April 23, 2015
West Coast and Japanese finesse anglers fish differently than Midwest finesse anglers, and Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, who is one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing, notes that Midwest finesse began many years before the anglers in Japan and Southern California began thinking about employing their versions of finesse.
The folks at AA Worms were some of the pioneers of West Coast finesse. It was created in 1981 by several bass tournament anglers who resided around San Diego. Their mission was to manufacture the finest hand-poured soft-plastic baits at a reasonable price.
Their piscatorial philosophy is summed up in these three sentences on AA Worms' website: "Being fisherman ourselves, we know that getting bit is always better than not getting bit. Our soft plastic generates the best action with the lightest possible weight, so you'll get bit more often without overworking your bait. And after all, getting bit is the name of the game."
When these tournament anglers began wielding their hand-poured baits, they began catching impressive arrays of largemouth bass and their names appeared at and near the top of the leaderboards at scores of tournaments. These impressive catches and tournament successes caught the attention of vast numbers of West Coast anglers, and they began to employ AA Worms' baits. And according to the folks at AA Worms, anglers in Europe and Japan began to use them.
In addition to manufacturing 11 different kinds of hand-poured soft-plastic finesse baits, AA Worms declares that they are vitally concerned about the health of anglers and the waterways that they ply. Therefore, none of AA Worms' soft-plastic baits contain phthalates, which is carcinogenic and a common ingredient in many soft-plastic baits. To accomplish this task, they worked with some chemists and developed a non-phthalate plastic that is soft and yet firm, as well as safe for anglers to handle and the fish these anglers pursue.
In 1991, AA Worms was acquired by Optimum Bait Company of Temecula, California. And in the fall of 2014, they introduced a new creature bait that has caught the eyes of some Midwest finesse anglers. It is called the three-inch Stage 3.5 Tadpole and Flying Fish Swimbait.
It was created for freshwater and saltwater anglers, as are many of AA Worms' baits.
In the eyes of freshwater finesse anglers and their black bass quarries, it replicates a six- to eight-month old bullfrog tadpole with a pair of well-developed rear legs. But instead of the normal torso and tail of a metamorphosing tadpole, which is shaped somewhat like one of AA Worm's Reapers, its torso looks more like that of a baby flying fish, and its tail is donned with a boot. Saltwater anglers might describe the tadpole's rear legs as fins or wings. The staff at AA Worms says that when anglers retrieve it that it exhibits three distinctive types of movement: a kicking tail, a lot of body contortions and rolling, and fluttering wings or swimming legs.
It is manufactured in 19 hues: Amazon Frog, Baby Bass, Baja Chovy, Black/Blue, Black Gold, Chartreuse Gold, Dean's Dine, Ghost Minnow, Ghost Shrimp, Jackson Trout, Neon Smoke, Pearl Chartreuse Tail, Pearl White, Pumpkin Chartreuse, Rags to Rich's, Sardine, Smelt, Tomato Pepper, and Watermelon Seed. (The Neon Smoke hue is featured at the head of this column.)
A package of four can be purchased for $3.50.
(1) For more information, please examine these two links: (1) http://store.optimumbaits.com/c/aa-worms-salt-fresh_flying-fish-stage-3-5-tad-pole_3-flying-fish. (2) http://optimumbaits.com/the-flying-fish-stage-3-5-tad-pole-has-arrived/.
(2) Besides their new three-inch Stage 3.5 Tadpole and Flying Fish Swimbait, AA Worms also manufactures nine classic soft-plastic baits that might interest Midwest finesse anglers, and they are: Baby 'Pus, Mini Curl Finesse Worm, Monarch Grub Series, Shrimp Tail Series, Slug, Small Reaper, Straight Tail Finesse Worm, Three-inch Finesse Worm, and Three-inch Ridge Worm. For a lot more information about these nine soft-plastic finesse baits, including recommendations on how to rig and present them, as well as how, when, and where to employ them, please see this link: http://aaworms.com/about/.