#12 – 3:16 Mission Fish
The Mission Fish put Mickey Ellis’ 3:16 Lure Company on the map in 2000 as the first popular weedless swimbait designed for largemouth bass. The bait sprung to fame with Jed Dickerson’s 21 lb 11 oz bass caught at Dixon Lake in 2003, the 5th largest bass ever caught. That catch was made just 11 days after Mac Weakley caught and released a 19 lb 7 oz bass at Dixon on the same bait.
Those fish were caught off spawning beds, fishing the Mission Fish like a jig rather than an actual swimbait. But this bait claimed plenty of giant bass while fished the way it was intended to, in heavy cover. In recent years, saltwater bait makers have begun to really embrace the weedless swimbait approach for catching big calico bass in kelp canopies, and that movement has rejuvenated largemouth bass anglers’ interest in weedless swimbaits again.