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Letter To Jaime Diamond @ Santa barbara Landing

Hey, California Surf Fishing (CSF)! I have great news. Santa Barbara Landing will now be offering the Battlestar 115 Jerkbaits. They are stocking ALL of the color patterns. As I shipped the order off to SB Landing today, I decided to write the following letter to Jaime, asking her to please also stock the Battlestar 5" Rib Baits + XLS Weighted Swimbait Hooks. Please contact SB Landing, or your favorite local tackle shop, and ask them to stock the Battlestar 5" Rib Baits and XLS Swimbait Hooks, so that way they are available for everyone at the local tackle shops. OK, here's the letter I sent to Jaime today.

 

Hi Jaime, 


Thank you so much for placing your first wholesale order. Battlestar Tackle at Santa Barbara landing is long overdue and I'm excited to announce to the community that are our baits are now available at your location. 


Jaime, I want to express how very important it is that you also carry the Battlestar 5” Rib Baits + XLS Weighted Swimbait Hooks. Please allow me to explain. When I began my surf fishing journey in 2020 I was casting heavy Carolina rigs in Ventura, just eager to catch any little thing that could nibble down a #4 mosquito hook. I figured it was an unlikely probability that I might cross paths with a big quality fish like a halibut or a striped bass. So I played my odds by targeting small fish with small baits. But I found my 1-ounce egg weights were getting snagged on rocks and I was losing rigs left and right. I documented my challenges on video, shared this on YouTube, and turned to the surf fishing communities on Facebook for advice. That’s when David Siordia saw my hard work and took me under his wing as my surf fishing mentor. 


One early fall morning, David took me to his secret fishing spot. It was a long walk in the grey light before sunrise, and along the way, David whispered his secrets to success at halibut fishing from shore. Despite the fear of backlash from his peers, and the risk of exposing his favorite fishing spot, David generously confessed with a genuine eagerness to support my hard work and see me succeed at catching fish. 


“Look for this kind of structure, and these conditions. Fish with jerkbaits and large lightweight swimbaits. And if the water is dirty, use a Texas Rig because it’s the most weedless.”

We began casting our Jerkbaits through “lanes” between strands of kelp. The water was dirty out at the end of my long casts so I made a short cast, curious to see if I could get a clean retrieve in the last 20 yards. About 4 cranks in, my line went tight and the rod doubled over. My face of curiosity burst into surprise as I sensed large head shakes and realized this was no clump of kelp. David, standing at the water's edge looked back at me as I eased backward up the beach and he exclaimed with excitement… “You don’t even know what you’ve hooked, do you?!”

A few minutes later, I had landed my first fairly hooked Halibut ever. At 26” it was also my first keeper.  


Vincent Alexander with first keeper Halibut, thanks to fishing mentor David Siordia.
Vincent Alexander with first keeper Halibut, thanks to fishing mentor David Siordia.

That day, all of my doubts dissolved. Now I KNEW there were big fish out there waiting to be caught. I knew what structure and conditions to look for, and what baits to use. David sent me on my way to find my own secret spots, and I spent that whole winter searching Google Maps and scouting every mile of shoreline on foot from 5th street in Oxnard to Carpinteria in Santa Barbara. For some reason, I saved the best-looking stretch of beach for last. Along the way, I experimented with various TX rig configurations. At first, I was still convinced that there was no advantage to using lightweight. I figured heavier weight would cast further, cover more water, and catch more fish. I was wrong. 


February 4th, 2021. Low tide. I stepped onto the shoreline of a protected bay that had been stripped down to bare reef and surf tumbled rock by the rough winter swell. No doubt this beach would be the snaggiest I had encountered to date. As I waded the low tide shallows in a grid pattern, like I was combing the beach for agates, I noticed sand patches in the deep pockets around the reef, pads of kelp planted on the rocks, and clumps of eel grass swaying two and fro in the ebb and flow of the current. Exactly what David told me to look for. I knew instantly I had finally found my first Halibut nursery. But, how could I fish it without snagging and losing my heavy Texas Rig?


I continued to snag and lose rig after rig. Finally, in frustration, I sat down on a rock, closed my eyes, and visualized what might happen when a swimbait hits the water and sinks on a taught line under constant retrieve. Suddenly, I perceived the advantage of lightweight in my mind for the first time. I imagined, that a 1-ounce bait would sink twice as fast as a 1/2oz bait, and a 3/8oz bait, even slower. If it sinks slowly enough, then I could maintain a constant slow retrieve, and it would swim slowly through the water column without ever touching the bottom and snagging. And if I slowed down and dragged on bottom, I figured it would do so with less gravity, and crawl over the rocks gently without getting snagged so much. 


