January 06, 2018
Many years ago, the forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing used Chuck Woods' Beetle and Puddle Jumper to catch untold numbers of black bass. But back then the Beetle and Puddle Jumper were considered to be panfish baits by most anglers. Therefore, those two Midwest finesse baits never caught the fancy of most black bass anglers — especially those who were in the power fishing fraternity, which was the major of anglers.
Recently, a member of the Finesse News Network said that the Mr. Crappie 2 3/8-inch Scizzor Shad, which was created by Wally Marshal of Garland, Texas, and is manufactured by Strike King Lure Company, reminded him of the Beetle and Puddle Jumper. And because the Scizzor Shad possesses some of the attributes of the Beetle and Puddle Jumper, this angler wondered if any of today's Midwest finesse anglers had used it to inveigle largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.
We told him that we were not aware of any usage of the Scizzor Shad by Midwest finesse anglers, and at this angler's behest, we decided to publish a brief gear guide about it.
Here is what we discovered about the Scizzor Shad:
It is two and three-eighths inches long.
It is affixed to what Wally Marshall calls a missile-style jig. It is cone shaped, and some anglers might call it a darter-head jig.
Its torso possesses some of the characteristics of the torso of a young gizzard shad.
The front two thirds of its head and torso are solid. The back third of its torso is endowed with a hollow cavity in which anglers can insert scent or rattles.
A three-dimensional eye is fastened to each side of the front section of its torso. Behind each eye, there are three lines that abstractly represent gill membranes. Part of the upper half of its torso is adorned with scale-like formations, but the dorsal area is smooth and devoid of those scales. Its pelvic or belly is also smooth and scaleless.
The torso is joined to two cone-shaped tails that are tipped with a ball. The tails are about the same length as the torso combined with the missile-style jig. The surface of these tails is smooth.
It is available in the following laminated colors: HotChicken.com, Osage Orange, Pink Tuxedo, Refrigerator White, and Tuxedo Black Chartreuse. (See endnote No. 3.)
There are two sizes of jigs: a 1/16-ounce one and an 1/8-ounce one.
A package of three costs $3.99. (See Endnote No. 1.)
(1) Wally Marshall announced at the 2017 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show that anglers would be able to purchase the bodies of the Scizzor Shad in bulk packages. A package of 10 costs between $2.99 and $3.29. Here is the link to Marshall's announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7pjhEuASg0.
(2) Here is a link to Strike King's website about the Scizzor Shad: http://www.strikeking.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=750&Itemid=1272.
(3) Decades ago, when some of the forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing used a Beetle, their a favorite one was the three-inch Beetle affixed to a 1/16-ounce jig. It was made by Bass Buster Lures of Amsterdam, Missouri, and one of the most effective colors was the one called Catalpa. It had a greenish-chartreuse body that was embellished with two black stripes that began on each side of its head and ended at the tips of its two tails. And that three-inch Catalpa Beetle allured untold numbers of largemouth bass. That old-fashioned Catalpa Beetle is somewhat similar to the Tuxedo Black Chartreuse Scizzor Shad, but the Scizzor Shad's legs exhibit a lot more movement than the legs of the three-inch Catalpa Beetle.
Recently Bill Ward of Warsaw, Missouri, was reminiscing in a telephone conservation about the old days of Midwest finesse fishing and the effectiveness of the three-inch Catalpa Beetle. Bill said his fondest memories of fishing with it were with his father, the late Virgil Ward of Amsterdam, Missouri, at Grand Lake, Oklahoma, and they used it trip after trip at Grand Lake to catch scores and scores of largemouth bass.
The Wards were the proprietors of Bass Buster Lures. Virgil was the host of the "Championship Fishing" television show. Bill was the creator of the marabou jig. What's more, Bill and his son Gregory competed in 12 Bassmaster Classics.
(4) Here is a link to some information about Chuck Woods' Puddle Jumper: http://puddlejumperlures.com/. Here is a link to a Midwest Finesse column about the Puddle Jumper: http://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-puddle-jumper-by-chuck-woods/.
(5) We are eager to discover how, when, and where anglers have used the Scizzor Shad to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. Please tell us about your endeavors with it in the comment section below. If it catches on with a significant number of Midwest finesse anglers, Strike King might be motivated to manufacture a three-inch Scizzor Shad.