Z-Man Fishing Products introduced their Trick ShotZ to the angling world at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show on July 12 at Orlando, Florida. And straightaway, this 3.5-inch and 4.2-inch finesse bait caught the eyes of scores of Midwest finesse devotees, who have an affinity to the ElaZtech finesse baits that Z-Man manufacturers.
Even though Z-Man created it for the drop-shot world, which Midwest finesse anglers are not a part of, it looks as if it will be an effective soft-plastic bait to affix to a small mushroom-style jig, such as a 1/15-ounce Z-Man's NedlockZ jig or a 1/20-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. And when it is rigged on a mushroom-style jig, Midwest finesse anglers can present it to their quarries by employing all six of the Midwest finesse retrieves or variations of those six retrieves, as well as a vertical presentation around deep-water lairs.
The head of the 4.2-inch Trick ShotZ is 9/16 of an inch long. Its head somewhat exhibits the contours of the central mudminnow, bluntnose minnow, pugnose minnow, and the common shiner. The top of its head is flat and smooth skinned. Each side is adorned with a tiny eye and a subtle hint of a gill cover or operculum. Its mouth is round and indented, which creates a spot for inserting the hook of a jig and encompassing the jig's collar.
Its torso is 2 3/4 inches long. It is triangular-shaped. Its back is flat and smooth skinned. Its belly is the apex of the triangle. Each side of the torso is embellished with 20 ribs. At the junction of the head and torso, it is 7/16 of an inch wide. The size of the torso diminishes significantly as it approaches the junction with its tail, and at that junction, it is an 1/8 of an inch wide. The size of the ribs diminishes as the torso becomes smaller.
Its tail is flat and spade-shaped. Each of its flat sides is endowed with seven ribs. It is 1 1/4 inches long, and at its widest spot, it is 7/16 of an inch wide.
The head of the 3.5-inch Trick ShotZ is one inch long and 3/8 inches wide. It possesses the same anatomical features as the 4.2-incher. Its torso is two inches long. At the junction of its head and torso, it is 3/8 of an inch wide. At the junction of its torso and tail, it is 3/16 of an inch wide. The torso has the same anatomical features as the 4.2-inch Trick ShotZ. Its tail is an inch long and 5/16 of an inch wide. It has the same anatomical features as the 4.2-incher.
It is impregnated with salt, and 15 percent of its body weight is salt. It is added to enhance its taste and texture.
It is buoyant, exceptionably durable, soft, and supple. In the eyes of some anglers, it can replicate a goby, a leech, an array of minnows, gizzard shad, and threadfin shad. For instance, Steve Reideler of Denton, Texas, has been affixing the 3.5-inch Bad Shad Trick ShotZ to a black 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig, which he employs around floating tire reefs with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation. These reefs entertain threadfin shad, largemouth bass, and spotted bass.
In summers past, Reideler used Z-Man's Finesse ShadZ around the tire reefs, but this summer the Finesse ShadZ has not been as effective as the Trick ShotZ.
Reideler rigs it with the flat side or back up, but some Midwest finesse anglers will experiment with rigging the flat side down. In those anglers' eyes, the rig will glide more alluringly with a flat side or back becoming its belly. (In the months to come, we will report on the effectiveness of these riggings in our monthly guides to Midwest finesse fishing.)
The buoyancy factor is an important feature for the presentation styles of Midwest finesse anglers. The reason why it is an essential element is that it enhances the no-feel element of our six Midwest finesse presentations.
It is available in 10 colors: Bad Shad, Black, Coppertreuse, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Goby, Meat Dog, Shiner, The Deal, Twilight, and White Lightning.
Anglers can purchase a package of six 3.5-inch Trick ShotZ for $4.49 and a package of five 4.2-inch Trick ShotZ for $4.49.
(1) Here are links to a YouTube video about the Trick ShotZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wCkGNTC20M; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLn5j0lCGk4.
(2) Here is link a to Z-Man's website feature on the Trick ShotZ: https://zmanfishing.com/cms/products/trick_shotz/.
(3) Here is a link to the Midwest finesse column that explains the six retrieves that Midwest finesse anglers will employ with the Trick ShotZ: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.