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Zoom Baits - A Selection Strategy

By Russ Bassdozer

What is this article doing? It recommends certain Zoom Bait styles, sizes and colors that should have the most universal appeal among freshwater bass in general. So we're suggesting the best selections of Zoom Bait models, sizes and colors that may have the best bass-catching potential to bass anglers!

One caveat. I have used a lot of Zoom baits - but some more than others - and I have not used them all. Plus, I did not have access to a Zoom master bait catalog when I wrote this. So, although this article is fairly inclusive, nevertheless a few color selections may have been missed for certain models, particularly newer models like the Zoom Tube. If I ever get my hands on a copy of a Zoom master item list and color chart, I may use it to finalize color selections. In the interim, I hope that the following content will guide interested anglers to great Zoom lure selections, including hints as to where and how to use them best. So, understanding this caveat, let's proceed!

Market Background. Zoom lures are predominantly marketed to largemouth and smallmouth bass fishermen. They are not necessarily known in other freshwater circles or among saltwater anglers.

When it comes to the Chunks, Fluke, and Trick Worm, then Zoom clearly sets themselves apart in terms of market recognition and angler favoritism.

For other lure styles, Zoom is good, but other manufacturers also have their own products that compete with or have better recognition and market share than Zoom. We're talking about products such as single tail and twintail grubs, tubes, lizards, craws, and an infinite variety of curly or straight tail worms here. Again, Zoom baits are good in these styles, just that they don't dominate like with the chunks, flukes and trick worms.

Leading Line-up. In this article, let's focus exclusively on Zoom Baits, okay? Therefore, the following items represent some of the most popular styles, best sizes and favorite colors of soft plastic lures that I recommend should be in bass anglers' tackle boxes. In fact, the following line-up of Zoom lures can be considered as a tool chest of "basic building blocks". They're a "core selection" of soft plastic lures which when used together, form a "total package" that contains models, sizes and colors of soft plastic baits to cover a universal range of bass fishing situations:

015 4" FLUKE 45
Although several manufacturers make competing styles of "twitchbaits", the Fluke has an image as one the very hottest. Twitch it just under the surface without a weight, only a hook for largemouth/smallmouth bass. You may want to use a ball bearing swivel on a foot-long leader to stabilize the bait and to avoid line twist from rolling.
023 5" SUPER FLUKE 45
Not nearly as popular as the 4" Fluke among bass anglers. Best when bass are targeting larger bait. Good for larger freshwater gamefish like pike and stripers. Good for saltwater species used on a jig hook. (Note: Lunker City's 5" Fin-S-Fish is very hot in the saltwater market for this style of bait. Why not try it and Lunker City's 6" Slug-go too?)
006 7" TRICK WORM 38
Although several manufacturers make competing styles of "floating worms", the Zoom Trick Worm has a super reputation. In fact, baits of this style are generically referred to as "trick worms". It floats with a light wire hook, no weight. You twitch it on top of the water for largemouth/smallmouth.
Use as a trailer attached to the back of a rubber or silicone skirted jig. Typically used on heavy tackle in heavy cover. Smaller versions are popular for smallmouth.
027 SMALL SALTY CHUNK   Same as above.
  3.5" SUPER CHUNK   This is a different, complementary style of chunk than the "Salty Chunk" above. Both styles sell well although the newer Super Chunk is slowly gaining a better reputation. It's new, it's hot.
  2.75" SUPER CHUNK JR.   Same as above.
  4" TUBE n/a The generic style of tube baits are one of the hottest items in bass angling in 1999. The hot technique is the Texas rig in cover. Note: You should also evaluate other manufacturers  with popular tube offerings within this size/style, such as Luck E Strike, Strike King, and Gambler.
  7.5" TAPER TAIL n/a This is a thinner, pointy-ended style of floating worm. No doubt, this new worm will compete against another manufacturer's bait, V&M's Needle Worm. Used with similar tactics as the trick worm.
001 6" U-TALE WORM 1
In general, worms like this are the best-selling size/style of soft plastic for freshwater fishing. Many manufacturers make this generic size/style of curly tail worm. Has a big U-shaped tail that provides a rippling action when retrieved. Use on Texas rig.
002 6" LIZARD 1
This is the best-selling size of lizard. Used during the spring for largemouth. Use Texas or Carolina rig. Not as popular other times of the year.
012 6" ZOOM CRAW 19
"Craw worms" are not as popular now as a few years ago. The 6" size is preferred by anglers after big bass. Use Texas rig for largemouth, particularly pitching/flipping in cover.
Many manufacturers make this generic size/style of curly tail grub. This style is popular for many gamefish used on a jig hook. Tail too thin and soft for saltwater use. Note: Other manufacturers (Yamamoto, Kalin's, and Mister Twister) have more popular offerings within this style.
  3" FAT ALBERT   Same as above.
010 4.5" CURLY TAIL WORM 1
A good worm. Many manufacturers make this generic size/style of curly tail worm. Has a thin body. Use Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs in open water.Note: Other manufacturers, particularly Kalin's, have more popular offerings within this style.