It was like a light bulb went on in my head. With the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning, I cut off my 1oz Texas rig, tied on a lightweight 3/8oz instead, and immediately began casting and searching the beach for a willing fish. Within an hour or two, I noticed I was no longer getting snagged on the bottom. With a massive smile on my face, I knew I had learned the secret to fishing heavy structure beaches without snagging; lightweight. David was right! So I kept casting and combing the beach. Now, I felt invincible.


I’ll never forget the cast. My bait landed on a sandy bottom to the left of a rock pile covered in eel grass. I began my very slow low and steady retrieve just the way David showed me. About halfway through the retrieve my bowed line and rod tip bounced with a hard THUMP! My eyes went wide and I set the hook! My rod bent and I felt heavy weight and head shakes. I hit record on my GoPro and after a couple of short fast runs at the sand, I dragged this feisty flat fish up onto the sand. “Look what I did! Look what I did!” 



I had landed my first fair hooked halibut, all by myself, at a spot that I had found all by myself. It was really rewarding. Now I knew the secret to success (lightweight Texas Rig) and I knew I’d be dangerous in the surf from this day forward.

The rest is history. I shared my learning experience on YouTube and in the Facebook groups. I developed a floating 115 jerkbait so it too would swim through the water column without dragging the bottom and snagging. And I continued to catch Halibut after Halibut, with a side of White Sea Bass, Sand Bass, and Rock Fish along the way. I started catching so many Halibut that my fishing buddies started calling me “Halibut Vince”.




Over the next year and a half, I zoomed in on this technique, determined to discover the most weedless and snagless swimbait design with the best hooksets. I experimented with every kind of swimbait and hook on the market. The best was a VMC hook with an extra-long shank. I discovered it got the best hooksets and landing ratio. The problem was, it was not heavy enough for surf fishing. I had to use a bigger bullet weight, and that meant I was snagging more because all the weight was up-front. I needed an extra long shank VMC hook but with more weight on the hook. So I contacted VMC and asked them if I could buy these hooks in bulk, pour my lead design on them, and market them as Battlestar XLS® Weighted Swimbait Hooks. The answer was yes. I spent about a year experimenting and testing various prototypes right there in Santa Barbara. I discovered that the Xtra-Long-Shank® Swimbait hook was not only the best for quality hooksets. It was also not getting snagged at all, because with the weight balanced further back on the hook shank, the bait sinks horizontally. This thing is super snagless! 



My final frustration was with the Swimbait itself. I had been using a Keitech 4.8” FAT Swing Impact, and I always wondered why they did not include ribs across the groove, so we could bury the hook tip in a couple of ribs right there in the groove to keep it weedless. I also found that the tails were too thin and often got torn off right where the hook penetrated the tail. And, the body was a little fatter than I wanted it to be.


I brought my new “Rib-Through-Groove” swimbait design concept to a factory and asked them to produce a mold. They said it was impossible. So I approached another factory and was denied again. Although a bit discouraged and frustrated, I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I finally found a factory that was willing to try making this mold and produce my original Rib-Though-Groove® design. In October 2023, the Battlestar Tackle 5" Rib Bait was finally released! We put them on our website and started shipping them out to all the tackle shops along the California Coast. The day after these baits arrived, I went out and caught a 27” Halibut. This is the first fish ever caught on a production Battlestar 5” Rib Bait.



Over the years my advocacy of Texas Rig surf fishing has become a sort of cultural pearl in the timeline of surf fishing history. More and more people are tying on the Battlestar XLS Weighted Swimbait hook + 5” Rib Bait, dragging them through the thickest structure, and coming up with fantastic catches from Halibut and White Sea Bass to Calico and Rock Fish. The advantage of this bait is still yet to be discovered by a large percentage of the surf fishing community. So the future is looking bright for Battlestar Tackle Co. And now, I am excited to share this success with you. 


I am asking you to please stock at least a few of all three of our XLS Weighted Swimbait Hooks (1/4oz. 3/8oz, 1/2oz) as well as the Battlestar 5” Rib Baits. The hooks and baits are priced for your 40% profit margin and a great value for the customer. 



Thanks for allowing me to share this story so you understand why the Battlestar XLS Hooks and 5” Rib Baits are unique, superior, and a must-have in your shop. If you have any questions or requests, please reach out.

Thank you, Jamie.


Vincent Alexander 

VINCE GOES FISHING

California Surf Fishing (CSF)

BATTLESTAR TACKLE CO

951-254-3630


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