It’s funny, the Southern California fishing community is a pretty open and sharing group.  For me personally, I may not have actually met someone live, but if they’re holding a fish in their avatar I will readily friend them on Facebook.  I think a lot of us salties are that way.  That’s how I met Rich Whitaker, the founder of Bait Wraps.  Around November or so, Rich started posting pictures of irons that he had transformed in his garage.  Old, beaten up jigs, were finding new life and the transformation was quite striking.  Hyper-realistic images of squid, bait fish, and even scrambled eggs were finding their way directly onto the jigs.  It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before in these most Southern Californian of fishing lures.

I must have some of these jigs!  I contacted Rich.  I had picked up some old jigs at the swap meet in San Diego and sent them to Rich to have him work his special magic on them.

 

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Pretty dramatic, huh?  I arranged to meet Rich at the Fred Hall Show to pickup the jigs.  While there, we chatted a bit.  He’s being cagey about the process by which he makes the jigs…understandable, he’s in the infancy of building his hobby into a business.  He was gracious enough though to take some time and give me a bit of the backstory which he tells in the video below.

If you want some of these jigs for yourself, he’s selling them for $20 apiece + shipping.  You can either send him your old jigs and he will clean them up and apply the pattern of your choosing, or you can just buy the finished jigs directly.  He’s getting unfinished jigs from Candy Bar (the same guys who make those Bleeding Channel Chovy swimbaits) as his blanks and applying his finish to them.  He’s making surface and yoyo irons, so let him know what you need.  I got 2 lights and 2 heavies.

Rich is a really nice guy that’s been around the scene pretty much his whole life (he started out as a pinhead out of Pierpont Landing when he was 13).  I definitely wish him well and can’t wait to fish his jigs.  The yellowtail bite seems to be back on again down at the Coronados, so I’m going to see if I can’t get in on it and get bit on my new Bait Wrap jigs.  Today is the last day of the show.  Find Rich down there and pick some up for yourself, or contact him directly after the show.  Tight lines!

VIDEO

 

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