- Ever catch 10 bass on the same plastic worm? Nobody has! Be honest. BUT I JUST DID!
- Patent-pending plastic baits with TANTALIZING soft action, multiple color choices, scent-impregnated, chewy and DURABLE.
- Xstended Life Bait APEX STICK WORM from MTO Lure Company
By Forrest Fisher
When former Elite Series bass Pro, Darrin Schwenckbeck, shared that he was winning local lake tournaments in New York State because of a new plastic worm, I had to ask more. Does it have a unique smell? Special shape? Is color the difference? New color? Where did you get it? “No to all of that.” He said, “I gotta get you in touch with my buddy, Bill Alexander. I think he has something here that will be a big hit in the fishing world. Tell him I asked you to contact him, and maybe he can send you some of these to try. He calls them Apex Stick Worms – they don’t break off the hook when you hook a fish. Above that, they are supple, and they cast like a bullet. Easy to skip off rocks or docks and rip through weeds with no torn-off worms. You’re going to love these things. I’ll text you his contact info.”
I trust Darrin’s judgment, but I was still a little skeptical about a plastic worm that does not break off. What about the action? So a few minutes later, I talked to jovial and knowledgeable Bill Alexander, an amateur angler who has fished the pro circuits, won a few, and recently retired from the aerospace manufacturing world. Not a lazy guy, Alexander promised to invent a better plastic bait product that would last. Alexander said, “I love to fish plastic worms wacky style…you know, hooked in the middle without using an o-ring, so the hook is in the right position for every cast – it’s hooked through the worm itself. Much better hook-up ratio. This method is so deadly, but the one problem is that fish bite the worm off, and you go through bags of worm baits to keep fishing. It’s expensive, and I hate to waste time re-rigging, not to mention we are leaving plastic worms all over the lake. It’s another form of contamination. Our baits are made from recyclable plastic and it does not melt in your tackle box.” Alexander added, “After several years of prototype manufacturing with my partner, Paul Williams, we worked to develop a new plastic worm bait that can help everyone: parents fishing with kids or pro anglers fishing for big cash. Both groups can have more fishing fun.” Adding a wide, ear-to-ear grin, Alexander said, “One last thing, you know our packaging is not fancy, but I never caught a bass on the package before.”
Alexander is a confident, soft-spoken, humble sort of guy. Not sure he realizes that his invention might change the plastic bait fishing world. Especially with on-the-water trials from Elite Series bass-pro anglers like Schwenckbeck and others. They gave their new, patent-pending product line the name of Xstended Life Baits, manufactured by the MTO Lure Company. The process can be used with plastic worms, drop-shot baits, creature baits, chatter-bait trailers, and more. See a listing of Xstended Life baits farther into the story.
Ask yourself how hard it would be to introduce something new in the plastic bait fishing market. Why would that be hard? Because they all have the same flaw. They all break off quickly. That’s what Bill Alexander wanted to fix. That’s what he and Paul Williams have fixed! Plus, there are endless plastic bait styles, sizes, colors, and shapes. You get the picture. To make something new would be difficult.
Not long after, Alexander invited me to test their new Apex Stick Worm in a challenge with one of his long-time tournament boating partners, Gary Day. Of course, I accepted in a micro-blink! A few weeks later, we were bass fishing on a freshwater lake near Lakeland, Florida. Both of these guys are fun-minded fishermen but with a heavy focus on fish-catching. The challenge was to see how many fish (bass) I could catch using just ONE of the new plastic Apex Stickbait worms that Alexander and Williams had invented and perfected.
Dubbed the APEX STICK WORM,” I was immediately impressed with the perfect size, feel, and weight of the worm. Easy to cast, thick and hefty in appearance – the look and size of the worm (5-1/4 inches) that big bass see and suck in without hesitation. And, in my sweetheart color choice, my favorite for Florida stained-lakes: Blue-black with embedded microscopic blue/gold/red flakes. “Ooooh, I whispered out loud after looking over four or five color combinations that Bill offered to try. Can I hook one of these up?”
