So Unrefined It's Art : Triton Mike's Bull Shad
The bait itself is available on four different sizes ranging from five inches on up to eight inches. Original versions of this bait featured three sections, but that design was abandoned more than a year ago in favor of four sections that allow for a better, more consistent swimming action. Hardware is all stainless steel including the two hundred twenty to three hundred thirty pound rated swivels at the bottom of each bait securing the hooks.
Chuck it in the water and ...
The finish, as discussed is rough, but in a pattern that mimics the fish’s scales and each bait comes with oversized, baitfish-like, 3-D eyes. Finishes are rather simple with a seemingly quick little airbrush appliqué of color on the top and sides of each bait – just enough to give each bait a flash of hue in the water.
Field Tests: If you’ve been reading our articles or simply looking at the photographs, you already know we’ve been throwing this bait a lot. Our goal for this review was to have a fish on each of the four “bassy” species we target regularly, largemouth, spotted, smallmouth, and striper.
Not necessarily recommended for home use, we threw the Bull Shad on several of our Search For One all purpose rods and while it's doable, we recommend stepping up a power or two for prolonged use
Given the Bull Shad ranges in weight from one and a quarter ounce at five inches to three and a half ounces at eight inches, and with relatively even steps in between, you can find a Bull Shad suitable to throw on just about any rod rated as heavy powered and above. And while we’ve taken it a step further abusing just about all our Search For One rods with this bait, it’s not something we necessarily recommend trying at home.
Zander with a feisty California Delta Striper caught while tossing the Bull Shad on a Dobyns Rods 795ML paired with a Curado 300
Action: All the usual casting and retrieve comments aside, what it really comes down to with any of these baits is how do they swim? With the proper gear, any bait of this genre can be heaved a good distance. The more joints a bait has, the more gangly they become in the air, but with enough weight (and the Bull Shad has enough weight) all this can be overcome so it’s barely worth discussing.
The Bull Shad falls at a medium rate and swims in a very tight s-pattern
The Bull Shad swims with a predictable snake like pattern that is tight and true at just about any speed save a super fast burn where it will come to the surface and skate on its side. At more realistic and fishing speeds, it is very enticing. Stop, pause, jerk your rod and it will dart, dive, spin and do tricks with the best of baits even completing that coveted one hundred eighty degree turn so many big baiters seem to check. Watching this bait swim in the water, all you can think is that something is going to kill it.
A Clear Lake Bass courtesy of the Bull Shad
Fall Rate: All but the five inch bait we would classify as medium sink bait averaging about two to three feet for every five seconds or so depending upon your line, temperature of the water you’re fishing, etc.. They are definitely faster than a slow sink TripleTrout, but slower than the fast sink. The five inch bait is more of a fast sink right out of the package.
Searching the weedlines along the California Delta
Rumor has it Triton Mike is hard at work at offering other fall rates as well, but details are a bit sketchy as well as expected delivery times. It all depends on how and when he can fit testing and refining in between guide trips not to mention meeting current demands.
Stripers KILL this bait!