LADSON, SC– Legendary inshore guide, Captain C.A. Richardson calls it a nearly failsafe trick for fussy redfish on the shallow flats. Three thousand miles to the northwest, Bassmaster pro Luke Clausen says it’s a devastating dropshot bait for bass, with exceptional attributes not found in traditional soft plastics.
Is it possible the expert anglers are talking about the same bait? That Richardson and Clausen are . . . both right?
Indeed, they are. With versatility and good vibes virtually oozing from its pores, Z-Man’s new 4-inch Scented Jerk ShadZ is equally effective in salt- and freshwater, delicious to a diversity of fish species, and presented in numerous ways. “Fish really like to eat it,” concedes Richardson, one of the most productive inshore guides of all time. “We’ve been excitedly awaiting the day when we could add a smaller Jerk ShadZ to our arsenal.
“When you make your living on skinny, gin-clear water, a subtle, lifelike presentation is essential,” he affirms. “There’s little doubt the 4-inch Scented Jerk ShadZ appeals to a fish’s primal nature. The bait’s small signature lets you cast it in front of bull reds in shallow water without spooking them. And its super-soft ElaZtech structure gives the bait crazy underwater action—a really lively sub-surface walk.”
Clausen’s take is totally different, though equally valid amid the broad-shouldered smallmouth bass he prizes. “If we’re being honest, ElaZtech is the ultimate dropshot-bait material,” says the winner of both a Bassmaster Classic and an FLW Tour Championship. “Z-Man’s Scented Jerk ShadZ has been a longtime secret among tournament anglers on the Great Lakes; guys have won a ton of money on it. At the recent Elite Series event on Lake St. Clair, I think half the top-ten finishers threw this bait. The new 4-inch size is going to give us another awesome tool for ultra-finesse situations.”
The method and the magic, says Clausen, distills down to three of the bait’s hallmark features: buoyancy, super-concentrated salt and scent, and unparalleled toughness. “Most every other dropshot bait sinks to the bottom when you stop retrieving,” Clausen observes. “But at rest, the Jerk ShadZ sits nose down, tail up. Its buoyancy keeps the rig perpetually upright and in the strike zone—a look that gets way more bites when you’re dropshot fishing.”
Further separating itself from most scented baits, ElaZtech exhibits unique properties that absorb, rather than repel, scents like Pro-Cure®. “Unlike standard PVC baits, ElaZtech is a porous, almost sponge-like material,” notes Clausen. “It soaks up and holds scent better than anything I’ve used. Even after fishing a bait 3 or 4 hours, you can still smell the goodness.”
“Z-Man wisely chose to impregnate its Scented Jerk ShadZ with Pro-Cure Super Gel,” says Richardson. “It’s a powerful, proven attractant whose amino acids stick to the bait like the two were made for each other. Pro-Cure and ElaZtech have more staying power than other scent-bait combinations, and that gives me a ton of confidence when fishing the Jerk ShadZ.”
Completing the ElaZtech trifecta is the material’s exceptional yet implausible toughness. “Given the bait’s softness and malleability, it’s hard to believe you can go out and boat several dozen bass on a single bait,” Clausen says. “But what can I say? ElaZtech is freakish stuff. Like, freaky good.”
Available in 5-, 7- and the new 4-inch size, Z-Man’s Scented Jerk ShadZ is a super lifelike, scent- and salt-impregnated soft jerkbait with a lively, split-tail design that perfectly emulates erratic baitfish action. Made 100% in the USA, the Scented Jerk ShadZ shines in numerous applications: dropshot and Carolina rigging, weedless jerkbait fishing, or even as a topwater twitchbait. Proven Z-Man patterns include Richardson’s saltwater favorites Electric Chicken, Redbone and Laguna Shrimp, and Clausen’s smallmouth standbys Smoky Shad, Shiner and Houdini. For more information, visit www.zmanfishing.com.