According to Davy Hite of Ninety Six, South Carolina, the lure designers at TriggerX worked a year and a half and created 20 prototypes of the Drop Dead Minnow before they finally got all its many elements perfectly aligned.
Besides making scores of refinements on its various shapes and body configurations, such as the hook-slot section on its belly, the TriggerX staff experimented with various ratios of softness and salt densities. One of their primary concerns was to make a bait that would replicate the faint and delicate movements of a dying minnow, shad and bluegill.
During the process of making new molds and developing new formulas of plastic, Hite, who is a veteran angler on the Bassmaster Elite circuit, field-tested all of the renditions. And he caught bass on all of them. In fact, he employed some of the prototypes to catch 58.1 pounds of bass at the Bassmaster Elite Series’ Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash at Lake Murry, South Carolina, on May 12-15, 2011. This catch put his name in second place on the leader board and garnered him $25,000 in prize money.
From Hite’s perspective, developing this bait was a monumental chore. In fact, around the time the TriggerX designers and engineers had created their tenth prototype, which wasn’t up to snuff, Hite concluded it had become an impossible ordeal to create the soft-plastic swimming minnow that he and the TriggerX staff had originally envisioned. Thus, he suggested that they should think about giving up on this endeavor. But the designers and engineers continued to work unflaggingly, and Hite kept field-testing them. Ultimately, the folks at TriggerX manufactured a rendition that Hite calls the finest soft-plastic swimming-minnow bait the angling world has ever seen. And it was introduced to various members of the angling community at the 2012 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades.
Since the advent of the Slug-go and Fluke, Hite says there have been a plethora of soft-plastic swimming-minnows on the market, and all of them can inveigle bass. But in Hites eyes and from his vast experiences with wielding many varieties of soft-plastic swimming-baits, including the scores of Drop Dead Minnow prototypes, none of them are as alluring as the final edition of the Drop Dead Minnow.
Not only does the Drop Dead Minnow swim as straight as an arrow and not roll about when Hite retrieves it at a rapid pace, but when he stops it and allows it to plummet towards the bottom, it falls with what Hite describes a unique quivering spiral, exhibiting the subtle gyrations of a dying shad or bluegill.
When Hite wields it around open-water lairs, he works with it on 12-pound-test fluorocarbon line attached to the 4/0 offset, wide-gap hook. He opts for a 5/0 offset, wide-gap hook and 14- to 17-pound-test fluorocarbon line when plies aquatic vegetation, brush piles, flooded timber and other snag-filled lairs. He frequently employs it on an unweighted hook, but at times, he rigs it on offset, wide-gap hook that sports a 3/32-ounce fixed-weight. (Hite also noted that VMC is in the process of developing a fixed-weight offset, wide-gap hook that has a tapered locking spring bait holder for the Drop Dead Minnow.) What’s more, Midwest finesse anglers will be intrigued by the fact that Hite also rigs it at times on a jig with an exposed hook (such as the VMC Finesse Half Moon Jig , VMC Half Moon Long Shank Jig or Gopher Tackle’s Mushroom Head Jig) , and he uses this jig combo to probe ledges, rock piles, rocky points, riprap areas and other rock-laden lairs.
This five-inch bait is available in 12 colors. It is impregnated with UltraBite Aggression Pheromones. A package of eight can purchased for $4.19.
For more information about how Hite employs the Drop Dead Minnow see: http://louiestout.com/2012-10-22-19-25-06/bass-pro-video-tips/274-davy-hite-how-to-aggravate-big-smallmouth-with-soft-jerkbaits.