The Bull Shad is known far and wide among bass fishing swimbait anglers. It has been a cult classic since its inception when Mike Bucca sought out to fill a hole in the big swimbait market with oversized gizzard shad imitators. He’s made them up to 11 inches and now has come full circle with his partnership with Catch Co. in the creation of the Baby Bull Shad—a mass produced smaller plastic version of his popular hand crafted swimbaits that introduces new anglers to hard swimbaits while offering a more finesse option.
Immediately, I appreciated the color options, the heavy duty hardware, the added durability of plastic and possibly some new applications with the much smaller Baby Bull Shad. You can throw it easily on conventional gear, even spinning tackle, opening up more anglers to his swimbait creations. Here is a deeper look at these small swimbaits and how I’ve been using them.
The Catch Co. Baby Bull Shad features heavy duty hinge wires, split rings, eyes, quality hooks and tail. The quality of these baits means you can throw them on 8-pound spinning tackle and 20-pound fluorocarbon baitcasting tackle equally well.
But I’ve found fishing them on a good spinnerbait rod or lipless crankbait rod works very well for these 1/2-ounce, 3 3/4-inch swimbaits. I get a great hookset with just a good medium-heavy power rod and 15-pound line.
Great details throughout
The color patterns offered and the detailing gives you good looking options to better match the waters you fish. They offer the Baby Bull Shad in shad, bluegill, trout and shiner patterns and everything from metallic to translucent color options that you can’t get with the traditional homemade Bull Shad swimbait materials.
The tail on the Baby Bull Shad is the same paint brush tail that has been a signature feature of the original Bull Shad albeit a little more refined.
A stealthy swimbait presentation
Where I really found the Baby Bull Shad has excelled for me this year is when I’ve been up shallow stalking and looking for cruising, bedding and just generally active shallow foraging bass. I’ve had some really fun catches already this spring on it where I caught fish I saw cruising. You can throw it up in real skinny water with virtually no splash and swim and dart it around in front of cruising bass to draw a reaction.
When I lived on Beaver Lake more than a decade ago, I would take a little small soft jerkbait like 4 inches long and cast it in front of me while I scanned down the banks looking for bedding fish. I would catch tons of fish off beds before I actually saw them with that little setup in ultra clear water.
I’ve found this Baby Bull Shad works very similarly for me. So far my best catches have been just burning down the banks looking for bedding or cruising fish and making long casts ahead of the boat with it and reeling it back at a really good clip.
It’s a slow-sinking swimbait that swims well both slow and fast. That’s not always the case with small swimbaits. So I think it may be an overlooked application where a spinnerbait or a crankbait is too obtuse for the conditions but you want a bait you can chunk and wind and get them to react too. So far it has worked well for me in that application.
Catches good ones too
The proof is always in the pudding with swimbaits. It’s pretty easy to make one look pretty. But does it swim well enough to entice fish to fall for it?While this small swimbait is not intended to replace its bigger cousins, I can already see where this is a fun option for some applications.
On smaller bodies of water that have small forage that rarely gets over a certain size, this could be just the ticket. Around the shad spawn, dynamite!
For a finely detailed swimbait with great hardware and color options, the $14.99 price tag is fair.
You can find the Baby Bull Shad from Catch Co. at these online retailers: