New Z-Man® Gobius™ structure swimbait looks, feels and animates like a live Neogobius melanostomus
“Over the years, we’ve seen smallmouths turn completely away from traditional patterns and vital forage bases to focus single mindedly on round gobies,” observes Z-Man® pro Grae Buck, whose home waters include Great Lakes Erie and Ontario, where gobies have ballooned bass growth to freakish dimensions.
“Bass never seem to get their fill of these critters, which you have to admit, kind of resemble little cartoon characters,” suggests the Pennsylvania based bass pro with a grin. “If you pay attention to their habits and swimming cadence and put the right bait within sight, a big smallmouth will nearly always eat. Unquestionably, Z-Man’s Gobius™ swimbait checks all the boxes. It clearly bears a striking physical resemblance to the real McCoy. But in terms of body posture and tail action, the new Gobius is also nearly indistinguishable from a live round goby.”
As Buck explains, most anglers think about goby patterns only in spring when bass beds become overrun with armies of the little animals. “Actually, smallmouths grow to these grotesque proportions by foraging on gobies almost year around,” he believes. “These preyfish actually lack an air bladder, so as long as you keep your bait pinned to the bottom, crawling over rocks, shells and other debris, you’ll eventually connect on the biggest smalljaw of your life.”
Sizes and weights below
“Fish the Gobius the same way you might work a jig,” Buck suggests. “One or two quick, dramatic rodtip twitches should always be followed by a pause. The bait’s easily lifelike enough to simply let it soak and attract bass with its physical appearance alone.
“One other really cool thing about the Gobius is that bass recognize it as food, everywhere,” he adds. “Certainly don’t need to have gobies in your favorite lake to catch bass and other species with the bait. Largemouth and spotted bass eat it just as willingly because they’re used to eating other bottom-dwelling forage, like sculpins, darters and bullheads all the time. Not to mention the fact giant trout, pike and walleyes gobble these critters with just as much aggression, Great Lakes and beyond— and very few anglers are tapping these incredible overlooked patterns.”
Available in October, the 3-inch Z-Man Gobius features three weight options (3/8-, 1/2- and 3/4-ounce) in eight lifelike colors, including a mix of goby camo schemes, popular smallmouth hues, and even a high-vis sight fishing pattern. MSRP $5.99 each. www.zmanfishing.com.