Most folks who know musky fishing know the appeal of musky baits. You know the old cliche; Some baits hook anglers, not just the fish." Suppose that's why my crates and boxes just keep filling up...
I'm a sucker for good baits and turn into a kid when I have a morning like today's. See, at 9 am sharp I pulled up to the back door of Phantom Baits over in Ramsey, Minnesota. Jim Hammarstedt and Todd Cleveland offered to show us their very cool operation and check out a few of the new baits.
Inside their modest shop, they've got hundreds of specially-weighted baits ready to go to the paint booth. I call 'em ghosts. White dummies Just hanging and waiting for a magical paint job to bring them to life.
That white stuff is a special plastic resin which seems to hold up a bit better than wood and seems to catch more fish! But here's the real magic behind Phantom. Todd hand-paints every one of the baits that go out the door. Simply amazing.
I won't tell you how many they sell a year, but I will say Todd paints and epoxies roughly 75 baits a day. Pretty cool to see him work on custom colors!
The end result? The kind of stuff I dream of at night. Phantom's got piles of completed baits ready to go out to customers all over the the US and Canada.
I'll be fishing several of them in the coming weeks and at the Frank Schneider Jr. Tournament mid-September. I'll report back! Thanks Jim and Todd for a VERY cool tour!