Let me tell you how I tricked this fish using thousands of dollars of high-tech gear and hundreds of hours of computer time. This story started at the beginning of the year when I said that in 2021 I was only going to fish with lures that I made myself, nothing store bought. You see, that was really stupid because I had only been designing lures for about a week and I thought “I got this, no problem!” But really, I had problems.
You see, here’s the rub. When you only fish with lures you design it turns out you have to design a lot of lures. Like I said, it was a stupid decision. I got to work but then my ADD kicks in and I’m designing my replacement for the corky and I’m trying to make a giant Rat-L-Trap, and I’m trying to make a giant wakebait and I’m all over the place. Then, I have people calling me asking to design lures for the and asking me to 3D print molds so I do that and I was a hot mess, but I was in luck.
Texas got hit with some cold weather that probably knocked a good three to four weeks of fishing. Then it started raining and it didn’t stop for what seemed like a month so I didn’t feel too bad that I was losing a ton of fishing time. I did get some gar fishing in with my son which was great since I had never really done that before. But in the back of my head, I knew I needed to make this one specific lure for when I got to really go fishing again.
Last year, I came across this lure that absolutely slayed for me! It was the down south lire burner shad, specifically in chicken of the seas. I love this lure, it crushed it for me in spring and early summer which is right now when I’m finally getting the chance to go fishing again. So what makes this lure so special? I think it really comes down to the size. It’s listed at 2.75 inches but if you go from tip to the very end of the tail it’s a little over 3 inches. The profile really fits the bait that’s running around our marsh system this time of year. We have little shrimp and minnows, little mullets, this bait is having babies all over the place. So it mimics the shrimp, it mimics the little minnows so it’s a great lure.
So my overriding design factors is overall length of the bait. I want to keep it in that 2.75 to 3 inch range so I could have flipped this lure on to its back and glued it down to a board then do an open pour silicone, but that’s boring. That’s also kind of cheating and I respect these lire makers because they make great lures, I’m not going to just copy it. If I wanted to copy it, I would just go down to academy and pick up a bag for $4.99. I am only going to fish with lures that I make myself.
So the body is pretty straightforward, standard swim bait body. However, I did want to make one slight modification which is using these Z-Man trout eye heads and they blow up this little body. I wanted to use they have these giant prongs in them to hold the lure, so I wanted to make it a little fatter and make it a little taller in the body to fit the jig heads. I also wanted to do something a little different than a paddle tail. I’ve been experimenting around with different swim bait paddle tail and tail combos and I wanted to do something a little different. One morning, I’m having coffee and just messing around on Fusion 360 when something comes together and I thought it was pretty cool. I was calling it a guitar tail, the axe tail, until I posted it in a soft plastic bait making group and someone told me it was a fiddle fin.
So I prototype a quick one cavity mold shoot and take it out to the pond, throw it out and reel it in. I got some really good action and like what I see. The body is rock solid and the tail is going nuts, sweet full send multi-cavity mold incoming.
Now at this point, I’m only going fishing in the morning. It’s late afternoon and I go my mold so I don’t have a lot of time to shoot a lot of different colors. I decided to go with a green tone with a lot of glitter in there and a chartreuse tail. At the last second, I decided to try a new penny color. I really should have done a new penny color with the chartreuse tail. So at this point, the tide is lining up with my perfect time to fish. I love fishing in the evening time in the summer, you can get in the water at about 4-5 P.M and watch the sun go down. The tide is flowing from about 5-9 P.M which is the perfect time for me.
If you’ve watched any of my videos up to this point, you’ve seen me fish this spot before. I have a link at the end to give you a full breakdown but it’s one of my favorite spots. I don’t like to get up early. So I show up, park the car and hop in the water. Just about 20 minutes in to fishing I got a bite, but he got off. Now if you fish around the Texas gulf coast, you know exactly what that was- a state record flounder. Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure it was a flounder. It had a short bite, followed me and spit the hook which is a classic flounder move. But either way, I got a bite.
But this isn’t a bad lure so I start heading further and further towards the bay and walked for probably a good our cast fishing. No movement, but there’s bait all over the place. Mullet’s are flying out of the water and they weren’t just flying they were really on the move. I even saw a turtle which was awesome. Then out of nowhere, I got my first fish on the fiddle fin. It was a little guy, about 20 inches on the nose but I wasn’t keeping him anyways. After countless hours in front of my computer and tons of 3D printing, I finally got a Red on a bait that I designed and I cannot tell you how excited this makes me feel. It’s the coolest feeling in the world to catch a fish on bait you designed yourself.
It’s one thing if you take another mold, shoot a lure, and catch a fish on it- that’s awesome. But to catch one that came completely out of your own head, that you made yourself- there’s no better feeling. I now know how those fly town guys feel, it’s a great feeling.
Take care everybody- tight lines.