Colors. Although there are over 500 different combinations of Zoom styles, sizes and colors of baits, the above baits form a central, productive core of fishing lures. Likewise, there are certain core colors that cover many universal bass fishing circumstances.

On the bottom. The following excel for all styles used on or near the bottom and in cover, including all worms, craws, lizards, chunks. Also, grubs and tubes work well in these colors.

1 Black/red glitter
19 Watermelon Seed (similar to 25, but also promote this due to color name recognition among anglers)
25 Green Pumpkin
29 Red Shad (only available in certain models)
54 Watermelon/Red Glitter

Chunks. In addition to the above, chunks also work well in the following color selections:

66 Flippin' Blue
72 Black/ blue glitter
92 Crawdad
110 Sapphire blue
117 Brown
New Blue Olive
New Green Olive

Floaters. There are special, sometimes bold color patterns that apply specifically to the floating worms (Trick Worm, new  Taper Tail). Best colors for floating baits include:

38 Black
39 Bubblegum
42 Merthiolate
43 Blue Glimmer

Flukes. There is a natural baitfish-oriented color schema that applies to the Fluke and Super Fluke. Also, grubs and tubes work well to the extent they are available in the following colors:

45 White Pearl
49 Clear Silver Black
91 Albino
105 Smokin' Silver
109 Smokin' Shad
115 Baby Bass

Other Zoom models are good too. The following items are also available from Zoom, and may be popular in some regions or for specific niche styles of bass fishing. No doubt, they may be moderately or even wildly successful baits in certain angling situations! But in my opinion, they just may not have the universal mass appeal of the items mentioned above.

022 6" BRUSH HOG 1
This is a new style of bait that has made a good impression so far. It's just too new and perhaps too specialized a bait for widespread market appeal. Use on a Texas rig for largemouth, particularly pitching/flipping in cover.
Same as above.
034 FAT ALBERT TWINTAIL   This type of trailer bait is currently less popular than "Chunks". Use as a jig, spinnerbait or buzzbait trailer for largemouth/smallmouth. More compact size than a chunk as a jig trailer. The twin curly tails create lots of trailer leg movement on a slower retrieve.
009 9" MAGNUM WORM 1
This style worm is used for bigger bass on a Texas rig for largemouth, particularly pitching/flipping in cover. Big worms have never been as popular as models that are 6" and under.
026 10.5" OL' MONSTER   Same as above.
031 5" LIZARD   Second most popular size lizard. Not as popular as the 6" size.
033 8" MAGNUM LIZARD   This size lizard is not as popular as the 6" size.
005 4" MINI LIZARD   This size lizard is not as popular as the 6" size.
016 6" SWAMP CRAWLER   A generic style of 6" worm. Use Texas rig.
017 4" DEAD RINGER   The ring worm style of bait has never been a "hot" bait although it produces. Use the 4" size on Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs in open water. Use the 6" size Carolina or Texas rig.  Use the 8" size on Texas rig in cover.
035 6" DEAD RINGER   Same as above.
021 8" BIG DEAD RINGER   Same as above.
032 SALTY REAPERS   This "finesse" style is not popular outside of the western states. A straight, flat, feather-shaped lure that has little action except a subtle dart or glide, and then lies motionless on the bottom. Use Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs.
024 4" MEATHEAD   This is a bulky "finesse" style of bait. Use Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs in open water.
004 5" FINESSE WORM   This is a thin "finesse" style of bait. Use Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs in open water.
007 4" CENTIPEDE   This is a straight-bodied "do nothing" style of bait. Use Carolina, splitshot, shaking or finesse rigs in open water.
003 3.5" FISH DOCTOR   Same as above.
008 3.5" SPLIT TAIL TRAILER   This trailer style was popular a few years back, but not so today. Use as a trailer on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Gives more body, action, and more "lift" to these lures on a slower retrieve.
029 2" TINY SALTY CHUNK   No comment.
013 ROAD KILL CRAWS   No comment.
014 3" LIL CRITTER CRAW   No comment.

Hope it helps with your Zoom selections.

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