Every now and then a guide and lure designer will put their heads together and come up with a bait that addresses an identified need. Usually the collaboration produces a lure that works well. This month we bring you just such a story.
Capt. Mike Sielicki of Apex Predators Potomac Creek Guide Service is an avid tidal Potomac River angler and guide. When he’s not running his busy drywall business he’s guiding for snakeheads (crappie, catfish and rockfish, too) on the tidal Potomac River.
Mike Seal of MES Lures has a special mind for lure design. His wobble jigs, spinnerbaits, swim jigs and more are sold through the region and his show booth is always a popular stop among attending anglers.
Both Mikes have collaborated on a new series of lure for snakehead fishing including the Get ‘Em Frog, the Frog, the Root Frog and The Critter.
Seal has been bass fishing area waters for over 50. Now 69 years young, he has transitioned into lure designer the past 12 years after a career spent in the construction trade produced some lingering health issues. The resident of Caroline County now designs and sells lures as well as custom made rods.
We asked him to tell us about his recent foray into the frog market.
“I actually have three different types of frogs. One is called the Root Frog that debuted last winer. A second is the Get ‘Em Frog, which is new and has paddle feed that rotate. The third one is called The Frog. It’s the biggest frog one can buy, and it’s the size that triggers the fish,” Seal told W2.
We asked Seal what makes his frogs different from the many others on the market.
“Probably Mike and all the testing he’s done for me. Mike and I got together after the Richmond show and with the success we had selling the Root Frog we decided to expand that part of our bait offering. Mike’s a great fisherman and the littlest suggestions he’s made, have made the biggest difference,” Seal told W2 about the influence of tidal Potomac guide Sielicki.
The frogs are each available in a myriad of colors, but Seal says the best sellers are green, black and while.
With such a fertile lure designing mind, we asked what Seal is working on now.
“I’m working on an inline buzzbait type lure. We’re also working on a soft plastic bait called The Critter – a large hybrid creature bait snakeheads love. Another thing is a buzzbait using repurposed wine corks,” Seal noted.
So how does an idea for a lure come to Seal?
“Not too long ago I was observing frogs swimming and noted how important the front legs were. I added front legs to the Root Frog because of this observation. The Get ‘Em Frog is like a buzzbait but the paddles are on the back and it’s soft; different than similar paddle leg frogs on the market. They come through the grass and weeds real well, too.”
Both Seal and Sielicki will be attending the upcoming Virginia State Fair, September 23 – October 2 as an exhibitor/seller and well as the Richmond Fishing Expo in January.
Another selling point for the MES frogs is that they sell for around $8 versus $13-$14 for competitors’ products. If you’ve fished for them, you know how destructive snakeheads are to frogs. The toughest bait is The Frog, followed by the Root Frog and then the Get ‘Em frog.
You’ll find the MES frogs available at Mike’s Outdoor Shop, Dishman’s Corner Store, Anglers Landing, Hellems & Son Sporting Goods and High Point Marina.