LADSON, S.C.  Breaking the silence on what has long been a closely guarded secret among many of the world’s most accomplished professional anglers, Z-Man Fishing Products is excited to shed light on the recent run of impressive Bassmaster Elite Series finishes using its innovative products 10X Tough ElaZtech soft plastics—primarily the 5" Scented Jerk ShadZ, new-for-’18 Trick ShotZ, and Z-Man-produced Strike King® Z-Too. All three products exhibit ElaZtech’s hallmark tear-resistant durability, as well as incredible buoyancy that, when nose-hooked, creates a natural, tail-up posture and lifelike action that bass and other gamefish can’t resist. And, like Z-Man’s entire ElaZtech product line, each contains no PVC, plastisol or phthalates, and is non-toxic.

The tournament-altering impact created by ElaZtech plastics was felt when Z-Man pro David Walker relied exclusively on the Trick ShotZ en route to back-to-back top-15 Bassmaster Elite Series finishes on the St. Lawrence River (July 20-23) and Lake Champlain (July 27-30). Additionally, one of the St. Lawrence tournament’s daily big fish was reportedly caught on the Trick ShotZ, and several anglers not formally affiliated with Z-Man relied on this brand-new drop-shot bait en route to high finishes, as well.

Walker, a noted smallmouth expert and one of the sport’s most decorated pros, states, “ElaZtech soft plastics were an absolute game-changer for me on both the St. Lawrence and Champlain, and have literally accounted for 100% of the smallmouth I’ve brought to the scales over my last three events. Drop shotting is, without question, the most reliable and productive way to catch a limit of quality smallies, and Z-Man’s ElaZtech baits are a perfect choice for this highly nuanced technique thanks to their extreme durability, buoyancy and action. The Trick ShotZ has been my secret weapon on Tour this year, and is a bait all serious finesse anglers should have in their arsenals.”

ElaZtech’s uncanny ability to out-produce competitive baits when tournament payouts and standings are at stake was further punctuated during the August 24-27 Lake St. Clair Bassmaster Elite Series event, when three of the top five finishers attributed their success to the Scented Jerk ShadZ or the Strike King Z-Too, an unscented version of the Jerk ShadZ that Z-Man manufactures for Strike King. Luke Clausen, renowned Z-Man pro and former Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion, also excelled on St. Clair, weighing in a 24 lb., 15 oz. second-day bag—one of the tournament’s heaviest—that fell prey to a Scented Jerk ShadZ.

Clausen echoes Walker’s enthusiasm, commenting, “Not only have Z-Man’s ElaZtech Trick ShotZ and Scented Jerk ShadZ become my go-to smallmouth drop-shot baits, but they’re being increasingly relied upon by other Elite Series pros, too. Thanks to its unique construction and incredible action, the 3.5" Trick ShotZ [in ‘Meat Dog’ color] has become my confidence bait for smallies over the last three events, and has absolutely helped me earn checks and valuable Angler-of-the-Year points.” Clausen continues, “When looking for a bigger bite, the secret drop-shot bait of the north—Z-Man’s Scented Jerk ShadZ—is out! It’s been a favorite of mine for some time, and has now become a mainstream bait on Tour, consistently catching big smallmouth, tournament after tournament.”

Clausen’s acknowledgement that the Scented Jerk ShadZ has previously been a secret weapon held close to the vest by anglers north of the Mason-Dixon line is a sentiment shared by other top pros, as well.

“In my research on northern fisheries, large-profile drop-shot baits seem to have either been disregarded or overlooked by anglers from other parts of the country,” remarks Brian Latimer, FLW Tour and Bassmaster Open rising star, and Z-Man’s latest national pro-staff addition. “I’ve always been under the impression that small goby imitators are the best presentations for smallmouth. After fishing with a St. Clair local in 2014 during a B.A.S.S. Open, however, I learned that St. Clair’s kicker smallmouth definitely prefer a bigger-profile, perch imitator like Z-Man’s 

Scented Jerk ShadZ, a bait that has quickly become a staple in the northern region.” Latimer continues, “Ironically, I drew this same gentleman as my co-angler a year later on Erie, where he outperformed me [fishing my small-profile goby imitator] 5-to-1 with a Scented Jerk ShadZ tied on. That confirmed to me the difference-maker this bait truly is—and that no other minnow-style jerkbait can touch its action and feel!”

The leaderboard disruption created by Z-Man’s Trick ShotZ and Scented Jerk ShadZ over the span of B.A.S.S.’s last three 2017 Elite Series events leads most to believe that both will play an equally pivotal role in the outcome of         the upcoming 2017 Bassmaster Angler-of-the-Year Championship on Minnesota’s famed smallmouth factory,         Mille Lacs Lake. Clausen, who will be competing alongside Walker in the AOY tournament, is quick to substantiate   this assumption.

“The growing trend of competitive anglers increasingly converting to the Trick ShotZ and Scented Jerk ShadZ as their primary smallmouth baits of choice is one I’m confident will continue playing out at the AOY Championship on Mille Lacs,” Clausen says. “If the last event at St. Clair is any indication, I’ll most likely see one, or both, of these baits on 75% of the leading anglers’ rods by tournament conclusion. And, I hope to be one of them, as I’ll certainly be using two of the best drop-shot baits on the market!”

About ElaZtech

Z-Man’s proprietary ElaZtech material is remarkably soft, pliable, and 10X tougher than traditional soft plastics. ElaZtech resists nicks, cuts, and tears better than other soft baits and boasts one of the highest fish-per-bait ratings in the industry, resulting in anglers not having to waste time searching for a new bait when the fish are biting.

This unique material is also naturally buoyant and floats up off the bottom, creating a more visible, lifelike, and attractive target to gamefish. Unlike most other soft plastic baits, ElaZtech contains no PVC, plastisol or phthalates, and is non-toxic.

About Z-Man Fishing Products

A bold, dynamic, Charleston, SC-based company, Z-Man Fishing Products has prided itself in bringing technology to anglers for nearly three decades.

Z-Man has long been one of the industry’s largest suppliers of silicone skirt material. But, even though the company’s Original ChatterBait was creating stir on the major bass circuits, only a handful of pros associated Z-Man with this tournament-winning lure.

Today, however, all that is changing. Every day, Z-Man’s amazing 10X Tough ElaZtech soft plastics are gaining momentum among the world’s premier fresh- and saltwater baits, helping make it one of the fastest-growing lure brands worldwide.