Oct. 12 marks the tenth anniversary of our discovery of the manifold virtues of Strike King Lure Company's 2 1/2-inch Zero.
Straightaway the 2 1/2-inch Zero and eventually Z-Man Fishing Products' 2 1/2-inch ZinkerZ became the standard-bearers in the repertoire of untold numbers of Midwest finesse anglers. And since then, these two baits have spawned a variety of offspring that play a critical role in how Midwest finesse anglers practice their piscatorial tactics.
The Zero is manufactured for Strike King by Z-Man. It and the ZinkerZ are identical twins.
At a media event at Table Rock Lake in late September of 2016, Kevin Van Dam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, gave me a package of Zeros. At that time, Van Dam and several other anglers were helping me write about the shaky-head-worm phenomenon. And it was on Oct. 12, 2006, when a friend and I first employed the 2 1/2-inch green-pumpkin Zero. The Zero is a hefty five-inch soft-plastic stickbait, which is too much of a piece of soft-plastic for us to affix to the tiny 1/16- and 1/32-ounce jigs that we prefer to use. So, we cut the five-inch Zero in half, and we affixed those 2 1/2-inch Zeros to our red 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jigs. And those two Zero rigs helped us tangle with 109 largemouth bass in four hours at one of the many community reservoirs that adorn the suburban, exurban, and urban landscapes across northeastern Kansas. It should be noted that this reservoir is heavily fished, and during this October outing, northeastern Kansas was being waylaid by a significant cold front. The low temperature was 41 degrees, and the high temperature was 59 degrees. The sun was shining everywhere, and the wind was howling out of the northwest at 10 to 25 mph.
In short, the Zero and ZinkerZ, as well as several of their relatives, have helped us catch more black bass than we could ever imagine catching from the heavily fished reservoirs that we ply throughout a calendar year. So, we are pleased indeed to celebrate this anniversary.
Below are seven photographs that focus on some of the soft-plastic baits that we used before we discovered the many virtues of the 2 1/2-inch Zero and ZinkerZ. The eighth photograph features one of the important relatives of the Zero and ZinkerZ:
Here are four links to columns that focus on the history of Midwest finesse fishing:
(5) Two links to Midwest Finesse columns that focus on the Finesse WormZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-super-finesse-worm/, and https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/the-super-finesse-worm-another-update/.