The lure flashed silver in the blue water, dipped, then flew violently towards the bottom. In an instant, 50 yards of line separated the bladed bait from its owner. Within minutes, a shimmering bonito was hoisted over the boat’s stern.
Catch on ice and bait back in the water, the process repeated itself time and again in the Atlantic waters of South Florida, but the lure’s journey began in the Tennessee River. Years earlier, a Tennessee bass fisherman had forged a new bladed bait for hoisting bucket mouths on Kentucky Lake. That versatile lure, adept at diving the lake’s deep water ledges or skimming near the surface eventually became the SteelShad.
It hit shelves in 2008, before quickly migrating from TVA locks north to Minnesota and Wisconsin and south to Florida and Georgia. There, saltwater guides began to catch wind of the SteelShad, and soon customers were sending in photos of Spanish mackerel and bonito to mingle with SteelShad’s gallery of bass, walleye and panfish.
Once relegated to the Tennessee River, SteelShad began making a name for itself from the Great Lakes to the oceans.
With that kind of success, SteelShad CEO, Stephen Price says he was keen to hop on board and expand the lure’s distribution after a fishing trip with SteelShad adopter and owner, Capt. Steve Niemoeller. “We were fishing on the St. Johns River,” Price says, “I dropped it into a school of Florida bass and hooked up with a nine pound Largemouth.”
“That made me a true believer.”
Price, who partnered with Capt. Steve in 2016, says independent distribution of SteelShad has already doubled in 2017. And, to get more dealers on board, SteelShad is offering a free starter kit to new dealers.
“We’ll give you 12 brand new SteelShads for free,” Price adds. “That’s an $85.00 value, and it gives you the chance to put two or three pegs out and get started. And, it gives you a chance to go out and fish with our product as well.”
To get your Free SteelShad Starter Kit today, sign up at their website.
Price says the original 3/8-ounce SteelShad is red hot in the Southeast and Midwest, where bass, walleye and panfish are fueling sales for the most versatile bladed bait on the market. Likewise, he says, SteelShad XL—the company’s 3/4-ounce product—is burning through pegs on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
“People like it because of the versatility,” he adds. “Bending the blade will force it to swim higher in the water column where it can work over weeds on a straight retrieve. Leaving it straight will allow it to descend quickly, making it perfect for jigging.”
Price says due to popularity the company has plans to unveil two new sizes in 2018. Meanwhile, the original SteelShad is available in eight finishes: silver, gold, fire tiger, rainbow trout, crawfish, Sexy shad, Kentucky shad and Tennessee shad; while SteelShad XL’s come in silver and gold.
“We really want to get these into the hands of dealers,” Price concludes.