‘YUM’S’ the word these days

Usually when anglers find a secret location stacked with walleye, bass, trout, or crappies, or a new lure or technique the fish can’t resist, they become tight-lipped and “mum’” the word.
But right now it seems YUM’s the word.
If you haven’t heard about YUM yet, you’re going to. It is one of those neat things that comes along all too infrequently and proceeds to turn the fishing world upside down.
So what is YUM? It is a new scent that according to Cliff Soward, who spent years developing and perfecting it, is the only fish attractant to utilize what he calls “live prey technology.”
Unlike most fishing scents that just mask human odours, Soward says the active ingredients in YUM are the same enzymes baitfish release when they’re distressed.
The odour serves to attract and excite predatory species the same as when you chum for sharks.
When Soward told me there are three different types of baitfish enzymes in YUM, including shad, I asked him what might happen if one or more of those species aren’t native to the area you’re fishing.
“Even though it may not be in their regular diet, and they may never have seen this food source before, they’ll eat it,” he explained. “I can’t tell you what was in many of the meals I’ve eaten, but they sure smelled and tasted good.
“Predator fish don’t study the menu,” he stressed. “When they smell the enzymes, they know it is dinner time.”
By now, you’re probably as skeptical as I would have been had I not experienced first-hand—by pure happenchance a few years ago—the power of YUM. It was still in the developmental stage back then when a small group of friends were fishing with Bill Dance for the giant bass that prowl the phosphate pits in Florida.
We were staying at J.B. Edward’s place located just outside Barstow. J.B. was Bill’s executive producer at the time and every afternoon, we’d come back to his beautiful cottage and private lake to rest and recuperate from catching double-digit largemouth.
And what better way to unwind before dinner than by catching a bunch of crappies and bluegills.
So every evening as the sun was setting, six of us piled into J.B.’s two john boats—three to a boat—and proceeded to have a crappie-thon to see who could catch and release the most fish in the two hours before meal time.
Fortunately, I was teamed up with buddy Bruce Stanton, who is the head marketing honcho for PRADCO lures. I say fortunately because Bruce is one of the funniest guys you’d ever want to fish with. At the end of each two-hour session, my sides would be aching from laughing so much and my cheeks would be red where the tears stained my face.
But that was only part of the reason. Bruce also had some prototype soft plastic beavertail crappie grubs that were impregnated with YUM.
To make a long story short, for two hours each day for three days in succession, there was never a time—not a single time—when one of us wasn’t fighting a fish.
In fact, the fishing was so non-stop hectic that when one of us would hook a slab crappie or bull bluegill, we’d intentionally reel it in slowly so there was time for the other two anglers to hook a fish, too, and we could enjoy a triple-header.
It was the fastest fishing I’ve ever enjoyed. Since that day, I have not bought a single minnow for crappie fishing back here in Sunset Country.
Now, fast forward to four weeks ago. Specifically, to the Bassmaster tournament at Clear Lake, Calif. The one Alton Jones won, and where Ish Monroe finished third and Timmy Horton placed sixth.
They all were using different soft plastic baits, but the lures had one common ingredient. They all were impregnated with YUM scent attractant.
A co-coincidence? I think not. In the last month alone, tournament anglers in the United States have won five major tournaments using YUM-scented soft plastics. Zell Rowland started the ball rolling when he used a Yum Mega Tube and Yum Lizard to win the Bassmaster tournament at Santee Cooper Lakes.
But the victory that came as no surprise to me at all, based on my Florida experience, was Todd Huckabee’s win at the CAST Crappie Tournament at Lake Keystone, Okla. Guess what Todd was using? Those same YUM beavertail grubs we had tested in Florida.
Mighty impressive to say the least. But no more impressive than the $101,003 Alton Jones stuffed into his pockets when he won at Clear Lake.
He said after the tournament that the power of YUM is what planted him atop the race for Angler-of-the-Year honours on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail.
“I’ve caught a fish or two on other things but by and large, I owe it all to YUM,” he noted.
Not surprisingly, Jones said he intends to use YUM-scented soft plastics the rest of the tournament season, as well as during the upcoming Bassmaster Classic.
“I’m going to try it first every place I go,” he said. “In a way, I don’t want to tell anyone about YUM. There is a little piece of me that just wants to hang onto that secret.”
Sorry, Alton, it’s too late. The secret is out.

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