter belly with red flake. I think that has an appeal of a craw or a baitfish.
But my top color has easily been the Electric Shad color. That is just a natural baitfish color and has fooled a bunch of bass around bait the last few weeks for me. I'm fishing it on a 1/8 or 1/15 ounce head most of the time. It's rigged on a Five Fish Lures Ultimate Ned Jig in this picture.
Gets big bites
I guess I'm not surprised anymore with anything in fishing but my second cast with a Zoom Beatdown yielded a 6-pounder. I saw some bait spraying on the surface and fired the bait out there. I let it sink on semi slack line, and the fish grabbed it on the fall. I had one on the cast before break me off on a dock post. Then I caught this one and there was no jig in there. So, apparently, there were two good ones. That would have been an even better story had I caught them both.
But I've been really impressed with the Zoom Beatdown. I will admit, I have been slow to the game with the Ned Rigs. But I've become more of an adopter with how tough fishing has been around these parts lately. I have been most impressed with how well a good Ned rig bait catches fish that show themselves. Whether that's fish I see up shallow cruising. Or some I catch because they were moving baitfish and exposed themselves.
The Zoom Beatdown is another great Ned rig option you will want to check out. You can find them currently at TackleWarehouse.com and a lot more retailers will have them soon.