Ever since the summer steelhead started showing up I’ve been talking with Jeff of XFactor Tackle about coming up with a soft plastic shrimp bait. I threw my ideas of what I was thinking about at him, and not too long after he stopped by my house with some awesome looking shrimp tails.
After receiving them I didn’t have much time to get out fishing. I did however make a detour before work one day just to get these things in the water, and boy was I excited. Imagining something in your head, having it produced, and be exactly what you wanted is an amazing feeling. I knew these baits would be deadly as soon as I could get them in front of some fish.
|XFactor Shrimp Tail on a size 2 hook|
Finally the day came. Yesterday morning I forced my self out of bed at 3:45am, and made the lonely drive to the Upper Rogue. With salmon season closed I knew it would be unlikely for me to encounter another soul, but I still didn’t want to risk not being able to fish the prime spot. Arriving to the river 20 mins before legal fishing time I claimed my spot.
5:10 finally rolled around and I started my casting. On my 4th cast I felt that tap, tap, tap of a fish and set the hook. Initially I thought I had hooked an old springer as the fish sat there very lazily in the current. That was until it exploded out of the water and started thrashing around. After just a couple minutes I had the fish to the bank, but I was by myself and hadn’t brought the net. I stumbled around in the dark trying to remember exactly what parts where shallow enough for me to be able to tail the steelhead. After a couple more minutes of fumbling around I finally grabbed the leader to bring the fish closer. That’s when I felt the horrible pop of the line as it broke. I quickly stuck my foot behind the fish, dropped my rod, and put a hand around its tail and head.
|9lbs of chrome summer steelhead|
Getting that first fish on the bank was a relief, especially with it occurring so fast in the morning. I ended up going 1-3 on steelhead and also hooked a couple of old springers all on the shrimp tails. For the first day of putting these new baits in front of fish I’d say they did remarkably well. There’s nothing quite like seeing what was once just an idea in your head come to fruition, and put a fish on the bank.
I have to thank Jeff of XFactor Tackle for making this possible and having me on his Pro Staff Team. He definitely knows what he’s doing and hit the nail on the head with these shrimp tails. They are going to make a great bait that can easily replace real shrimp in any setup. Be it drift fishing, tipping a jig, plunking with a spin n glow, or behind a diver, you name it and it will work great. They come about twice as long as in the pictures above, but are easily trimmed down to fit your needs and wants.
|A few mock up rigs of the shrimp tails|
These baits aren’t available yet, but will be soon. Keep your eyes peeled on the XFactor Tackle Facebook Page to find out when they do.
If you’re wanting to get your hands on these be sure to check out our contest where 3 lucky people will each win a pack…Contest: Shrimp Tails