Warrior of the water catches 14-lb. Bass Lake Fish
By Cal Tatum
BASS LAKE - Imagine, a 14-pound largemouth caught in a lake known for small spotted bass. Well, there is one, and it was caught and released by Tony Henderson on May 21 at Bass Lake. That's right, a 14-pound bass caught on the "Gladiator" at Bass Lake - and that's not all. A couple of days later, Allen Borden, founder of ABT Lure Company in Oakhurst, CA was fishing with the Gladiator when he was hammered by an 11-pound bass in a local pond. A few ago I used the Gladiator at the Kelsey Ranch in Snelling to boat numerous bass in the four- to five-pound class. Since then, several 10-plus pound bass have been taken on the Gladiator and numerous big Stripers. Simply put - this lure works! Gladiator is the right name for this lure, it is truly a warrior of the water.
In the past several weeks I have learned the Gladiator is a highly versatile lure. Originally, the Gladiator was promoted as a hard swimbait - but it's much more. At the Kelsey Ranch, there were some fish just off the beds and I found that by dead-sticking and allowing the lure to drop into the bed the larger bass would attack the lure with a vengeance. The water was gin clear and we could pick and choose which fish we wanted to target. Later in the day, when the wind picked up, I was able to boat several post-spawn bass by working the lure like a jerkbait along weed edges.
The Gladiator can also be used as a crankbait but has several advantages over many crankbaits. First, the lure is a countdown lure that will fall approximately one foot per second. By simply counting down the lure, you can place it at virtually any depth the fish are holding. Most crankbaits only reach their ideal depth after being reeled in several feet, eliminating a lot of productive water while the lure is diving. Depth control and superior action means you'd better hold on to your rod butt tightly and get ready for the big ones.
ABT Lure Company has recently added a suspending Gladiator to their lineup. This lure falls slowly, perfect for inactive fish because it sits in the strike zone longer. The suspending Gladiator works much like a fluke. In the post spawn and hot summer days, plastic flukes, rigged weightless, can be deadly on bass sitting in three to four feet of water, holding tight to cover.
Simply throw the lure out close to cover and let is slowly fall, then give it a slight twitch and let it fall again. This will drive bass crazy! The problem with plastic baits is that they aren't as durable, the action isn't consistent because most anglers put the lure on the hook differently virtually every time. With the Gladiator, the lure has better and more consistent action, and will last for years.
For those who like to troll with downriggers, the Gladiator is exceptional. They have been trolled down to 100 feet and at speeds up to 7 miles-per-hour. Everything from big trout to 40-pound stripers have been caught trolling the Gladiator. Lately, some anglers in southern California have found great salt water uses for the lure. One man called the company and was laughing at the numbers of barracuda he caught on the Gladiator. There have also been salmon and a 70-pound halibut was caught and even some Dorado.
The more I use the Gladiator, the more impressed I am with it and apparently so are many other anglers. Articles about the lure will be appearing soon in several fishing publications, both salt and fresh water magazines. Outdoor writers have been so impressed by it they are writing articles and sending lures to publishers, fishing professionals and friends. Recently, ABT signed bass professional Dalton Bobo to their pro staff and many more pros are becoming interested in this fish-catching machine.
The Gladiator is one of the most innovative lure I have seen in many years and should be one of the hottest lures on the market.
A lure for all species
The beauty of the lure is that it works on virtually every species of fish. Bass, trout, crappie, stripers, salmon and even halibut and albacore tuna have fallen to the Gladiator. Over two years ago, Allen Borden started experimenting with a new lure design. His goal was to create a lure whose design is based on the food source most common in area lakes - the threadfin shad. Almost all species of fish depend on the shad to fulfill their nutritional needs. Mr. Borden went to work trying to develop a lure that would duplicate the look and action of a threadfin shad. It was a long and arduous task, countless hours were spent making various molds, trying a variety of materials and, of course, the hard part, going fishing with them. In the beginning the lures were made of rubber but Borden wasn't happy because of the lack of durability. The hard plastic baits were more durable but the action suffered. After two and a half years he came up with an idea that has proven deadly - double jointed hard bait. The alignment of the joints allows the bait to move freely in the water and creates a swimming action that can fool any fish. It is amazing how life-like the action is and how well the lure is balanced. Besides great action, the lures are also painted with life-like colors, rivaling lures coming out of Japan.
Great action and good looks, that's all fine and good, but does the thing catch fish? Let's face it, there are a number of lures on the market designed to catch anglers but many fall short in the fish-catching category. Since developing the Gladiator, some pretty big - and a large variety - of fish have been caught on the Gladiator. Prototypes of the lure have caught a 7-pound rainbow trout, a 3-pound crappie, a 14-pound black bass, a 52-pound salmon, 43-pound striper and brown trout up to 6.5-pounds. They have also caught albacore tuna, halibut and even a few catfish have slammed the lure. The versatility of the lure is due to the precise replication of a threadfin shad, both in shape and action. Allen Borden has always "lived to fish" and his passion for the sport is what drove him and his team to develop the Gladiator. A.B.T. Lure Company has finally moved out of the development stage and into the production phase. They are manufactured in Oakhurst, CA and tested in their test tank to ensure the highest quality.
The lures sell for about $15 each but when you consider the versatility of the lure, you may end up reducing the weight of your tackle box and save a lot of space in the boat, these lures are worth every dime and more. And, when you're holding up a 10-plus pound largemouth for the camera, you'll know why they call it the "Gladiator."
For more information about the Gladiator by ABT Lure Company, call 559-683-8202, or visit their website at www.abtlures.com, pick a couple of color patterns and then head to your favorite body of water. Take your time, learn the numerous ways to use this versatile lure, and get ready to have a big one try to pull the rod out of your hands.
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