It’s been an unusual decade on and off the water. Personally, I caught some personal bests, fished more lakes than I can count, and met amazing people along the way.
As an industry, we’ve seen new anglers, platforms, techniques, and companies (shoutout MTB) emerge over the last ten years that have truly changed the game. However, as anglers, the end-goal remains the same. And it’s simple. We just want to catch fish. With that being said, here are 8 of our favorite bass fishing lures or techniques from the last decade.
The Ned Rig
The Ned Rig was invented by Ned Kehde decades ago but this little finesse set-up has really blown up over the last decade. Originally designed for Midwestern finesse fishing applications, the Ned Rig is now one of the best-producing baits for any clear water bass. The Ned Rig was springboarded when Z-Man debuted the Finesse Shroomz jigheads and Z-Man Finesse TRD. The jig heads have a flattened and their soft plastics float which helps the ned rig stand straight up while at rest on the bottom.
The Ned Rig has spread like wildfire among bass anglers which has led companies (like us) to create Ned Rig terminal and soft plastics.
The Heavy Metal jigheads are made from tungsten which provides a faster fall rate and added sensitivity. The Sukoshi Bug soft plastics stretch, float and get bit lighting fast.
A Neko Rig is a finesse rig that uses similar equipment to a wacky rig, the key difference is the nail is inserted to the end of soft plastic to provided added action and a faster rate of fall. Use small light wire hooks similar to what you would use on a wacky rig. Rig perpendicular instead of parallel for increased landing percentage.
Best fished in clear water, the Neko Rig helps anglers provide a finesse presentation faster and more efficiently.
I like fishing Neko Rigs in clean water in depths from 6-16 feet. Anything shallower and I fish a wacky rigged Senko, anything deeper, I switch to a dropshot.
Originally a Musky lure, the Whopper Plopper made a HUGE splash on the bass market in 2009. The Whopper Plopper is one of those few baits that has managed to catch as many fish as anglers. Sometimes new lures come out that look so cool and exciting on the shelves to only have a mediocre performance on the water. The Whopper Plopper is NOT that. This lure fills you will as much excitement reeling it in as it did in the checkout lane.
By design, the Whopper Plopper mimics the action of a dying baitfish doing a death throe at the top of the surface of the water. The unique plopping action from the trailing propeller helps call in curious fish which often leads to insane topwater strikes.
The Z-Man Chatterbait has changed the way anglers fish in shallow water. Is it similar to a spinnerbait? Yes. Although it’s completely different at the same time. No other bladed bait puts off as much thump and pizzaz as a chatterbait while staying streamline throughout retrieval.
Early spring is one of my favorite times to throw a chatterbait. Look for warm, shallow water. Makes long casts and use a slow and steady retrieval working your bait parallel to the bank. Warm rocks, pilings, creek channels, and sunbaked shorelines are my favorite areas to target.
Earlier this year I watched my buddy land over 30 combined largemouth, smallmouth, northern pike, and bowfin on a single 3/8oz Z-man Orginal Chatterbait in a bluegill pattern. It was an unreal day.
Soft Swimbaits (Keitechs)
The Keitech swimbaits look, feel, and swim like a baitfish which bass and other predatory fish see as an easy meal. Even at the slowest retrieval speed, Keitech soft plastic swimbaits will continue to draw in fish with every their of their boot tail.
Just by simply casting out and retrieving, any angler can fish a Keitech swimbait with success. Plus, they catch pretty much anything interesting in eating a minnow. The one downside some anglers see with Keitechs is that they’re too soft and oftentimes only good for one fish catch. Thankfully other swimbaits like the BioSpawn ExoSwim have been developed which offer more wear and tear.
The Alabama-Rig (Umbrella Rig)
Easily the most controversial bait on this list. The Alabama Rig (or Umbrella Rig) created major waves across the fishing scene over the last decade. Instead of rigging one swimbait, an Alabama Rig allows anglers to fish up to 5 swimbaits at one time do its steel wireframe design. An Alabama rig looks like a mini swimbait chandelier made from metal close hangers.
While the Alabama Rig might look like a heaping hunk of metal that would instantly get snagged, when fished in open water, the A-Rig remains snag-free and resembles a schooling pack of baitfish.
The debate surrounding the Alabama rig still holds today with rigs being outlawed on many tournament circuits and restricted in some states.
Triton Mike Bucca Bull Shad
West Coast anglers have been throwing hard-bodied swimbaits for decades but it took a bit longer for anglers living in other parts of the country to join in on the swimbait movement.
Designed by legendary lure maker Mike Bucca, the Bull Shad helped fit the needs of anglers wanting to fish swimbaits in lakes where bass feed more commonly on shad. The shad body style and lifelike swimming action help anglers target the biggest fish in the pack. Not Before long
The Googan Squad Hard And Soft Baits
The Googan Squad soft baits and hard baits have put a new spin on classic fishing lures and presentations. Along with providing some of the best content on the web, this band of YouTube brothers created new products that will inspire the next generation of anglers to get out and fish.
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