Catch Co. sent us some fishing gear to try. Here's how it went.
Catch Co. has shifted the way we look at the e-commerce and its role within the fishing industry. It's the umbrella company hanging above many of the newest and most buzz-worthy fishing brands to hit the consumer market, and we've been eager to check out some of their gear for some time.
The company says "Our mission at Catch Co. is to create amazing products, content, and shopping experiences for the modern angler." Catch Co. wants fishermen and women to "discover something great, memorable, or unexpected through one of our brands."
With chief fishing officer Karl VonDibble acting as the face of the brand and founder and CEO Ross Gordon leading the charge, this brand continues to flood the fishing industry with new products to help you explore your passion.
Catch Co. is the group behind the Mystery Tackle Box subscription service, as well as the Karl's Bait and Tackle e-commerce site. You can join the membership-based Karl's Club to save up to 30% on purchases, receive free shipping, and get early access to limited deals.
Their collaboration with the famed Googan Squad, plus their own original brands like 10,000 Fish and Biospawn, have helped them find a way inside tackle boxes everywhere. Anglers can find all they need, especially in the flashy, attractive categories like lipless crankbaits, squarebills, medium depth, and deep divers. There are so many fishing lures to choose from within the Catch Co. family, and their product innovation is what's setting them apart at such an early stage in their longevity.
Here's a look at what we received, and some thought on how they performed.
The 2-3/4" Sukoshi Bug from 10,000 Fish comes in a six pack and is featured in eight different color patterns. While it is designed to be Ned rigged, it will also get strikes from a Carolina rigged presentation, or as a trailer on any good finesse jigs.
Karl's recommends that it be used with a medium light to medium spinning rig with a fast action tip, and a reel spooled with 6-10 pound test fluorocarbon line.
BioSpawn Exo Swim
We received the 4-3/4" chartreuse pepper pattern in the five pack, but it comes in 13 different colors. The Exo Swim profile displaces more water and it can be fished on a spinnerbait, swim jig, or keel weighted hook. Recommendations for using the large version is for a medium heavy bait casting rig with 15-20 lb. fluorocarbon line.
Vile Bug with BioScent
The four-inch Biospawn Vile Bug comes in eight color patterns. We tried the June Bug, and it was the perfect flipping bait since the body has flanged claws for enhanced action when trailing a jig or Texas rigged.
The collapsible body slots along the ribs create air bubbles, which makes it ideal for bottom dragging on a Carolina Rig or jig hopping on a wobble head. Rod and reel rig rig that works best is a 6'6"-7'7" medium heavy baitcaster rigged with 10-20 lb. test fluorocarbon.
Mike Bucca Baby Bull Shad
The 3-1/2" Baby Bull Shad from Mike Bucca in the bluegill pattern is one of the premier lures from Catch Co. The all-species fish catching ability of the classic Bull Shad are obvious in this four-joint swimbait that comes in six different color patterns.
Medium heavy rod combos are recommended spoiled with 10-15 lb. fluorocarbon.
Googan Squad Fluorocarbon Line
The 15 lb. test under the Googan Squad name is perfect for fishing the Bull Shad and the Exo Swim around hardcover and/or vegetation. The lighter lines are better when using the smaller Vile Bug and Suskoshi Bug.
Good fluorocarbon lines are worth their weight in gold as they virtually disappear in the water and have the strength to spare when it comes to fighting big fish.
How They Performed
I tied on the Vile Bug right away since I love a good June Bug pattern, and started throwing it in the deep cover. It works excellently through the deep weeds and especially when fished above them. I rigged it with a weighted weedless hook and let it sink into the spaces between the weed mats. As expected, a couple of largemouths couldn't resist the temptation.
I also used it to find feeding fish that were striking short on the surface, and using the Exo Swim on another rod, I had good success casting back to the spot and hooking up. I had some strikes on the Sukoshi Bug, but no hookups, while also using a weighted weedless hook rig.
As far as the Baby Bull Shad: I casted with it three times, had one severe boil near it, and then a northern pike bit it off! That's unfortunate for me, but a sign that predatory fish are indeed attracted to it!
The only fairly expensive item was the Bull Shad, but most decent swimbaits are right around $10. The soft plastic baits held up quite well, and in fact I never had to change any of them; they resisted tearing better than older plastics I've used. The color patterns are some of the best in the industry at attracting bass, and that was proven by the success I saw.
These soft baits are easily used with just about every kind of worm hook there is. They cast nicely and work well, even without added weight. I would have liked to have had more time to use them across the border in some of my favorite smallmouth lakes, but with the Covid-19 restrictions it wasn't possible.
Overall, the strikes were fierce and the hookups were solid. I'd stack these up next to any high-performing baits in your tackle box.
The Not So Good
The 15 lb. test line is what I refer to as "heavy" on the spool. It had quite a bit of memory which made it tough to cast, except for the heavier lures. It obviously didn't hold up against a northern pike that got my Bull Shad all the way inside of its mouth.
The Sukoshi Bug is a great finesse bait, but it is probably best as a trailer and it needs much lighter line to work it well.
Honestly all these baits and especially their packaging are excellent, but it has to be said: they all have the "Made In China" stamp on them. The Googan Squad line says it is made in Japan.
For those of us that have several rod and reel combos and a few tackle bags full of lures, it seems like there's always room for more fishing equipment. Looking back, this gear from Catch Co. is some of the most innovative and unique that I have used in a number of years. The shapes, designs, and colors are a far cry from what my grandfather had in his collection.
The bottom line is that most of it caught fish.
I applied my own scents and even some of my own rattle inserts to give them some sound, but I still think that they stand up well on their own. I fished from my boat but also from the shore, and had good success from both positions.
The biggest thing is that Catch Co. represents the new way to find, learn about, and acquire fishing gear, and an angler could save a lot of money over time on the tackle that they know is going to work well.
If you're in the mood for some fresh new takes on lures and line that are already proving themselves effective on the water, Catch Co. would be a great place to check.