Pennsylvania Bass Anglers

Interview with Chasing Trophy Fish

Muskie Caught on a Chasing Trophy Fish Cranky Billz

I recently discovered Chasing Trophy Fish baits. I immediately noticed how great this line of lures looked and wanted to find out more. I spoke with the company’s founder, Vaughn Holderman, who shared what the company is all about.

What got you started in the fishing business?

I officially founded Chasing Trophy Fish in 2015 when I was attending Penn State University. I had an idea to try and splurge into the fishing industry world due to my passion for fishing. At the time I had the idea to come out with a new lure line and started doing everything by hand to see if my lures would work.

How big is the company?

The company now consists of two people one being myself and the other guy is Chris Weaver. He is basically responsible for doing all the design work for the logo, packaging, website, etc.

The detail on your baits is amazing. Why is it important to you to have such a detailed look to your baits?

When I started this I came in with the mindset to make some of the most beautiful and realistic baits on the market. I feel that this in turn helps you catch more fish due to the realistic nature of them. I wanted to try and keep them reasonably priced also since some lures these days are very expensive.

I have to ask you about one color in particular, palomino. I have been fishing a long time and am not sure I have ever seen this color. Where did the idea for the color come from and where does this color excel?

This color originates from a trout we have here in PA called the Palomino or Golden Rainbow Trout. I particularly fish this bait when water is cloudy and do very well with it due to it being a bright bait.

Catching Smallmouth Bass on Chasing Trophy Fish Lures

Catching Smallmouth Bass on Chasing Trophy Fish Lures

Your Cranky Billz looks like an awesome crankbait. When do you feel this bait really excels?

The Cranky Billz are one of my favorites for smallmouth bass. I use it on the rivers and lakes regularly and have caught many big bass with it this year. I strangely have caught musky with it also. It excels the best in river situations when fishing for smallmouth bass and letting it bounce along the bottom during your retrieve.

More and more anglers are fishing big swimbaits. Your LiveWire series looks like everything that someone would want in a swim-bait. What makes your baits standout from others in the category?

The Livewire series mimics fish almost completely including the shad and emerald shiner pattern. With the swimming action to match it looks almost like the real thing. I have found that both baits work for bass and other species of fish, but I tend to throw the 6.5” when I am targeting bigger fish. The saying bigger baits for bigger fish is somewhat true I have found. Not in every situation but many!

For those that may not know, can you describe the difference between a jerkbait and a stickbait? What situations/conditions dictate when you throw your EOC jerkbait versus your Top Dog stickbait?

A jerkbait is a bait primarily that is retrieved with a jerk every few turns which mimics a baitfish fleeing. The EOC jerkbaits suspend and when jerked they dart left and right and then suspend in the water column at the depth.

The stickbait primarily is thrown out with a solid retrieve. This bait when stopped also floats to the surface. This is basically the difference between a stick bait and jerkbait with the shape of some baits coming into account also.

I have a question that may be a tough one. I am only going to let you use one of your baits for the rest of the season. Which one are you going with?

I would go with the EOC 3.5 series jerkbaits. I have caught many different fish species on this lure and there isn’t usually a day that you can’t get a bite on it.

What are the future plans for Chasing Trophy Fish?

My plans are to keep growing the business each year. I want to attend ICAST where I plan to show more innovative products off in the future and hopefully land in a major retail store like Cabelas.

What is the best way for someone to order from you?

The best way for someone to order is at,, or All three will have a variety of what you may need from CTF before you set out fishing.

Thank you Vaughn. I love what are you doing with Chasing Trophy Fish. Keep up the great work.