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Oh My, the BBZ-1 Shad

by: Brad Wiegmann

  “Run!” I yelled.  “Hang on just a second, I’m coming,” hollered my fishing buddy who still could not catch up with me.  I was standing on the long gravel point and had already made my first cast, right into a school of bass that had shad flying out of the water trying to escape.  Immediately, I gave my lure a quick jerk, 2 bass instantly try to eat my bait at once and they both miss.  I slowly begin to reel my bait in; the bait is making a slight V-wake as it comes towards me.  KERPOW!  My lure disappears into a deep vortex.  I lean back and set the hook hard, “Oh my… did you see that?” I yell to my buddy, “That bass just crushed my new BBZ-1 Shad!”  After a few spectacular jumps I bring the bass in.  “Hey, let me see that bait,” my fishing buddy insisted.  He looks at the bait up close in awe and exclaims, “Oh my!”

  That reaction to the Spro ( ) BBZ-1 4” Shad designed by swimbait guru and trophy bass hunter Bill Siemantel will probably be repeated over and over when anglers begin fishing with them.  As every angler knows, swimbaits are hot.  The majority of them are soft or hard in construction.  Swimbaits catch bass because their ability to mimic a shad or other bait fish.  The BBZ-1 Shad has a counter balanced pin segment hard body, size 2 2x strong Gamakutsu hook, life like thread hanging from its fin, and durable, soft fin and tail.  It will come in 4 color patterns: Natural Shad, Sexy Lavender Shad, Blueback Herring, and Dirty Shad.  The BBZ-1 Shad has 3 models: floater, ¾-ounce non-sinking, slow sink, 7/8-ounce that falls 1-foot per 4 seconds, and a fast sink, 1-ounce that falls 1-foot per 1 second.  Although each model has a different weight, the size and hook remains the same for each model.

  Just buying a lure does not mean an angler will catch bass; although, you could with a BBZ-1 Shad, but fishing it with the correct technique will load your boat with bigger bass.  So how do you know which model BBZ-1 Shad to fish with?  Designer of the BBZ-1 Shad and co-author of the book “Big Bass Zone”, Bill Siemantel explained, “Anglers should look at the complete picture; structure, cover, top-middle-bottom, technique and your tools,” Siemantel continued, “having 3 models allows the angler to fish the entire water column depending on the angler’s rate of retrieve and cadence.”  So what does top-middle-bottom mean?  “The BBZ-1Shad comes in 3 different models that target a different water column; the floater can be reeled in slowly, making a V-wake, the slow sink can be fished like a soft stick bait, just letting it slowly drop, and the fast sink which anglers can target deep ledges with or rip it through grass since the bait will not come out of the water if reeled fast,” Siemantel disclosed.  What gear should anglers use when fishing the BBZ-1 Shad?  “For the best results a 7-foot cranking stick rod with a 6:1 gear ration reel; for line, 8/30 Power Pro braid with 15-pound clear monofilament line for leader not fluorocarbon for the floater, the slow sink I use 15-pound fluorocarbon line, and with the fast sink 8/30 Power Pro braid or 15-pound fluorocarbon in areas without cover,” said Siemantel.  There was no way Siemantel could cover all the techniques and special situations that anglers will face on the water but he recommended checking out his web site at, the DVD “Swimbait Techniques” available at, or the book, Big Bass Zone, he co-authored with Michael Jones.

  “Run!” I yelled.  “Now, what for?” my fishing buddy replied.  “To the nearest tackle store, so we can buy another BBZ-1 Shad”, I answer back.  “Oh my!” he answers.


Brad Wiegmann is a professional fishing guide on Beaver Lake and outdoor writer.  Contact him at (479) 756-5279 or by e-mail at