Surfcasting Strategy: Fishing the Mag Darter

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.

The Mag Darter flies straight as an arrow during the cast.

The Mag Darter flies straight as an arrow during the cast.

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.

Yo-Zuri Mag Darter in mullet color

The Mag Darters are relatively shallow-divers, allowing the lure to skim over rocks or just above the bottom in the surf.

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.

For More information on the Yo-Zuri MagDarter, checkout

  1. Greg W

    I never with out 2 of these lures in my surf bag or my boat bag. I carry white and black both with some reflective colors mixed in.
    MY QUESTION to any one out there who fishes Florida occasionally in the winter.
    Any good for winter snook????? I keep gear at snow bird in laws condo and wondered if they are worth adding to my Florida bag.

    • Greg W

      MY BAD
      Just watched the video part of article and question was answered.

    • Luis

      They are very lethargic in cold winters even die in extreme cold like in 2007 massive snook kill. You would have to put the bait on his nose and make them strike they just wont eat much. Try some red fishing its easier.I lived in Tampa bay 12 years. But remember winter in florida is very short so by march they are active again.

      • Greg w

        I fish Stuart and surrounding areas in the winter and have heard snook slow down a bit, but have cought my share throwing flys and gear.
        I haven’t yet resorted to bait.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)