In the early 2000s, I remember reading reports of fishermen catching unheard of numbers of striped bass on the Yo-Zuri Mag Darter from New Jersey to Cape Cod, when the plastic swimming plug was earning itself a permanent spot in the surf bags of fishermen all throughout the Northeast. The lure broke the mold of other plastic swimmers by being long-casting right out of the package, and having a unique lip that created a subtle action that stripers loved.
The Yo-Zuri Mag Darter isn’t a “darter” in the traditional sense. The inverted cupped face produces a tight, rolling wiggle, and sharp snaps of the rod tip cause the lure to dart to the side. The Mag Darter is most productive when cast and slowly retrieved, with a sharp snap of the rod every five or six turns of the reel handle. That action usually produces a reaction strike from a following bass.
A magnetic weight transfer system in the Mag Darter allows this small lure to cast a long way. During the cast, the weight balls shift to the back of the lure, producing a loud “Click.” This shift and click controls the lure’s flying position and stabilizes the air-flow around the lure—in other words, the Mag Darter flies straight as an arrow during the cast, increasing accuracy and casting distance, even in a strong wind.
The lure is striper tough, featuring a strong polycarbonate body, 3X trebles, and stainless steel split rings. The highly detailed etched scales, superior holographic finishes, and ultra-realistic gill plates and eyes seal the deal once the erratic action of the Mag Darter calls the stripers in.
The lure is available in three sizes, 4 1/8, 5, and 6 ½ inches. The 5-inch model weighs in at 1 ounce and is most popular for fishing beaches and jetties. The 4 1/8-inch, 5/8-ounce Mag Darter is a great backwater lure, not just for stripers, but for weakfish too. The new 6 ½-incher has been quietly catching big bass for fishermen working boulderfields and rips, where stripers are looking for a larger meal. Wherever you fish, as long as there is a good current, the Mag Darter will draw strikes.
The Mag Darters are relatively shallow-divers, with the smallest size diving 1 to 2 feet, the middle size diving 2 to 3, and the largest size going as deep as 4 feet. This allows the lure to skim over rocks or just above the bottom in the surf.