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Event Article


Toxic Day 3 - A Day to Celebrate Swimbaits, Big bait Culture, and Even Land a Few Coveted Lures


Date: 9/19/21
Location: Bethel Island, CA
Admission: Free
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: Zander



Introduction: Toxic Day 3 was hosted by Toxic Baits at Bethel Island in the California Delta and is a regional event that brings together some of the top garage bait builders together with anglers in swimbait community. The event is a great opportunity to meet the builders, learn about the newest big bait techniques, and even purchase some very limited edition custom swimbaits


The whole reason Toxic Day exists is because of Toxic Bait's founder and master luremaker Ceaser Chavez


Time to Get Toxic: So what exactly is "Toxic Day?": This is the third go around for the regional event which is focused on bringing the swimbait community together here on the West Coast. Similarly "The Gathering," hosted by Swimbait Universe, brings the community together on the East Coast in Virginia. Toxic Day is named after the local builder, Toxic Baits, which is owned by master luremaker Ceaser Chavez. 


Swimbait Underground brought us down memory lane with classics and collabs. This event is all about garage builders


Ceaser wanted to provide a platform to showcase not only Toxic Baits but builders from all over the country. An event that brought builders together with passionate swimbait anglers that are eager to learn more about the baits, techniques, and have an opportunity to purchase some of these baits. The event has more than quadrupled in size over the years and is something that both manufacturers and big bait anglers look forward to every year.


The venue was Russo's Marina at Bethel Island, in the heart of the California Delta


To prepare for Toxic Day many of the big bait manufacturers develop special baits, limited edition patterns, and collaborations specifically for the event. With some of these baits being so limited this provides even more incentive for anglers to attend the free event. Just the opportunity to pick up a limited edition Toxic, Pizz, or 86 Baits glidebait is enough for some anglers to fly in, or even drive across states to attend.


One of the hottest baits at the event was the Toxic and Swimbait Underground Collab OG Hoggs


It is fitting that the venue for Toxic Day is Russo's Marina, a favorite launch point for Pro Anglers and Weekend Warriors in the Northern California Delta. Many of the garage builders that showcased their baits are either located, or have strong roots, here in the Delta. A region that we also call home.


The Toxic and Stay Bent Anglers collab was this awesome Lightning Trucha which is meant to share the nostalgia of the local fish markets they grew up with


Last year's event was cancelled due to the pandemic, so there was even more pent up excitement. Ceaser pulled together a strong roster of big bait builders and fishing brands including Pizz, One2Six, Donkey Sticks, BL8NKT, Bigg Nasty Baits, Jeto lures, Fall of 74, Stray Rats, SBSRFC, Looney Baits, Trap Bass Baits, Magnum Baits, UFO Bait Co., JSJ, Black Dog Bait Co., Swimbait Underground, Swimbait Culture, Silent Morning, Rooftop Baits, ARID, Stay Bent Anglers, Boondock Baits, Expedition Baits, Gone Rogue Rubberz, Pro Point, Lacerated Blade Co., Cast and Crank, and The Slaunch Mob. The event included a showcase from the builders, giveaways, and even guest speakers.


Let's take a look at some of the most exciting offerings from the event:


86 Baits is one of the hottest builders around and together with new builder Black Anchor Fishing Co. was on hand to show their latest offerings


The 86 Baits Doomrider Glides are super clean and highly coveted by anglers for their design and swimming action


The new Threadfin deep diving Doomrider


The RT FKR rat from Black Anchor Fishing Co. is a unique rat that doesn't have a lip and instead has a popping style mouth. It can be walked, popped, or burned


Any guess what this giant line is for?


The long line, and hottest builder at the show, was for the opportunity to purchase a Pizz and meet the man himself, Paul Smith, owner and master luremaker


One of the baits that I was personally most excited about was the Stray Rats Gilliath2, a sleek and beautifully painted crankdown style gill that weighs 4.25oz. and has some amazing swimming action


I was able to purchase the very last Gilliath 2 in this Gill pattern


Stray Rats was raffling this absolutely beautiful matte black three piece


Looney Baits had their Rufio Gill and Baby Cheez swimbaits at the show


The Rufio Gill is a three piece gill and comes in some incredible patterns including ones custom painted by UFO Bait Co.


