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Talking Big Fish and Enthusiast Tackle with FLW Angler and Evergreen Prostaffer Shaun Bailey


Brock: There's been a buzz around the "Bailey Trout" for years now, when did you start making this bait and how did it come about?


Well I started making baits in 1999. I needed to have baits that were not available at the time. My buddy Dave Holloubek and I started doing this together, we tested and fished everything we made. Some stuff was junk but through a ton of work we hammered out some of the best baits I have ever fished. I was able to make baits for any situation. We fished tournaments and when I would win it was usually on my bait, so I just nicknamed it the Bailey trout.


One of the original Bailey Trout custom swimbait designs...


Brock: So the Bailey trout doesn't specify one style of bait then? It can mean a billed bait with a rubber rear half or a lipless three piece bait?


Correct. It does not specify one bait. It just means made by me or Dave. We had so many models and styles we did not name them all since no one but us ever saw or used them. We just used the name "Bailey Trout " for tournament awards to tell people what we caught em on.


...and another lipless model...


Brock: To my knowledge there weren't many if any lipless baits coming out of Southern California at the time. How did you guys come up with this kind of configuration?


At the time I decided to make a lipless bait, there was not a bait that I could find that was anything like it. Everything at that time had a bill and had so much resistance when you wound it in. I needed a bait that would glide across the surface and swim at the same time with little or no resistance. It resulted in a more lifelike swim and then we realized we could put this application into a sinking bait. It started with a three piece no bill floater then progressed from there. I made a ton of money on this style bait before I could buy anything like it. There are a ton of baits like this now.  I guess I left it on my deck one to many times in front of the wrong people...


...and another with a different joint design


Brock: Do you feel there is an advantage to using custom baits?


Heck yes I do. Having something the fish have never seen before or having a bait that no one fishes gives me so much confidence. Like I said I have seen fish get conditioned to baits my whole life so change is always good when it comes to baits and lures. I use so many baits that guys have never seen or heard of. I can't tell you how many co anglers jump in my boat and freak out on my baits, especially stuff from Evergreen. Their stuff is incredible, the tackle, line and rods are top of the line. Better than anything I have ever used. I won two boats on Evergreen stuff and it was because I was the only guy throwing it.


Modified buchertails musky baits


Brock: Switching gears a bit, I heard your brother (Pro Paul Bailey) recently on a radio show talk about you winning six boats in recent years. Is this true?


Yes, I won 6 boats in 3 years. Two a year for the last 3 years all here on Havasu.


Brock: Wow that is quite an accomplishment. What year did you fish your first tournament and what tournament stands out the most to you?


I fished my first tournament when I was 20. I fished a team tournament and stunk it up chucking a huge trout lure all day for nothing. But the one that stands out the most is the ABA tournament I fished with my brother that we weighed 44.06 pounds for 5 fish in a day tournament. That tournament kills me every time I think about it. I lost a 12lber and weighed in a 6lber for my small one. I know, I know, but the chance at 50 for 5 kills me every time I think about that 12. Stupid bass!! Funny stuff. Great day on the water with my bro still!


Brock: What was the biggest change you had to make going from trophy hunting to fishing for five bites?


Well it was definitely hard. I fished for trophy fish when I started. I loved fishing for them. But slowly I wanted to learn to do other stuff. I joined a club and that taught me tons. Getting to fish with different guys who were all helping me. It was great. At 21 I bought my first Basscat. Started working at a tackle shop and fishing Lake Casitas full time. I learned really quick and was really into tournaments. I juggled fishing for trophies, and prefishing for tournaments for years. I had it down. If I was trophy hunting I would only bring my swimbait rods, if I was prefishing I would force myself to leave them all at home. It worked out good for me.


44.06 in the ABA Team Tournament


Brock: Any plans on heading east to fish the elites or are you going to stay here and support FLW in the west?


Well I had plans to move back east this year but I met a girl! A great one too. Anyhow not moving to North Carolina just yet. I will prob just stay out west and fish some FLW's. I sure wish B.A.S.S would bring the opens back west!


Brock: Since being on board with Evergreen International the last couple of years how has using their lineup helped your fishing? Is there any talk of doing signature rods, reels or tackle in the future?


No talk of signature stuff yet but they are designing a whole new line up of rods for the U.S market. Talking about warranties and models more fitted for the American bass fisherman. The tackle is awesome. I have pretty much replaced all my tackle with Evergreen stuff. From rain gear to line to rods and tackle they make the best of everything and I love having and using it. I also love that its hard to get but not for long guys.


Brock: For the complete picture let's go through a list of all your rigs and which you prefer for each particular technique...


Combat Sticks Series

Rod Line Application
The "Explorer" 7'0"             10-14# flouro  

Carolina rig, rattle trap, spinnerbait, topwater

The "Explosion" 7'0" 14-20# flouro  

big jig, big senko, big Texas rig, yo-yo'n rattle traps

The "Pitchin Frog" 7'2" 40-80# braid    Frog
The "Morizo Flip"  7'7" 20# mono        flipping rod
The "Pro Guidance 71" 7'1" spinning 4-6# flouro    

dropshot, scrounger, darthead


Combat Sticks Glass Series

Rod Line Application
The "Super Nova" 7'0" 8-12# flouro    shallow small crank
The "Super Nova Husky"  7'0" 8-16# flouro  medium sized cranks


Heracles Series

Rod Line Application
The "Pro Guidance c68"  6'8"          6-8# flouro

dropshot, scrounger


  6-8# mono

popper, small jerkbait


The "ForceGrandis 7"  7'0"            8-10# flouro

dropshot, scrounger, Texas rig, small jig, jerkbaits


  8-10# mono small and med size topwater
The "Bluemeister 7" 7'0"              10-16# flouro

dropshot, Texas rig, senko, small spinnerbait, chatterbait

The "Heracles 7"  7'0"                12-20# flouro

dropshot, jig, Texas rig, big worm, big senko

The "Strikemaster 77" 7'7" 8-20# flouro med & deep cranks, med spinnerbaits
  8-20# mono with leader super spook
  50# braid with 20# mono small hard swimbaits
The "Actaeon" 7'4" 20# flouro 6" and 7" swimbaits
  50# braid with 20# mono leader super spook

The "Actaeon magnum" 8'2" with long handle/7'11" with short handle

20# flouro      7" and 8" swimbaits
  20# mono        light flipping


Temujin Series

Rod Line Application

The "Amazon Flip" 7'0" spiral guide wrap

15-20# flouro   spinnerbait, light pitching, small 5" swimbaits
The "Balista"  7'4" with regular handle/7'6" with new "Savage Grip Handle" 16-20# flouro   7" swimbaits
  50# braid with 20# mono leader 6 & 7 "

big topwater Amazon, wakebaits


Brock: Last but not least, when is the next Big Bait Posse Video going to come out?


Well there are some talks about doing another Big Bait Posse DVD. Funding is an issue right now, but yes we are slowly trying to gather some great footage for a part 2. We want to do a few trips to some cool places before we finish it up. Still some work to do for sure but Tackle Tour will be the first to know the details so keep logging on! 

Brock: I'd like to thank Shaun for his time and insight along with giving us a look at some of his prized baits. If you'd like to hire Shaun for a guided trip in Arizona or discuss sponsorship he can be reached by email.

Shaun would like to thank his sponsors Evergreen International and Kanji Tungsten Weights.









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