Author: Rob Belloni
Overview/History: The Maverick swimbait came out in late 2007. You may also see this particular model referred to as the BH Minnow. There are nine available colors, and they come three to a pack. Retail price is $9.75 which works out to $3.25 each. These baits are hand poured up at Clear Lake in California. The lures are scented with a banana-esque scent and poured from soft plastic. Pros: Being ever the skeptic when it comes to fishing lures I was not particularly enthused about the shape and the tail design of this lure. When I took them out of the package and saw how soft and pliable they were I became more interested. When I made it to the water with my Maverick’s in tow and saw how they swam my enthusiasm meter went way up. These baits swim great. Let’s talk about why. Your standard boot-tail swimbait has a 90 degree angle or larger at the corner where the back of the bait and the tail meet. Only a few have a tail that is turned in toward the belly of the lure like the Maverick does. When you make a bait with the tail turned in, you have to compensate by making the plastic very soft. And most large scale production lures are not poured soft. Your average Wal-Mart shopper doesn’t want soft lures that might tear - they want to catch 10 bass for a buck. Don’t get offended, I do troll the fishing section at Wal-Mart from time to time, but I don’t buy swimbaits there. How does it swim? The Maverick is a body wagging bait. By this I mean that the lure flexes from head to tail as it kicks which throws enough vibration that on a light swimbait outfit you will probably feel the bait kicking. Being a regional type bait I haven’t heard a ton of feedback on this lure but I have heard good things from Clear Lake and the Delta. Rich Caro had one pushing 10 in a Bass-n-Tubes tourney on this bait a year or two back. The nose of the Maverick has a divot that matches up with a tube shaped hole inside the belly slot. If you’re fishing open water you can shove a mojo weight through the nose and rig a treble hook in the belly. It’s a great little modification in terms of versatility, and the way the lure is built with the divots instead of a full on hole is great because when you want to rig with a regular EWG type hook you still have enough plastic in the nose to rig through. There’s also a tube shaped hole running from the belly slot toward the tail which allows you to add weight behind a texas rigged hook. I can’t say I had the best luck getting the lure to swim straight after inserting a weight here, but if you got just the right sized mojo weight and placed it carefully you could get your lure to run deeper. If I was going to rig like this, I’d do it before my fishing trip and tank test the bait to get it just right before getting out on the water. The colors on the Maverick are plain but passable. The Chartreuse Shad has a nice shot of yellow on the sides and looks good in the water. Mardi Gras shad also has a nice look to it for bright sunny condition or green/brown water conditions like you frequently get at Clear Lake. The Bluegill is a little white for my taste but the top half of the lure looks decent at least. Cons: Like all of these paddletail baits that are inundating the market (still) the Maverick requires some finesse to rig straight. I found myself futzing with my baits, casting them a few times, then futzing with them some more. Once you get them right they swim great at all speeds, you just need to spend some time on it. My only other negative is that the lure is too soft. But that’s not very fair of me because I know that to get the superb swimming action this bait possesses – it had to be soft! So fair is fair, but just don’t expect to be nailing 15 bass on this lure. I’d shoot for more like 5 bass and I’d bring a little Mend-It or Huddlebond glue to the lake with me. Overall this is a well thought out hand pour with good fish catching potential. The price is reasonable; there are multiple rigging options, and some very practical colors to try at your local lake. At 5 inches long you’re right in the tournament bass fishing size range and ready to catch anything from two pounds on up. If you’re at Tackle-It up in Lakeport, CA stop in and talk about the bait with the dude’s who make it. It’s a cool little shop and they make a nice little bait there.