This Baby Cheez has seen plenty of battle and caught a ton of quality fish


Trap Bass Baits was created by two childhood friends who started making baits for themselves and a few friends. Now they specialize in making rats, gills, and even a few birds


The TrapGill and TrapGill Jr. are available in two or three piece models


The paintwork on these baits is stellar!


The most popular bait from the company is the House Mouse and the larger Trap Rat


Check out this wild duckling three piece lure from Trap Bass!


Looking for the most realistic delta born swimbaits? Look no further than Sly Guy Lures. The 7.5" Replica Gill features a ultra realistic profile with an incredible scale pattern and Clayton Sly's amazing airbursh work


Clayton Sly is an amazing Garage Bait builder and has been reading TackleTour since he was only 13 years old. Which makes Cal and I feel a lot older than we'd like to admit


Bigg Nasty Baits brought out a whole new lineup of patterns in their Nat Rat


Bigg Nasty also makes two piece gill called the Buddy Wake which retails for $73 dollars and is 6" and weighs in at 3.75"


The 3 Piece Buddy Diver is 6.25" and weighs 3.95oz. and dives to 4 feet plus on a long cast


Gabe Nahas at Bigg Nasty Baits shows us his latest creations and they not only look great but are more affordable than most garage built swimbaits, making them more accessible to anglers just getting into the custom big bait game


Also at the show were some beautiful new Big Lotus Gills from Reckless Rodents


The Lotus Gill features the amazing paint work that we have come to expect from Reckless Rodents


Also on hand was Jeto Lure Company and the beautiful Flatliners Gill. These three piece gills feature some exceptional 3D elements, the signature lateral line, a hand poured tail, and sick paint finishes


JSJ Bait Co. is a garage builder that was one of the pioneers in the industry and still makes some of the most detailed handmade lures


The Siren Glide is the brands sleek new glidebait and is a slow sink design


Josh even brought out some of his personal stash for sale in combo packs. This is the Snack Size Trout and Dirty Bird


The O.G. the Black Dog Bait G2 Shellcrackers in a plethora of patterns


Jeremy at Black Dog Bait Co. is a true artist when it comes to bait design and paintwork going all the way back to the legendary Lunker Punker


There were also some new brand and collabs on hand including Buffet Baits, a collab between Bl8nkt and Toxic Baits. Here Danny shows us the hilariously awesome Ditch Pickle designed for catching ditch pickles


Expedition Baits is a new company that has a number of exciting new slides and rats


Eli Haack is the owner and luremaker at Expedition and shows us his latest creations


Looking for the best way to store, transport, and protect those custom swimbaits?


Jared Kiernan, owner and creator of the high quality Fall of 74 baitwraps has you covered


The fun coffin wrap has serious bite! Just in time for Halloween nonetheless


I snagged some leather and vinyl 14" wraps for my newly procured baits


Lloyd Gomez served as the founder and creator of Bass Brigade in 2008 and now heads brands including SBSRFC, ARID, and Silent Morning


Subsurface is a lifestyle apparel brand and digital publication. I absolutely love Lloyd's unique design style


Silent Morning explores the intersection of nature, design and culture


Lloyd also has a passion for the unusual and beautiful and Arid is a new community centered around cactaceae and love of the outdoors


Lloyd surprised us by introducing us to Gancraft pottery. It turns out the owner at Gancraft is also a fan


These beautiful pieces exhibit the same attention to detail and artistry as Gancraft's baits. We shouldn't have been surprised...


Great to catch up with Lloyd and the entire Subsurface crew!


With everything going on over the last 12 months, and the postponement of the event an entire year, it made this year's Toxic Day event even more special. While we were all excited to have the opportunity to purchase a few baits the biggest draw is the opportunity to get together with a community of anglers that are extremely passionate about fishing and custom made swimbaits.


While I absolutely loved meeting up with everyone at the show I was also there to bolster the swimbait arsenal, and it is a good thing we brought some cash as there were a lot of great bait's to be had!


Toxic Day is like a mini ICAST for Garage Builders, and Ceaser Chavez deserves a big thank you from all those that enjoyed the great event. Toxic Day is about more than garage built baits, it is about the opportunity to meet up with old friends, and make some new ones, that are all bonded by the pursuit of big fish with baits that easily could be classified as handmade works of art. We can't wait for Toxic Day 4, and for all those that were unable to make it to the event many of the builders are making some extra baits available via drops, so be sure to check out their Instagram profiles.









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