This is part two of a two-part article about the Madness Japan Balam 300 swimbait as told by lure designer and big fish expert Satan Shimada. We will discuss the origins of the bait, gear required, where to fish it, and “Balaming” also known as the 8 Trap Method retrieve.
As covered in Part 1, the Balam 300 is a large swimbait designed to fish quickly to trigger bass. The designer, Satan Shimada, built this lure to elicit reactions from big bass and he has developed a unique retrieve method called “Balaming” also known as the 8 Trap Method.
Balam 300 Gear
This is a massive lure and Shimada utilizes heavy line and a big rod, but he prefers a rod with a softer tip to allow for some forgiveness while using the 8 Trap Method as it is performed right next to the boat.
He also prefers a monofilament line for the same reason. “I want something that stretches a little bit. It is like a topwater plug and a rod that is too stiff or line with no stretch doesn’t allow you to get a good hookset and you miss fish,” he said.
8 Trap aka “Balaming”
Watching Shimada perform this retrieve may bring up the Figure-Eight used by muskie and pike anglers to get followers to strike. It is the same principle, but Shimada has a slightly different approach, and he learned how good it could be by accident.
The origins of this retrieve were strictly a coincidence according to Shimada. “I was using a straight retrieve and had two followers. I left the bait in the water and moved the rod, and one fish reacted. I moved it again and nothing,” he said. “The third time one of them bit.”
How to Do It
He starts by grabbing the end of the rod to allow the bait to be further from the boat and avoid spooking bass. “The whole idea behind it is to imitate a wounded or panicked baitfish,” said Shimada. “You are trying to represent a baitfish trapped against the bank, and the bass thinks it is injured or hurt.”
He says the large size of the Balam 300 allows it to represent a big baitfish, and by creating bubbles from the tip of your rod, it looks like smaller baitfish. This creates the look of a feeding frenzy on the surface.
Mix it Up
It may look easy or uncalculated, but Shimada says there is a thought process behind what he is doing.
“Making the same eight pattern is not good. I change it up and still make it an eight but do one side longer either left or right to make your lure look like a wounded fish.
“There is no one right way to do it, and you can do it how you like. The whole idea is to give fish one more chance to get the bait,” he said.
The Balam 300 is a unique lure, and the 8 Trap method is a unique retrieve. As Shimada has proven many times, it works and allows anglers to catch the following fish that so often evade big bait fisherman.