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Breakthrough Soft Plastics

BEMIDJI, Minn. – You’ve seen the social media posts and video commentary from winning pros like Tom Huynh, hardcore guides like Brian “Bro” Brosdahl and Brad Hawthorne, young sticks like Nick Lindner, to seasoned experts like Jason Mitchell…

Northland Fishing Tackle’s pre-launched Eye-Candy™ soft plastics are catching walleyes everywhere they’re being fished.

Of course, that’s if you stopped at retailers or ordered online while the in-demand baits were still in stock. The pegs emptied quick—but that’s changing as we speak, as retailers are replenishing their supply of the hot-selling baits.

“We sold product into as many of our key retail partners as possible and the reception by consumers has been great,” said Northland Marketing Director, Mike Anselmo. “The balance of that second wave of inventory? Yes, Eye-Candy soft plastics are once again available to everyone. But we can’t guarantee how long they’ll last…”

“Walleye anglers really forced our hand,” continued Anselmo. “Once everyone heard about Eye-Candy from our pros and guides, there was no holding back. So, we did a ‘sneak peak’ launch last month and things got crazy. The response totally exceeded our expectations by completely selling out in weeks.”

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Eye-Candy™ Development

Northland’s Eye-Candy has been in development for over a year, the product name jokingly suggested by JMO host and veteran Devils Lake guide, Jason Mitchell. And it stuck. “Eye-Candy” perfectly sums up the soft plastic bait family, currently made up of five shapes in an almost endless array of walleye-specific colors.

Anselmo explained: “The shapes, sizes, and colors were designed and chosen based on real-world walleye fishing experience of Northland team members. The goal was to create something entirely new, different, and effective. There was a lot of ‘If you could design the ultimate walleye plastic, what would it look like and how would it move?’”

But there’s even more to Northland’s new Eye-Candy than five striking new shapes with fish-attracting movements. Like Eye-Candy’s unique composition—a deviation from the typical PVC-type soft plastics—Northland chose a Super TPE material that’s ultra-stretchy, beyond tough, ultra-buoyant, absorbent, and incredibly long-lasting.

“Previous to Eye-Candy, you couldn’t find a TPE-based walleye soft plastic in bright colors like pink and firecracker or natural colors like green pumpkin and black,” added Anselmo.

An addendum to TPE’s durability is its sponginess and ability to hold scent, a big deal with professional walleye tournament anglers like Northland Pro Staffer Tom Huynh, known to smear his baits with secret sauce.

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Eye-Candy™ Paddle Shad

Leading the family is the Eye-Candy Paddle Shad. At 3-1/2 inches, the Paddle Shad features a boot tail that swims, wiggles, and kicks whether ripped aggressively, slowly dragged across the bottom, snap jigged, or just fished on a steady retrieve. The boot tail kicks with the subtlest of movements, just like a real minnow.

The Paddle Shad’s shape—paired with the lifelike action, durability, softness, and buoyancy of Northland’s Eye-Candy Super TPE plastic—makes it the closest thing you can get to live bait. And one bait will literally withstand dozens of boated fish.

MSRP $7.99 for 5 baits

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Eye-Candy™ Minnow

Matching typical forage size on walleye waters, the 3- and 4-inch Eye-Candy Minnow swims, moves, and floats just like the real thing—thanks to the stretch, durability, and buoyant qualities of Northland’s Super TPE material.

MSRP: $7.99 for 5 baits.

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Eye-Candy™ Grub

Looking for a leech imitator? The movement in the tail isn’t grub-like; it’s very natural and looks like live bait. The 3-inch Northland Eye Candy Grub also features Northland’s new Super TPE material for more action, buoyancy, and durability to keep the finesse grub moving at all points of the cast and retrieve cadence. Paired with a realistic body design that features a double-curl that kicks, swims, and never stops moving, when walleyes see the Eye-Candy Grub they just have to eat it.

One the Candy Grub’s biggest fans is top-finishing walleye tournament angler, Tom Huynh.

“I’ve used the same black Northland Eye-Candy Grub threaded on a 1/8-ounce black Northland Tungsten Jig for most of this pro walleye tournament season. From the Illinois River in March to 2nd place on Lake Winnebago in May, I’ve been fishing baits out of one of the original sample bags. It casts just the right silhouette in stained water to get bit,” says Huynh.

MSRP: $7.99 for 5 baits.

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Eye-Candy™ Jig Crawler

Northland’s Eye-Candy Jig Crawler is a small, slinky morsel of walleye goodness.

At 3-1/2-inches, it’s worm-like body mimics the perfect forage size preferred by hungry ‘eyes. Combined with Northland’s Super TPE formula for buoyancy and ultra-flexibility, the result is a super lifelike action walleyes can’t resist. Work the Jig Crawler on a jig head or rig it to bring more walleyes topside.

MSRP: $7.99 for 5 baits.

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Eye-Candy™ Nightcrawler

Dragging nightcrawlers behind spinner rigs flat-out works and Northland’s Eye-Candy Nightcrawler is no exception. Northland’s Super TPE formula’s lifelike movement and buoyancy allows the Eye-Candy Nightcrawler to move and swim like the real thing. And unlike its live counterpart, the Eye-Candy Nightcrawler’s durability allows you to catch fish after fish on the same bait, eliminating the hassle of wasted time re-baiting harnesses with soiled, writhing creatures.

MSRP: $7.99 for 5 baits

Parting Thoughts

Northland Fishing Tackle’s Marketing Director, Mike Anselmo, concluded: “In terms of enthusiasm and sales on the consumer side, Eye-Candy is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in a very small sample size. And the reception from our wholesale partners has been nothing short of enthusiastic. All things point to an incredible full launch in 2024. And where the rubber meets the road—or should I say the water—anglers are reporting great success with these walleye soft plastics.”

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ABOUT Northland® Fishing Tackle

In 1975, a young Northwoods fishing guide named John Peterson started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his clients in a small remote cabin in northern Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high quality components, and most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working! Word spread like wildfire, the phone started ringing… and the Northland Fishing Tackle® brand was in hot demand! For 40 years now, John and the Northland® team have been designing, testing and perfecting an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland® is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for crappies, bluegills, perch, walleyes, bass, trout, northern pike and muskies.

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