Noted Arkansas river rat Billy McCaghren has flipped up a few thousand bass in his tournament career, but each year he learns a little more about how to refine the technique. The Elite Series pro, a shallow water guru, understands that no bait is “one size fits all” when it comes to the long rod and a short string. Sometimes you have to adapt the action of your lure to the mood of the fish.
When bass are in an ultra-aggressive mood, he likes something with a lot of action, like an Ultra Vibe Speed Craw, and when they’re in a negative mode he likes something more subtle, like a flipping tube or a Z Hog. Increasingly, however, when he determines that his quarry is in an in-between mood, he turns to Zoom’s new Z Craw.
“It has action, but not too much,” he explained. “Think about it. The only time you really see baitfish going crazy is when they’re getting busted on. At the Sabine this year, I had a really good practice. When I used a lure that had too much action, I couldn’t get bit. When I switched to the Z Craw, I got way more bites, and I’m convinced it’s because it’s not overpowering.
His best all around color so far has been green pumpkin, but fishing on the dingy waters near home in recent weeks, he’s put Black Sapphire to the test with very positive results. He’s also been making frequent calls to the Zoom factory to request a black with red flake version for those same conditions.
“Typically, I use a 4/0 Mustad Denny Brauer flipping hook in the Z Craw,” he explained. “But if the water’s clearer, I’ll go to the same hook in a 3/0, and if it’s clear I’ll switch to a Gamakatsu EWG.”