Livingston Lures is a relatively new company that has taken bass fishing lures to the next level. With a unique lineup of bass fishing lures that have internal rattles and emit bait fish sounds, Livingston Lures has brought lures to the market that send a bass into sensory overload. Over the years, lure manufacturers have developed baits that light up, and rattling baits have been an option for the last 25 years of the lure industry. There was even a company that developed surface baits that contained an internal spring that caused the bait to vibrate after chugging it. So what makes Livingston Lures different? For starters, the Livingston Lures baits emit a bait fish sound. This is not just a click like previously engineered lures, but the actual sound that bait fish make in their natural habitat.
The first bait I tried in the Livingston Lures line up was the Pro Sizzle. Livingston Lures signature top water bait is available in two sizes, the Pro Sizzle and the Pro Sizzle Jr. It’s a cigar shaped bait that even a novice angler can “walk the dog” with ease. There are several components packed into the Pro Sizzle. There is the sound device, the rattles and the lighting device; my first concern was that this bait would be heavy and difficult to walk the dog with; however, that wasn’t the case. Livingston Lures has packaged all of these components in such a way that they created a balanced lure that is easy to work. The slightest twitch of the rod tip makes the Sizzle dart side to side in a perfect cadence. Casting the Pro Sizzle is like having a rocket on the end of your line, achieving long distances with very little effort. This casting distance makes it the perfect surface bait for working over long points or large flats.
My first experience with the Pro Sizzle was on the Red River in Louisiana. I headed to one of my more productive areas for catching numbers of bass. My thoughts were to catch several bass to test the baits effectiveness and durability. To my surprise the first bass I caught was well over six pounds, and by far the largest bass I had ever caught from this particular area. Obviously I was impressed but couldn’t rule out dumb luck. However, in the next 20 minutes, I caught several bass that were better than average. Impressed even more at a large total stringer, I still couldn’t rule out a lucky day. However, it did get me to thinking, was it the light, was it the sound, or was it just the right spot at the right time?
My next outing was just a couple days later to a local reservoir. On this particular reservoir, there is no current to congregate the bass as they feed on bait fish. This allowed me to test the Pro Sizzles ability to catch bass that are roaming on points and flats looking for prey. The ability to cast the Pro Sizzle was very advantageous in this scenario as I could cover a lot of water in a single cast. With the ease at which the bait walks, distance wasn’t an issue in getting the bait to perform properly. With many cigar style baits, long casts make it very difficult to walk the dog; it’s just the nature of the game when you have a lot of line out. However, the way Livingston Lures positioned the weight of this lure, the Pro Sizzle has no problems walking when you have 30 yards or more of line out.
I still don’t know if it’s the light, the bait fish sounds or simply that it is a very easy bait to work properly, but the reservoir bass loved the Pro Sizzle. Coming from depths of eight to ten feet, bass were exploding on the Pro Sizzle. After walking the bait two or three feet, I’d let it sit allowing the sound and light to work their magic. Most strikes would come during this pause, leading me to believe the light and sound are important. However, occasionally I wouldn’t get a strike until the moment I moved the bait again, which is typical of a topwater presentation. What really drew my attention was the aggressive nature in which they would strike the bait. It was as if they hadn’t had a meal in a week. Nearly every fish had the bait in its mouth, not hooked on the outside.
That’s two water types down. Here in Louisiana I also have cypress tree lakes. These lakes are mostly bowl shaped with cypress trees covering them. Bass seemingly roam from one end to the other. Baits that let you cover a lot of water are excellent choices. Making long casts that allow you to bring your bait past several cypress trees in one pass can be the key to success. The Pro Sizzle fits this situation very well.
By now I’m starting to believe that there is something to the bait fish noise that this lure makes. From river systems, to reservoirs, to cypress tree lakes, I have caught more and larger bass on these baits than the anglers fishing with me. I have won tournaments using the Livingston lures, proving to me that they were the best choice on the given body of water for that time. However the most impressive to me is going back to that first trip on the Red River, where I fished it in my “numbers” hole and caught an impressive stringer. At first I thought luck, now I believe that it was the bait.
Nothing has been left out of the Pro Sizzle. While the Pro Sizzle projects a bait fish sound when sitting still, it also contains a rattle to help attract bass while the bait is moving. This is an added advantage when fishing in murky water or trying to draw bass out of deeper water.
The color selection on the Pro Sizzle and Pro Sizzle Jr. covers the water spectrum very well. With a dozen patterns to choose from, you can select something to match your local forage or a color that will match your water conditions. I have found that the XXX Shad is very effective when bass are feeding on shad and the Citrus Sparkle when the water has some stain to it. Of course, color patterns will be a regional choice, but Livingston Lures has a color that will fit your bass fishing needs.
The hooks on the Pro Sizzle are very sharp out of the package. I normally change hooks on most of my hard baits before I ever put them in the water. Liking a very strong and sharp hook, I also like a larger hook than most manufacturers are willing to put on their baits. When I first opened up the Pro Sizzle Jr, I thought I might end up changing the hooks because of the size. However, the hooks were sticky sharp and appear to be very stout, so I left them on. It turns out that the hooks are perfect for this bait. Hook ups are solid. I attribute this to the fact that when a bass strikes this bait, it’s done with accuracy and vengeance, and the bait is always in its mouth. With a visual and audible awareness, bass can easily target this bait. The hooks that come on the bait are very effective, extremely sharp and strong. I believe that the bait fish sound attracts bass and puts glasses on them so they get a solid grasp when they strike.
The paint job on these baits is very durable. I’ve caught many bass on a single bait and the paint is perfect; no hook marks, no teeth marks, and no chipping. However, that said, un-like a crank bait, I’ve not been beating the bait off of hard objects. I have crank baits from Livingston Lures that I’m reviewing as well and will get a final review of the paint (so far they are doing very well). I rate this bait an A+ on the overall durability and components.
The price point of the Pro Sizzle comes in below target to me. I would expect to pay more for baits that have the quality and features of the Pro Sizzle. As anglers we have to face the fact that the day of a $3 Pop R’ is gone. You can easily spend $17 on a Yellow Magic or Rico, even the Pop R’ is $7 in Kmart. Most places are selling the Pro Sizzle for $12, which for a bait that contains a sound device, rattles and lights up is a good deal in my opinion. Whenever you put a computer chip and battery in anything you think it will be X times more expensive and it is perceived at a higher value. The fact that they have put this in a bait and it is only $12 is more than a fair deal.
Now the question you have to ask yourself is, “Am I ready to give technology a try?” If so, I highly recommend the Livingston Lures Pro Sizzle. This bait is highly effective with many applications. It is the total package with light, sound, cast ability and durability. Fishing fund money well spent.
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