LiveTarget has an answer for those who want to fish a compact, manageable “umbrella rig” in gin clear or stained water — in the spring, summer or fall, and at any depth of the water column.

The artificial lure manufacturer that has provided anglers lifelike baits for any species recently put the BaitBall Spinner Rig on the market after an eye-opening appearance at the 2017 ICAST show in Orlanda, Florida. The multi-wire artificial lure features three “teaser” baitfish on three arms, a single spin willowleaf blade in the center and a “target” baitfish on a single black nickel hook.

LiveTarget co-owner Vic Cook, who has been involved in product development from Day 1 when the company was founded 10 years ago, said his slogan for the new artificial lure is “any water, any time and anywhere.

“What we mean by any water is the baitfish are so lifelike they’ll be a factor in gin clear water where there’s a lot of pressure, and stained water because of the vibration of the willow blade and the rotating action side-to-side of the little baitfish and their tail action,” Cook said.

“What we mean by any time is it’s effective in the early part of the season, the middle of the season and at the end of the season,” he said.

“As far as anywhere … any part of the water column. You can buzz it across the surface or retrieve it at any depth. You can also bounce it off the bottom and across stumps.”

Cook and Grant Koppers, LiveTarget founder and president, believe they and all anglers have a winner on their side, even though it was judged second-best in July in Orlando. The BaitBall Spinner Rig was runner-up in the Freshwater Soft Bait Category at ICAST. (“It should’ve won,” Cook said with a chuckle.) 

Koppers said, “This is one of the most innovative and unique products we have ever designed. In fact, we’ve been working on this concept for several years. Every variable to make this lure function and trigger strikes has been meticulously considered. The flash and vibration is unlike any lure ever created.”


Fresh or saltwater

Cook, who lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, and Long Boat Key, Fla., said the BaitBall Spinner Rig is catching on quickly across the U.S.

“Whether you are a freshwater or saltwater fisherman, no matter what you fish for, you’ve got to tie one on. You’ll be surprised how effective they are,” Cook said. “You can fish for any gamefish with it, and have many, many hookups.”

And many, many happy landings.

After throwing it and catching bass on it in late October at Toledo Bend, I became an even bigger fan of the compact BaitBall Spinner Rig. It isn’t unwieldy. In fact, it’s just the opposite and very manageable.


Lengthy design phase

The group of baitfish — “teasers” and “target” — look alive in the water the way the artificial lure’s set up.

“The wire frame we designed is the first castable rig that’s easy to cast. The wire frame is very strong and can be pulled through hard cover such as trees, dock pilings and laydowns,” Cook said. “So, really, this bait allows you to penetrate deep into a typical bass territory.”

The BaitBall Spinner Rig was a long time in the making. Cook and the staff began tinkering with a design featuring a small group of baitfish around 2010. At first, they believed predators, such as bass, would swallow the group as a whole — but were proved wrong time and again.

“We didn’t figure it out for a long time,” he said.

Then they saw the umbrella rigs and had a better idea. Build something with “teaser” baitfish and a “target” baitfish — the weak link in the small ball of shad, or the one that lags behind.

That was the key to the success of the design, Cook said, adding that the spinner in the middle was the coup de grace and that hook-catch ratios soared.  

In fact, Cook said the BaitBall Spinner Rig owns the company record for the longest time from conception of an idea to the finished product, as well as the largest number of prototypes during the design phase.

The next step was to get the proper testing and to get it in the hands of pro anglers to use on the water. When all was said and done, the new artificial lure was battle ready “about this time last year,” he said. “We felt we had all the answers.”


Multiple sizes and setups available

The BaitBall Spinner Rig is available in small, medium and large, with two weights for each. Small sizes are  ¼- and 3/8-ounce. Medium is 3/8- and ½-ounce, while large is ½- and 3/4-ounce.

The durable soft plastic baitfish are available in six colors: purple pearl/silver, pearl white/silver, green pumpkin/silver, lime chartreuse/gold, dark amber/gold and chartreuse/silver.

LiveTarget also offers an Interchange System to give anglers the option to quickly change the color combination and adjust on the go. The Interchange System also gives them the opportunity to replace any soft plastic baitfish that may show wear and tear.

For more information on the BaitBall Spinner Rig and other LiveTarget products, go to www.livetargetlures.com