Back in the '90s when Kota Kiriyama first introduced the dropshot to California bass pros, the Lake Police Cross Tail Shad quickly became the dominant dropshot bait. Its simple, semi-translucent design with flat bottom and wide nose was essentially the core dropshot bait that was then copied ad infinitum.
Lake Police later became Jackall and the Cross Tail Shad endured without an update for well over a decade.
But this year, the venerable bait received a remake and the result is the Super Cross Tail Shad, which boasts a similar design, but with scale patterns and labor-intensive airbrushed colors.
The new Clone Fry boasts similar mind-blowing colors and patterns in a true fork-tail baitfish image.
I spent a full day fishing both baits on Lake Erie out of Dunkirk, N.Y. My guide? Kiriyama himself, who was traveling back to Alabama after the Champlain FLW Tour Open.
I can't say these baits catch more smallmouth than the original Cross Tail, simply because Lake Erie fishing is different than dropshotting in California or Alabama (the fish aren't really pressured). But we all know that a different look can equal an extra bite or two, and that's one advantage these two new baits offer.
A perfect example would be: Let's say you're on a hot hole in a clearwater lake in the West or the South where you're dealing with pressured fish. You've caught a bunch off the hole, then the bite quits. Now you put on the Super Cross Tail or Clone Fry and finesse one or two more bites.
What Kiriyama Says
Beyond our day of testing, which again was a tremendous success, Kota noted that he used both baits heavily this past spring. He said the Clone Fry's a killer for cruisers during the spawn that have been battered by tournaments. Just rig it on a jighead or dropshot and pitch ahead of the cruisers. He'll do the same with the Super Cross Tail.
He also likes to use both baits for trailers on a Scrounger or ChatterBait.
If you like dropshotting, or you're looking for an ultra-realistic presentation to combat fishing pressure, you'll definitely want to at least sample the new Super Cross Tail Shad and Clone Fry from Jackall.
> A pack of either the Super Cross Tail or Clone Fry costs $9.99. They're available at the BassFan Store.
> For more about these and other Jackall baits, visit Jackall-Lures.com.