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Product Showcase - Dave's Custom Baits Black Market Balsas

!!! Product Showcase !!!

 Dave’s Custom Baits Black Market Balsa



With the summer swing well underway, many recent Truman Lake tournaments have been won on David Ryan’s Black Market Balsa crankbaits. Similar in appearance to the original Bagley Balsa B’s, Black Market crankbaits eliminate the hassle of purchasing multiple baits from garage sales, on-line auctions, and scrounging old tackle stores only to have one bait out of several have the unique action that triggers lunker bites. Sure, any crankbait thrown in the right place at the right time may catch a fish or two, but for the competitive angler, eliminating variables in a sport wrought with factors out of our control is key to setting one’s self apart from the rest of the field. David has spent countless hours experimenting with baits allowing him to replicate the action of that valuable relic we all have in our tackle box. In addition, Dave’s prowess with an airbrush allows for a huge variety of color schemes that separate his baits from off-the-shelf lures.

My experience with Dave’s Custom Baits started with sending a boxful of damaged Balsa B’s in for bill/wood repair and a paint job. After seeing the detail in the repairs and painting, I saved up for my first two Black Market Balsas. I had heard of the unique action of the Black Market; how it “hunted” different than other balsa baits, but didn’t understand how different they really were until I hit the water with one in hand. Simply put, there is no comparison between my best Bagleys and the Black Market. The only way I can describe the action is to say it is as close to an out-of-tune crankbait as possible without actually loosing control and rolling. For whatever reason, the bait will track on a straight line with a tight wobble, then from nowhere, simply dart out to one side or the other. Just as you think the bait is going to break loose and roll over, it returns to its original track, only to dart out the opposite direction on the next crank of the reel. Rather than requiring the angler to jerk and twitch the bait during the retrieve, a quick retrieve will generate random direction shifts similar to that of deflecting off a rock or log, even when no rock or log is present. Of course, the bait is at its best when careened off such cover, coupling the random action with the deflection that often generates a crushing strike. 

When dressed with Mustad’s new KVD Triple Grip Ultra Point trebles, the combination has proven indispensable anytime bass are hanging on shallow tangled cover where most hesitate to throw a spinnerbait or jig. Fish simply can’t resist the squarebill bouncing around in front of their face! An oft-overlooked pattern centers on the baits ability to come through thick cover, even if that means cedars or thick hardwoods in deep water. Most seasoned Truman anglers are aware of the summertime suspended bite where fish are taken by swimming big worms through the treetops. As more and more 10” red shad worms are presented to these fish, a few of us are slamming Black Markets into every tree limb we can find. Rather than making a hundred pitches hoping one might result in a soft tick or twitch of the line when a fish inhales the worm, the bite on a Black Market is a “Qwen Stefani” bite! In other words, or for those more inclined to a different taste in music, the bite is simply “No Doubt”, as those suspended fish are conditioned to ambush shad as they pass through the tree tops. Their window of opportunity on the free-roaming shad is miniscule and they have been conditioned to attack hard and fast or miss their chance at a meal. The result is most often a well hooked, better than average fish, just what we tournament competitors are looking for.

Proof of the bait’s effectiveness has been witnessed in nearly all of this season’s Joe Bass and Angler’s in Action Truman division events, where Black Market baits have accounted for thousands of dollars in winnings. David and partner Robb Barker racked up two wins along with two big bass awards enroute to capturing the points championship in the AiA circuit. My AiA partner Shawn Crabtree and I finished a distant second in points with a Black Market Balsa tied on for all but the opening round “cold-water” event. David teamed with Justin Miller to take a win and second so far in the Joe Bass circuit, where others have noted the use of the Black Market as a key to their money finishes. My friend and Bass World Sports partner Al Cox and I have a great chancing of winning the Truman Division points championship in a couple of weeks if we can muster a couple of keepers. One of the baits pictured has been on deck for each of our BWSTA tournaments this season, where we have scored a win, two thirds, two fifths, and two big fish awards.  Add to that a win and two seconds, along with two big fish awards in the extremely competive West Central Bass Club and it's easy to see how effective the Black Market can be.

The upcoming fall season will prove to escalate the value of the Black Market as bass begin to feed up for winter on shad packed into the shallows. Rest assured the Black Market will be on my rods as Al and I pull my new Smithville Marine Skeeter to Bull Shoals (?) for the yet-to-be-announced Bass World Classic, as well as AiA’s Stockton shootout with Shawn, culminated by the Joe Bass Championship out of Bucksaw Resort on Truman where Dave Gaulden and I hope to finish the season with a bang. Be sure and check out Dave’s website for more details on the Black Market, it’s brother the Black Market Slim, and of course, the repair and color offerings that make Dave’s Custom Baits a must visit site, especially with Chrismas just around the corner. Wouldn’t you rather have your own Black Market Balsa instead of a pair of socks?

Posted by Mark Thompson, who is proud to support Smithville Marine, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Motors, Mustad, 724Outdoors.com, Dave’s Custom Baits, and The Buck Stops Here Taxidermy .

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