Small Companies Make Great Baits
By Grace Caldwell
What are you using? What is working with this stretch of water? How are you rigging it? These are a fisherman’s favorite questions. Anyone who is fishing and “catching” has been asked these questions and many more. Of course, we all joke because it’s funny, but if you are confident in your tackle you shouldn’t have worries. I have my own confidence baits.
These are baits that I turn to every time I fish. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. This is not a sales pitch when you believe in the product. I will tell you about two of my favorite sponsors. They are not big store brands with fancy or bright and pretty packaging, but these baits are tried-and-true for the waters I fish. The first one is a Jenkin’s Jig. Keith captains for our team along with his partner Tim. They are watching and coaching how we fish and where we fish. He can make just about any color, size, and weight baits imaginable. You don’t get that from the big box stores.
A jig is one of my favorite wintertime baits to use when the fish are slow and inactive. The Jenkin’s Warmouth Jig is always a good choice for me because it has natural colors and can be made in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 ounces, with Arky, football, and standup styles. Jigs are one of my favorites and are always in my tackle bag. They are just fun and a casual reminder that you can’t make fish want something just because it looks nice hanging in a store.
My second bait choice is handmade and hand poured by River Rock Custom Baits. River Rock has just about anything a fisherman could need when it comes to soft plastics that are effective. Rob has pouring down to a science and the colors are the best. Yes, custom hand-poured baits are softer plastic than name brand stuff, and you will use more, but the weight in your weigh-in bag at the end of the day will prove they are effective. I would rather use something that is going to work, even if you may go through a bag or two, than use ones you don’t have to change out and not catch any fish.
My favorite River Rock baits are the 4-inch elite tube and the company’s jerk baits. Be sure to choose the best bait for the water you are fishing.
These two companies make great baits that produce. Do they help me out? Absolutely! Both companies are willing to customize just about anything I’ve asked. They help youth and high school fishing teams a great deal, and they are kind of cool guys. I have found that some of the best kept secrets in fishing are the little garage companies. They work hard and use what they develop. River Rock will instruct me on the best methods to rig and fish as well as ask for feedback to help customize baits to my location and fishing style.
I am by no means against the big companies. They are where our major support comes from to make all this happen. If you are looking for new baits, seriously consider River Rock and Jenkin’s Jigs. Look them up, send them a message, or give them a call and they will be happy to tell you about their products. Having these baits is like having bread and milk for a snowstorm or an umbrella for the rain. Every great fisherman should have Jenkin’s Jigs and River Rock in their tackle bag.