A meticulous fishing journal

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a soft-plastic bass fishing bait

An inveterate angler and longtime member of Kehde’s revered Midwest Finesse News Network, Waldman maintains a meticulous fishing journal that captured the trials and tribulations of his prodigious, occasionally tense mission.

“I’d read Ned’s posts about catching 238 or more fish on a single 4” Finesse WormZ and starting thinking about possibilities,” recalls Waldman, a retired research technician.

“At the same time, I’d been reading posts on a different fishing forum where anglers were boasting about catching six or more fish on a single Senko-style bait before it fell apart. Imagine, being satisfied catching six bass on one bait, while we’re catching more than 200 with ElaZtech!

“I’d recently purchased a couple bags of TRD TicklerZ—a 2.75-inch tentacle bait purported to catch everything that swims. Fishing a local pond on August 19, I caught 50 bass on a single jig and green pumpkin-pattern TicklerZ. Couldn’t believe how well the bait held up. Realized that the design of the TicklerZ might be amenable to making a go at taking down the record. So began my quest,” recollects Waldman.

Brian Waldman and one of 255 fish taken on a single TRD TicklerZ. For the next month, every bass trip I took was with just this single bait, along with a tiny pack of jigheads to use and adapt as needed. As it turned out, the bait is more durable than many jigheads, as I had to throw out several over the course of challenge.”

On August 27, Waldman cracked the 100-fish barrier. “I was feeling pretty good about my chances, but found out the further into the endeavor I dove, the more nervous I became about losing that one TRD TicklerZ. I was also learning new tricks about rigging the bait on certain jig heads. I never used any glue to secure the bait, as I didn’t want to risk potentially tearing it further when I needed to change jig heads or weights.

“When you’re only using a single bait, you also get creative with presentation. I did a lot of straight swim retrieves, fishing the bait like a swim jig over grass flats and parallel to banks. Also did a lot of bottom hopping and slow swimming out in slightly deeper water. The most creative was fishing the bait like you would a frog over slop. It was cool to pitch a 1/32-ounce open-hook jig head over the mats and watch bass blow up through the veg to eat it—even though the hook occasionally trailed a wad of moss. I had to be super careful, too, about letting a large fish hang me up in the slop, as I was only using 8-pound test leader line on my medium-light spinning rod.”