It's the L&S Bait Co. Inc. MirrOdine Suspending Twitchbait that has joined a long list of proven MirrOlure artificial lures made in Florida.
The MirrOdine has been around for about six years, and has earned the respect of charter boat captains like Charlie Thomason of Hopedale, who owns Bayou Charters.
Thomason is a full-time saltwater fishing guide who also has fished pro tournament trails such as the Redfish Cup. His charter trips take in the Hopedale, Delacroix and Breton Sound areas.
Around the time May turned to June, Thomason said he used the MirrOdine to put 75 speckled trout, 19 redfish and a flounder in the boat while fishing a flat at Lake Fortuna.
He and his crew busted the fish on a flat covered with clusters of oysters.
Thomason, 41, has been sold on the artificial lure since it was placed on the market. And he isn't alone: Jeff Poe, his wife Mary and their son Nick — all saltwater fishing guides at Big Lake Guide Service — have been extolling the suspending twitchbait's virtues for the same period on the other side of the state at Calcasieu Lake. The Poes consistently mention the fish-catching traits of the MirrOdines in fishing reports they provide to the Louisiana Sportsman.
Michael Tennian, sales manager at L&S Bait Co. Inc. in Largo, Fla. (home of the notorious MirrOlure line of artificial lures), said the MirrOdine has carved its own fish-catching niche in the industry.
He won't get an argument from Thomason.
"To me, MirrOlure has come up with one of the most-versatile baits," Thomason said. "MirrOlure makes a lot of baits that catch big fish. The MirrOdine catches anything from smaller fish to bigger fish. What this bait does is hit the whole spectrum.
"As a fisherman or as a guide, it allows us to be versatile with it. We have the ability to catch all sizes."
For example, Thomason and the anglers on his boat can catch smaller fish around rocks, over reefs and around oil rigs, as well as the ol' yellowmouths during the spawn, he said.
"It's also versatile in that you can fish it early in the morning or when the sun's up and very bright or in the evening in low-light conditions or under the lights" at night at the oil rigs, the veteran charter boat captain said.
Unlike some hard baits with treble hooks, Thomason has no qualms letting anglers on his boat fish with the MirrOdine.
"There's a learning curve on a lot of hard baits out there. (But) I can give it to a 6-year-old, tell him to throw it out and he can retrieve it just twitching it," Thomason said.
Ah, the twitch of a suspending artificial lure. That's the key.
"It's got a great side-to-side action, a perfect profile, a perfect size," Tennian said. "It's just a great bait that works well on speckled trout, redfish and snook.
"I've even seen flounder caught on it."
That planned wobble mimics a wounded baitfish, he said about the MirrOdine, which also features 3-D eyes to enhance its realism.
Tennian designed and built the MirrOdine with Erik Bachnik, president and CEO of L&S Bait Co. Inc., and artificial lure manufacturing plant manager Ray Cioffi.
That was during about a four-month period in 2006 when they calculated and tweaked and weighted it just right to allow it to suspend on a twitching retrieve. The weights are strategically placed in cavities of the sealed hard-plastic body.
"It's a suspending bait made to look like a baitfish, a little baitfish. It's designed to look like a scaled sardine or threadfin herring," Tennian said.
Apparently, the country's fishermen concur. It has been a favorite from coast to coast, and its reputation has grown with every catch. Striped bass and even tarpon find it hard to resist, according to the brochure.
"It's real well known. The response has been great," Tennian said.
Thomason said the hardware and realistic baitfish patterns/colors on MirrOdines are "excellent." His favorite color is a green/white/silver (018), which also happens to be one of Tennian's favorite colors.
Tennian said other popular colors include black/orange/gold (808), black/white/silver (021).
"Everything (color-wise) sells well," the company's sales manager said.
Thomason can be contacted at www.captcharlie.com. For more information on the MirrOdine and other MirrOlure products, call 727-584-7691.