Z-Man's TroutTrick

Z-Man's TroutTrick

DSCN1021

I am 75 years old, and since the late 1940s, I have seen and used a plethora of hard-plastic, soft-plastic, hair, feather, fur, pork, and wood baits. A few of them have caught myriads of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. But a goodly number of them have been ineffective.

Because I have seen so many new baits come and go, I rarely get excited nowadays when I first see and examine a new one. But I must confess that I became a tad excited when I first laid my eyes on and then touched Z-Man Fishing Products' TroutTrick. I have yet to execute a cast and a retrieve with a TroutTrick, but at this moment it looks and feels as if it could become one of the stellar soft-plastic baits in the world of Midwest finesse fishing.

As its name indicates, it was not created for Midwest finesse anglers to use to catch largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Instead, it is hailed as the preeminent bait for inveigling spotted seatrout, and it is especially effective when the spotted seatrout are lethargic or unresponsive. Besides its gift for waylaying spotted seatrout, it has exhibited the ability to allure scores of other saltwater species that inhabit inshore milieus.


The Trout Trick is the creation of Bob Sanders of Memphis, Tennessee.  Until he was afflicted with health woes a few years ago, he resided  in Walterboro, South Carolina, and  competed in the bass tournament world. He was also a noted saltwater guide, who chased saltwater denizens from South Carolina to Florida. He also manufactured the TroutTrick from 2008 until Z-Man acquired it in 2015.


Daniel Nussbaum of Ladson, South Carolina, is Z-Man Fishing Products' general manager and executive vice president, and in a Dec. 30, 2015, email, he wrote that Sanders based the TroutTrick design on a soft-plastic bait that he used in his bass tournament pursuits. Nussbaum said he did not know the exact details about the bait or who manufactured it. But when it was no longer manufactured, Sanders made the molds for the TroutTrick and manufactured it.  He also spread the word about its effectiveness for inveigling seatrout, as well as how, when, and where to use it to catch them.  Nussbaum noted that it is ironic that it was originally designed as a black bass bait, but Sanders and other anglers found it to be more effective for seatrout than black bass. (But of course, it is unlikely that Sanders employed  Midwest finesse tactics when he wielded it for black bass.)

It is a five-inch bait.

Its back is flat from the tip of its head to the tip of its tail. The flat back is endowed with a shallow 1 3/4-inch-long hook slot. The hook slot is situated 1 1/4 inches from the tip of its head and three inches from the tip of its tail.

Its belly possesses a convex shape, and 3 1/2 inches of its belly is adorned with 24 ribs. The ribs are prominent. The circumference of the middle two inches of its belly and back is larger than the first inch and last two inches.


It is the same length as Z-Man's Finesse WormZ, which is one of the dominate baits in most Midwest finesse anglers' repertoire. We normally trim three-quarters of an inch or more off the head of a Finesse WormZ before we affix it to a lightweight mushroom-style jig, and most Midwest finesse anglers will do that to the Trout Trick.

At the top of this photograph is a Z-Man's Black Neon Finesse WormZ , and at the bottom is a Z-Man's Mood Ring TroutTrick. Neither one has been shortened.

We have been searching for a soft-plastic bait like the TroutTrick since April 1, 2006, which was when we spent the day watching Shin Fukae of Osaka, Japan, and Palestine, Texas, employ a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' green-pumpkin Shad Shaped Worm that was affixed Texas-style to a red 3/32-ounce jig at Beaver Lake, Arkansas. In our eyes, it was an impressive exhibition. Then on April 5, 6, 7, and 8, Fukae used that Shad Shape Worm rig to garner the first-place trophy and win $200,000 at the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Tour's Wal-Mart Open at Beaver Lake.


On top of this photograph is a shortened Z-Man's Mood Ring TroutTrick affixed to a 1/20-ounce  Z-Man's green-pumpkin Finesse ShroomZ jig. On the bottom is a Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' green-pumpkin Shad Shape Worm affixed to a 1/20-0unce Z-Man's green-pumpkin ShroomZ jig.

