Bayou bass seem to love ChatterBaits
As was proven at a recent tournament, The Original ChatterBait is quite productive in Louisiana waters.
The results disproved the notion that some bass anglers may mistakenly have about red-hot new artificial lures: Sure, it works somewhere else, but it won’t produce here.
The winners of that tournament eventually identified the artificial lure that won the tournament for them. Wouldn’t you know it? It was a ChatterBait.
ChatterBaits soon became common stock in many tackleboxes around Acadiana, which joined the rest of the nation in tying on the versatile bait with the features of a jig, spinnerbait and crankbait all in one.
“Everybody thought it would be a flash in the pan. But it’s still the No.1-selling product out there,” said Mike Shelton of Ladson, S.C.
Shelton is vice president of sales and director of technology for ZMan Fishing Products in Charleston, S.C. He has been involved with the unique artificial lure since the beginning.
ZMan Fishing Products bought the ChatterBait in March from Rad Lures Fishing Products, and renamed it The Original ChatterBait.
“We’ve been building it since Day 1,” Shelton said. “We started off manufacturing it from the get-go.”
That would be in 2004 after Ron Davis Jr. of Greenwood, S.C., first put it on the market. Wood’s father, Ron Davis Sr., had worked on the concept for years, Shelton said.
“He piddled with it, worked on it, tried to improve it,” he said.
When it was ready, bass anglers snatched it up. Conventional spinnerbaits were forgotten in favor of the artificial lure with the hexagonal ChatterBlade attached to the eye of the bait’s jighead.
Shelton met the Davises at an ICast event about the time the artificial lure’s popularity was soaring off the chart.
“The lid blew off it. They (Davises) were overwhelmed. We took over marketing and sales in 2005,” he said about ZMan Fishing Products.
Now the manufacturer does it all with The Original ChatterBait.
“When you reel it back, it moves erratically,” Shelton said. “I think that’s one of the reasons it sold so well. It takes the best of everything out there. It’s got noise; it’s got flash; then it’s got the erratic way it swims.
“The neat thing about the bait is you can swim it just under the surface or work it on the bottom. I’ve personally caught fish from 1 foot of water to 30 feet of water with it.
“What’s so unique about the bait, what I love about the bait, is you do not have to be a super pro to use it.”
For example, Shelton was at a convention a few years ago in Alabama. There was a pond nearby. He met a woman from California who had never caught a fish in her life, and had been trying unsuccessfully to catch one while fishing from a canoe in the pond. When he found out about that, he gave her The Original ChatterBait. She started catching fish, he said.
“Don’t get me wrong ... it won more money than any bait out there last year,” he said.
The most memorable catch with The Original ChatterBait came during a January Stren/FLW Series bass tournament on Lake Falcon in Texas. Jeremy Guidry set an all-time weigh-in record with a whopping total of 110 pounds, 2 ounces, Shelton pointed out, with the biggest bass and most of the fish being caught on The Original ChatterBait.
Shelton said Guidry took the skirt off the ZMan Fishing Products’ artificial lure, and replaced it with a soft plastic.
More and more bass anglers are switching out the skirts when they see a need for that tactic. Alan Brandt of Spring, Texas, has been doing that for a while and catching bass on his favorite artificial lure.
The 30-year-old firefighter tied one of the new artificial lures on as soon as he could get his hands on it after it was first introduced.
“It was like a big buzz in the bass fishing world. They were kind of hard to get a hold of at first,” Brandt said from the fire station in late May.
He fishes local bass tournaments regularly on Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston. His go-to artificial lure is a 1/2-ounce ChatterBait.
It accounted for 70 bass he caught during one tournament in December on Lake Conroe, he said.
“I think it’s awesome. The action on them is good. They catch fish. Have you ever seen one come across the water? Another reason I like it is it covers a lot of water. It’s kind of like throwing a crankbait. It’s a good search bait,” he said.
Brandt has made it even more effective by taking off the skirt and putting on a Big Bite Swim Bait in either white or watermelon/red.
It’s easy to switch out the skirt because of ZMan Fishing Products’ new EZ-on/EZ-off Skirts available in 16 colors, Shelton said.
“Even I catch fish with this thing. It’s an awesome bait,” Tom Pagliaroli said from his H.D. Wood Advertising Office in Ocean City, N.J.
Pagliaroli helps spread the word on successful bass fishing products like The Original ChatterBait manufactured and marketed by ZMan Fishing Products.
Z-Man has perfected it, adding more models and sizes, he said.
The Original ChatterBait is available in 1/4-, 3/8-, 1/2- and 5/8-ounce models. Suggested retail price is $5.99, Shelton said.
For more information on The Original ChatterBait and other Z-Man Fishing Products call 800-822-3398, visit www.zmanfishing.com or e-mail email@example.com.
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