Toxic Day 3 - A Day to Celebrate Swimbaits, Big bait
Culture, and Even Land a Few Coveted Lures
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I snagged some leather and vinyl 14" wraps for my newly
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
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
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.