Relax folks… I’m not talking about the 90’s boy band who had the hit song “I Wanna Sex You Up”. Although, if they made a comeback as bass anglers, this would be the perfect name for them!
As tournament bass anglers, we are always looking for an edge. Something that could potentially set us apart from the competition. Something that could tip the scales in our favor (literally). Let’s be honest…there aren’t that many secrets left in bass fishing. Because of social media and instantaneous info…if an angler wins a national tournament using a relatively unknown bait, that bait company can expect to be inundated with inquiries and orders from anglers everywhere.
Once you get past lure design, the most important element in creating a popular bait brand is color and/or color selection. Since most bait companies seem to offer the same array of colors, there’s not a lot of differential. For this reason, many top level pros have started to have their baits customized. Unfortunately, custom painted baits can be very pricey, which usually leaves the budget-conscience angler out in the cold. That is until now.
There’s an up and coming bait company making a splash with bass anglers who are looking for custom painted hard baits, but without the custom paint job pricing. Skirmish Baits specializes in custom painted hard baits at reasonable prices. The color selections offered by Skirmish Baits is like a kaleidoscope of bass food! If it’s something that bass eat, odds are Skirmish offers a bait color that mimics it. With a pro staff of experienced and knowledgeable anglers, each bait is thoroughly tested before being released. Skirmish Baits is U.S. veteran owned and operated, and every bait is painted by Dwain Batey at Bait Werks Custom Lure Painting. Dwain has painted baits for many top level anglers from FLW Touring Pros Greg Bohannan and Clark Rheem to Bassmaster Elite Series Pros Gerald Swindle and James Elam. The Skirmish Baits line up not only looks good, but they also catch the @#%* out of bass!
Case in point…my friend Robert and I recently took a day trip to a reservoir in Central Texas, with the mindset of fishing Skirmish Baits exclusively. The reservoir is clear, deep and serves as the cooling source for two nuclear power units. It’s late-November, so the water temps around the region have dipped into the low-mid 50’s. We chose this particular location due to the warm water generated by the power plant. The lake’s surface area is approximately 3,200 acres, with an average depth of approximately 46 feet. Other than limited amounts of shoreline vegetation such as cattails, there is currently no aquatic vegetation in the reservoir.
We started the morning off fishing rocky shorelines with fair amounts of standing timber and laydowns in about 8 – 12 feet of water, with water temps between 73 – 79 degrees.
The bait of choice for this area was the Skirmish Baits AIM 7 Suspending Jerkbait in Clown color. Most jerkbaits in this color palate are pretty similar, but the Skirmish Baits product is very unique. Although it has the standard red and chartreuse color combination usually found in this pattern, that is where the similarities end.
As you can see from the photos, the head section of the Skirmish AIM 7 Suspending Jerkbait is more of a black/purple blend, the sides and underbelly are white and the top of the tail section is chartreuse. As I said… very unique.
The bait is 4-1/2 inches long, weighs ½ oz., and has a weight transfer system for long casts. The bait suspends in about 55 degree water, and slowly floats up in higher temps. It has an oval line tie and comes equipped with super sticky #6 VMC treble hooks. If you prefer to use your own hooks, you can get the bait hook-less and save a couple bucks.
We ran the bait through, around and over the tops of submerged timber with much success and minimal hang-ups. We used a variety of jerk/pause and reel/stop retrieves…and the bass absolutely smashed it!
As the morning progressed, we began fishing main lake points and coves, lined with overhanging brush and submerged rock. We were still in about 8 – 12 feet of water, with water temps between 75 – 79 degrees.
The bait of choice for this area was the rattling model of the Skirmish Baits M9 Square Bill Crankbait in Holographic Cricket Shad color. This bait is 2-1/2 inches long, weighs .44 oz., dives to 4 feet and deflects off wood and rocks like a champ! It also features the oval line tie and #4 VMC treble hooks (optional)
This is the same Cricket Shad pattern previously offered by Skirmish Baits, but with a new holographic “scale-like” finish. When baitfish are present and you’re looking to “match the hatch”, this is definitely the bait you want to tie on…and within a few casts, the bass quickly proved it!
At the conclusion of our day (approximately 3pm), we had caught about 20 bass ranging from 2 – 4 lbs., all on the Skirmish Baits AIM 7 Suspending Jerkbait and the M9 Rattling Square Bill Crankbait.
In the very competitive world of fishing lures, we have a lot of options and choices. Some of which have been known to catch more fishermen than fish! That’s not the case with Skirmish Baits. Their bait colors more closely resemble what fish actually want to eat than any others I have used.
So whether you are a weekend warrior fishing local and club tournaments, or just an average angler looking to put more fish in the boat, now you can have the same quality custom painted baits as the touring pros. The proof is in the results…. Skirmish Baits catch fish!
These custom painted baits are available at: www.skirmishbaits.com Use coupon code “thomas10” for 10% off all non-sale items. All baits are custom painted by Bait Werks Custom Lure Painting.
Until next time…good luck and be safe on the water!