Well it had to happen. I am just surprised it took so long.
For about seven years, I have been touting my favorite jig as I describe my fishing adventures in these pages.
Finally a local bait maker has had the good sense to start producing them. Grandslam Baits is a brand new company in Edgewater. The owners are the father-and-son team of Rick and Brad Kayholm. They only make soft, plastic baits and intend to feature my favorite chartreuse shrimp tail with gold fleck. Hallelujah!
For the past several years, our only supplier has been a company in Louisiana. Now, we can keep that business right in our own community.
Soon after they opened, Rick and Brad called to inquire if I had any interest in their products.
Did I ever.
I hopped into my old Ford truck and beat a path to their door. I didn't have to spend much time with the fellows to see they have a passion for what they do. Their walls are lined with a wide variety of plastic baits, but you know I was immediately drawn to the bags of shrimp tails. Brad showed me tails in several colors that all looked great The chartreuse is dead on and the root beer looked good, but I was attracted to the white with a tiny red fleck they call peppermint crunch.
As we all know the first job of a bait is to catch a fisherman and it had done its work.
Before I left, the Kayholms presented me with a couple packs of those and some of the chartreuse. I couldn't wait to get the new white and red into the water, but the next morning the wind was really whipping and I was grounded. Sitting in front of the TV and fingering the new jigs could only last so long and soon I grabbed up a rod and headed for the dock at the end of my street. I knew full well that I had not caught a fish there in over a month, but I couldn't wait to try my new Grandslam Bait.
Feeling just a little foolish, I made a poor cast into a stiff wind. No sooner had the white and red jig hit the water when I felt the familiar thump of a flounder. Sure enough on the very first cast I landed a 15-inch flounder. As I lifted it onto the boards, I had to shake my head. No one will ever believe that I caught a fish on the first cast of the new jig. Then on the second cast I caught another. I have to tell you I am reluctant to even write about this, but I wouldn't have the nerve to make up such a story. The white with red fleck had produced two flatfish on my first two tries.
After that, I made about 30 more casts and hooked one more that got off. A couple days later, I took the same jig wading in one of my favorite flounder holes and hooked four. Three escaped, but a nice 18-inch fish came to dinner. The jig works. As of this writing, I have not tried the chartreuse, but I know that one works, it is my all time favorite.
Grandslam Bait is a wholesale supplier; so tell your favorite tackle store about them.
If you want to know where they are sold, call Brad at (386) 275-6557. I would really like to see them succeed. To that end I have agreed to allow Grandslam to put my name and likeness on their shrimp tails. They will be sold as Dan Smith Special Edition. Through the years I have had several requests to use my name, but this is the first time I have agreed to do it. Captain Leo Hiles is working with them to build his favorite lure as well. Hopefully, Grandslam Baits will be around for a long time to keep us all supplied with that little bit of magic that will guarantee our fishing success.
Dan Smith has fished the waters of Volusia County for more than 40 years. E-mail questions and comments to email@example.com. His book, "I Swear the Snook Drowned," is available for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.