One of the problems Midwest finesse anglers have with Yamamoto's Shad Shape Worm is that it is too fragile, which is a significant problem for Midwest Finesse anglers who are known to catch from nine to 25 largemouth bass an hour Another problem is that it is impregnated with too much salt, which adversely affects its buoyancy and durability.

Now, thanks to Bob Sanders and Z-Man, we think we have found the soft-plastic bait we have been searching for. And in a Jan. 5 email, Daniel Nussbaum addressed the durability factor by exclaiming that a friend of his caught 200 seatrout and redfish on the same TroutTrick.

The TroutTrick is available in the following colors: Bad Shad, Fried Chicken, Green Latern, Mood Ring, Opening Night, Pearl Blue Glimmer, Plum/Chartreuse Tail, Pumpkin/Chartreuse Tail, Ralph's Shad, Redbone, Rootbeer/Chartreuse Tail, Sexy Mullet, Shrimp Po' Boy, and Strawberry/White Tail.

It is not impregnated with salt, and it is extremely buoyant, which is an attribute that Midwest finesse anglers relish.

The price for a package of six TroutTricks ranges from $4.99 to $5.99.

Endnotes

(1) Daniel Nussbaum sent us an email on Dec. 24, 2015, noting that several black bass anglers have been catching their quarries by employing the TroutTrick in the Bad Shad, Mood Ring, and Ralph's Shad hues on drop-shot rigs, which is a tactic that very few Midwest finesse anglers employ.

(2) Nussbaum is aware that Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers, and in his Dec. 24, 2016, email he wondered if we would shorten and radically customize the TroutTrick before we affix them to a mushroom-shaped jig. We responded by saying that most Midwest finesse anglers will shorten it, and some of them will even radically customize it, creating either a 2 1/2-inch stickbait with its head or crafting several tentacles and making a 2 1/2-inch solid-body tube out of its head. Its tail section will be a 2 1/2-inch TroutTrick.

Here is a TroutTrick that is cut in half, making a 2 1/2-inch stickbait and a 2 1/2-inch TroutTrick. These sections are affixed to the jig so that the convexed sides are their backs and the flat sides are their bellies.

(3) Besides shortening and customizing it, some Midwest finesse anglers will rig it on a mushroom-style jig so that its flat side will be its belly and its convexed side will be its back. We think this rigging will allow it to glide more effectively when a Midwest finesse angler employs the swim-glide-and-shake retrieve.

This is the way Midwest finesse anglers will occasionally rig the TroutTrick. Its flat side becomes  its belly and its convexed side becomes its back. This rigging should accentuate the gliding element when it is retrieved with a swim-glide-and-shake presentation.

(4) To the chagrin of scores of Midwest finesse anglers, their three most effective colors -- green-pumpkin, Junebug, and PB&J -- are not available. Nussbaum said the reason for that is Z-Man didn't think that the TroutTrick would catch the fancy of the black bass anglers. But he wrote: "If the demand is there, we could possibly make some bass colors." He didn't say how Z-Man could determine if there is a demand for them.

(5) Travis Myers of  Paw Paw, West Virginia, is a regular contributor to the Finesse News Network and our monthly guides to Midwest Finesse, and since the spring of 2015, he has used the TroutTrick to catch an impressive array of smallmouth bass. And before he affixes a Trout Trick to a 1/32-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head Jig, Myer radically shortens it.

 Please see the comments posted below.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Doug Stange uses softbaits from Berkley to entice finicky smallmouth bass.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

8 Best Catfish Rigs - When, Where and How to Use Them

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

An effective creature bait with a ton of rigging versatility. Midwest Finesse

Strike King Lure Company's Rage Baby Craw

Ned Kehde - May 22, 2020

An effective creature bait with a ton of rigging versatility.

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs. Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020

Ned Kehde - July 06, 2020

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs.

The caudal peduncle and caudal fin generate a significant amount of gyrations and undulations. Midwest Finesse

Venture Lures' Heckler

Ned Kehde - June 24, 2020

The caudal peduncle and caudal fin generate a significant amount of gyrations and undulations.

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm. Midwest Finesse

Mann's Bait Company's SpringR Worm

Ned Kehde - July 02, 2020

Some anglers are heralding it as being a mind-boggling and state-of-the-art soft-plastic worm.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now