Ladson, SC – Everywhere you look, profusions of pinfish, mullet and other baitfish shimmer across shallow grass outcrops. Tail-scuttling shrimp scoot away like popcorn, deceptively fast in flight. Predators tail-thump in pursuit, leaving silty mushroom clouds and craters in the sand.
So it goes in the salt, where water fairly boils and buzzes with life, every aquatic critter emitting its own underwater signature. For prey, it’s an ill-fated auditory footprint—vibration and sound— that betrays their location and puts them in certain danger of being chomped.
It’s also why inshore guides like the legendary Captain C.A. Richardson confidently reach for a spinnerbait when bull redfish hunt the grassy, stained-water shallows. Lately, while fishing the Louisiana Delta and all the way back to the Florida flats, Richardson has been a happy man, arming clients with a new failsafe guide-trick—the Z-Man BullZEye Spinnerbait.
“I can’t imagine a lure that mimics the flash and distinctive vibrations of baitfish better than this blade-thumping spinnerbait,” suggests Richardson, a decades-long saltwater specialist and host of Flats Class TV. “The BullZEye takes vibration to another level, and that makes all the difference in the world when you’re dealing with really big redfish—a predator that hunts and tracks prey via its lateral line, much more so than many anglers realize.”
Renowned for its thoroughly-researched lures that simply catch more fish, Z-Man forged the BullZEye Spinnerbait around a highly resonant wire backbone: “We vetted a ton of different materials before selecting the 17-7 stainless LiveWire™ frame,” notes Z-Man president Daniel Nussbaum. “LiveWire really excels at transmitting intense blade sound and vibration. It’s a super high grade stainless steel wire that’s a thinner gauge than you’ll find on most traditional spinnerbaits, and it’s actually quite resilient. Further, LiveWire is intentionally not electroplated, giving it a dull, neutral finish that blends in rather than giving off unnatural reflections.”
“For the past month, I’ve been throwing the BullZEye in the marshy habitat surrounding the Louisiana Delta and having a blast with bull redfish,” exclaims Richardson. “But I’ve just returned to Florida’s Nature Coast where we also have a lot of dark, tannic water. You go in and slow roll a BullZEye rigged with a 4-inch DieZel MinnowZ™ or 3-inch MinnowZ™, and I’m telling you, the redfish hone in on this lure and try to knock the stuffing out of it.
“You’ll quickly find out that everything else likes to bite this lure, too, including snook and juvenile goliath grouper. Throw it out there, slow-roll it back and hang on. Even in dirty water and around heavy grass, where fish vision is limited, the BullZEye’s big Colorado blades announce their presence with authority, and fish feel the need to wipe it from existence.”
Thumping and flashing at the end of the neutral-colored LiveWire arm, custom size 4 and 4.5 gold-plated Colorado blades transmit maximum fish-attracting cues all across the playing field. A robust stainless steel ball bearing swivel amplifies rotation and ensures durability.
Connected to the LiveWire arm via a specialized quick-clip attachment, an EyeStrike® Swimbait Eye™ jighead is easy to replace if desired. Adding visual enticement, the pro-grade EyeStrike jighead’s oversized 3D eyeballs focus predatory attention, where strikes feel the sting of a wicked-sharp 3/0 heavy duty VMC® jighook. Finely honed, dagger-point keeper barbs are molded right into the jighead to clasp your chosen soft plastic trailer like a vice. The BullZEye’s compact profile allows it to glide in and out of the skinniest water and through some of the thickest grass available.
“The big Colorado blade thumps and pulses like a deep-cupped spoon—moves a lot of water and gives you the confidence that it’s always calling fish from a distance,” says Richardson, co-designer of the new BullZEye.
“The blade also gives you a perfect, nice slow sink rate that flutters and lets you slow-crawl it cleanly over 1-to 2-foot oyster bars and emergent grassy points where predators like to plod around and ambush things. The big Colorado blade gives the bait lift, too, and keeps the jighook tracking straight without going sideways and hanging up. But I can also go a little deeper and yo-yo the bait around the edges of creeks or little potholes. Ultimately, I’ll throw the BullZEye fearlessly into a lot of places where I might otherwise hesitate, and we all know what an advantage that can be.
“I classify the BullZEye Spinnerbait as an alpha-dog type lure. Throw it where other lures can’t go. Retrieve it nice and slow—you almost can’t do it wrong. Expect big reds, snook and other fish to smash it with a vengeance.”