Okay, so big bass and stripers often get that way…big…by eating a ton of threadfin shad, right? So why not throw something at ’em that imitates one of their favorite menu items? In a nutshell, that’s pretty much the idea behind SPRO’s new 4-inch BBZ-1 Shad.
Designed by swimbait guru, Bill Siemantel, the BBZ-1 shad is, indeed, a pretty sexy bait. Just sitting there in the package, it struck me as one of the better-looking shad baits around. According to the fine folks at SPRO, the BBZ-1 is “one of the best lures ever to hit the market — in terms of looks, actions, durability, versatility and a price point that everyone can afford (they retail around $20).”
It comes in 4 colors — Dirty Shad, Natural Shad, Sexy Lavender Shad and Blue Back Herring and in three weights: Fast Sink, Slow and Floater. The fast sinker falls one foot per second while the slow sinker drops at a rate of 1 foot every 4 seconds.
I got a chance to throw one at Clear Lake the other day. Even if you’ve been living on Mars for the past decade, you know that this Northern California lake is one of the best producers of big bass anywhere — and is a particularly a good swimbait lake. So, it seemed to be the perfect spot for a test run == especially when you consider I was on FLW Touring pro Big Fred Contaoi’s boat for the day…who, by the way, had just won a tournament there the day before while using swimbaits.
Thanks to its four joints, the BBZ-1 Shad has some great action to it. Just wiggle in in your hand and you can see the thing comes alive…
In the water, the bait really shined. I fished the slow sink model and it had a seductive, snaky motion that Big Fred called “dopy.” He also said that “dopy” is exactly what the biggest bass key in on. Okay, so it’s got that going for it, too.
I found the best retrieve was a molasses-slow and steady grind with an occasional twitch and pause, which cased the bait to flash and then turn to the left, it’s body broadside to the angle of the line. I also tried burning it and it swam pretty nicely that way as well.
Well, the short version of the story was we had a tough day of fishing. The lake had been pretty torn up from all the tourney traffic the day before — plus we had some very unsettled weather. Bottom line: the fishing was slow and we only caught a couple bass that day, both on plastics.
After watching the BBZ-1 Shad in the water, however, I am convinced that it is a very fishy bait and look forward to busting it out on some Delta stripers this fall. I’m sure it would work on pike, musky, snook, tarpon, etc. too.