By: Captain John Curry

Popper Shad-Fishbelly International


The Popper Shad by Fishbelly International is a unique twist on a soft plastic bait.
The exact reason why I love my Tackle Grab subscription: You never know what new innovative product will come in your shipment each month. This soft plastic bait has the ability to “pop” on top like a hard-bait popper, yet it’s soft so the fish will hold on longer for good hook sets. The best way to rig this is with a single worm hook and no weight. The bait is 6” long and probably weighs a good half-ounce, so casting it on light braid is easy; cast and quickly pop the bait on the surface, pause a few seconds, and pop it again. This bait will quickly become your go-to bait when fish are busting on the surface. Fresh or saltwater anglers both will benefit from having these in their arsenal.

River 2 Sea- WideGlide Surface 120F


The Wideglide 120F by River2Sea is a walk-the-dog style of surface bait with many different features. First of all this bait walks in wide arcs due to the design shape. The intent of this bait is to move in a sweeping side-to-side action with much longer strides than your normal walk-the-dog style hard bait. The action is incredible and I tried various retrieves and found that if you simply pull and crank in a slower fashion it will produce a very lifelike side-to-side wounded baitfish action. If you’re using a steel leader, make sure the front swivel is not too heavy as this will pull the bait down from the front and will limit the action. Designed by famous big-fish catcher Larry Dahlberg so you know some serious research was put into this lure. My shipment came in the silver sucker color pattern in the 4.5” surface version.

Castaic Softbaits-JERKY J EEL 7”


Castaic SwimBait company is known for its largemouth bass line of hard and soft baits. With the introduction of the JERKY J EEL the company now has its crosshairs on us saltwater anglers and guides. The JERKY J EEL is as lifelike a soft plastic bait as you can get. Rigged on a 1 oz. jig head, this bait swims just like the real thing. Proven on stripers and sea bass. I can’t wait to pitch these to cruising cobia on the Gulf this week. I have the French Blue color but think any color will work as it’s really about the shape and action with these baits. They do have a plastic smell to them so I would recommend using a spray-on bait scent. Make sure you impart some good sweeping action to your retrieve and hold on!