“The way we sell them right now,” Bill said, “A pair of Fisker scissors (Walmart) is used to separate them from each other. You do that the night before the tournament. Try it.” I cut the mesh to separate one worm from the 5-pack cluster of worms held together by the screen-like mesh material.
We may sell them a different way in the future, pre-separated, but for now, the patented material and manufacturing process provides the product in this manner.” I had no problem with the 5-second scissors effort.
With a 4/0 circle hook in my left hand, I lifted the worm straight overhead with my right hand and peered along its length to select the approximate middle of the worm for hook placement. As I moved to thread the hook into the worm, Bill said, “Now watch the tiny seamline and thread the hook across that to get the best action and durability.” So I did. Bill used a different color, and Gary used a different color yet.
A moment later, rods ready, the 200 horsepower Merc lifted Gary’s 19-foot Ranger out of the hole in a moment and away we went. Joking and quipping as we skipped across the lake at about 55 mph, the warm Florida sunshine made the start of this day perfect.
About 5 minutes later, Gary slowed up and said, “Let’s start here, there is a sand bar and weed line edge along these reeds, and there may be some good bass on this structure.” He switched the motor off, hopped up front and dropped the electric bow motor. We silently scooted closer to the start point of our fishing. “I brought some neighbor kids out here the other day, and we caught some nice fish. That’s why I’d like to start here.”
A few seconds later, the Talon silently slid into the sand to steady the boat about 50 feet from the reeds. Gary advised that we cast into the reeds, along the reeds or out into the open lake side until we find where the fish are.
All of us started with open-face spinning reels and braided line. Gary was upfront casting that way, Bill in the middle casting into the beckoning reeds, and I was in the back casting toward the transitional weed edge in the deeper open water. Not more than 10 minutes later, Gary yelped, “There’s one! Here’s a good one, guys. I’m hooked up with a nice one.” Not long after, Bill slipped the net under a bass that checked in at 5-11 on the Rapala scale. What a nice fish to start the day. We took a picture and carefully released this nice whopper. About 5 minutes later, I was slowly reeling and stopping, reeling and stopping, to let the wacky-rigged worm undulate downward as it settled into the deep weed edge. I felt the slightest tap-tap tap on my St. Croix Avid rod. The circle hook did an excellent job, and by lifting the rod gently and reeling, the fish was on. A few minutes later, we checked in that beautiful bass at 4-13.
Only 30 minutes on the water, I was hoping that Bill wasn’t getting tired from his net-man job. We joked about that. Gary moved the boat down along the reed a few minutes later, and on the first cast in the new spot, Bill hollered, “Hey, there’s one, guys! Got ‘em.” I ran over to pick up the net as the fish was acrobatic, dancing all over the surface as Bill battled another whopper. That one checked in at 4-14. Wow.
“We’re all still using the same worm we started with,” Bill said, smiling. Over the next 4 hours, the three of us caught 26 bass – all of us using the same worm we started with.
All of us were fishing wacky style. Gary had caught 10 on his one worm.
Some fish were caught along the deep weedline transition, some in the reeds, and others under the boat docks as we skip-cast into the shadow line at high noon.
As we watched an alligator snoozing on shore, we gave the rods a rest to share a sandwich lunch from Bill, some turkey sticks and ice water that my better half had packed up in the shoulder-carry Grizzly cooler. We talked about the incredible fishing and these amazing, durable plastic worms. Just then, an Osprey soared overhead a hundred feet away, hovering high above some schooling baitfish.
Gary said, “I think that bird is telling us it’s time to pack up and head for home, guys.”
Learn more about the Xstended Life Bait products by watching the online YouTube videos from Northeast Bass Fishing with Mark Filipini at https://youtu.be/zCXFiLl-43c. You can order this new product directly from MTO Lures at PO Box 286, Sylvan Beach, NY, 13157. For prices and info, simply email Paul Williams at Pwilliams9@twcny.rr.com or Bill Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org.