Take it from some people who don’t throw this particular soft plastic as often as others: the “D” Shad catches bass after bass after bass. That may sound strange at first glance, but let me explain.
Texan Gary Yamamoto, the artificial lure-manufacturing wizard, and his son Derek Yamamoto for whom the “D” Shad is named because he started designing it in the mid-2000s confided that it isn’t one of their favorite soft plastics.
But since it was introduced on the market last year they know how effective it has been catching bass consistently coast to coast, border to border.
"I’ve been messing with that thing for a long time," said Derek Yamamoto, 39, who lives near Las Vegas.
It was worth it, he said.
The soft-plastic jerkbait appears similar to a Zoom Super Fluke or an old Reaction Lures U-99 made by John Dean in Many.
Don’t let looks fool you, however. It’s different, Derek Yamamoto said.
"The Fluke shape is fairly universal. It’s been around a long time," he said. "I wanted something different than a Fluke. When you put it on a hook, it does a heck of a lot more than a Fluke."
His intention about eight years ago, when he first began making this newest product, was to create a Fluke-type soft plastic that acts like a Senko. It took at least five years and five or six prototypes to get what he desired.
"I wanted it to be able to sink level and give me more shimmy," he said, proudly knowing he eventually nailed it. "When that ‘D’ Shad sinks, it sinks level and it shimmies. It definitely took a long time to get it like we wanted."
"I think we experimented with that more than any other bait we ever made," Gary Yamamoto said while taking a break during a fishing trip on Lake Champlain in New York.
Yamamoto had just fished an FLW tournament there and cemented a 38th place overall finish in the 2012 standings to qualify for the FLW championship at Lake Lanier north of Atlanta. He was heading to Georgia for a couple days of pre-fishing before the cutoff period ended July 8.
Derek Yamamoto planned to market the "D" Shad under his Kinami line of artificial lures but, was persuaded by GYCB officials to put it out under GYCB. He has since sold Kinami back to Yamamoto.
One accomplished bass pro, a rep for GYCB, is well aware of the instant success of the "D" Shad.
"Yeah, the ‘D’ Shad. Derek invented that thing. We needed that thing a long time ago," Ben Matsubu of Hemphill, Texas, said with an audible sigh.
Matsubu, 49, remembers "playing with that thing in swimming pools" when he and Derek Yamamoto were tweaking the "D" Shad. He recalls the first models his friend turned out had a wide, more rounded body.
"It looked close to what it does now," he said. "You can catch a bunch of fish on that thing. You can throw it twice as far as a Fluke, and there are several ways you can rig that thing. There are a lot of different techniques these guys use.
"What I do like about them is you can throw them and let them sink. You can Carolina-rig them. You can Texas-rig them. I’ll bet you can put it behind a football jig and catch them. It’s so versatile."
"I have fished it but not to the extent other guys have," Derek Yamamoto admitted, noting the lakes near his hometown usually dictate fishing with other artificial lures.
"Other guys who have fished it and guys on my pro staff love it," he said matter-of-factly. "There are a ton of ways to use it."
Other than the methods described by Matsubu, he said it also triggers strikes when threaded on a Chatterbait. He believes it is more effective even than putting a Swimming Senko on a Chatterbait.
"D" Shads are available now in a dozen colors or color combinations, including basics such as shad, watermelon and green pumpkin.
"There’s definitely something for everybody in those 12 colors," Yamamoto said. "There will be more; we have plans to expand the color lineup in the next year, year and a half."
He recommends fishing it with anywhere from a 3/0 to a 6/0 hook. Personally, he said, he favors putting it on a 4/0 or 5/0.
"It’s a good bait that will work," Gary Yamamoto said.
For more information on the "D" Shad and other GYCB products, write to Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits at 849 Coppermine Rd., P.O. Box 1000, Page, Ariz. 86040.
|The “D”Shad looks like a Fluke, but has much more action than the old standby.|
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