The Styrofoam cork/wire/beads/leader/hook combination has been out on the market for about three months now. The Tennessee man — proving how popular saltwater fishing is among out-of-staters who love to fish speckled trout and redfish along our coast — has kept the mail-order business busy over the summer.
"When he heard about this, he bought 20 Rattlin' Chub Rigs. He called back about two weeks later and bought 20 more," ReAction Lures guru John Dean, who invented the Bayou Chub Rig, said the last week of August. "Monday of this week, or Friday of last, he called back and ordered 40 more."
There's a reason the Tennessean and others are tying the rigs to the business ends of their fishing lines when they go after speckled trout and redfish. It's simple to use — just open the pack and tie the line to the O-ring at the top of the short wire.
Under the top O-ring are two orange beads, followed by a colorful oblong cork, two more orange beads separated by a 1/2-inch long steel sleeve, another O-ring, 2-foot-long monofilament leader and a special ribbed hook tied to the leader. A ReAction Lure Bayou Chub Minnow, five of which come in the package, can be threaded onto the hook.
Retail cost for a pack is $4.25, according to Dean.
Of all the artificial lures and related items that he has designed, Dean is especially proud of the Bayou Chub Rig.
"It's been great," he said. It has caught on because of its simplicity, he said.
"Take one out of the bag. Take one Bayou Chub Minnow. Slide it on the hook. Go fishing. When they get shallow, these corks work," he said.
The 2-foot-long leader is used because, he said, "that's pretty much the standard depth for fishing redfish and speckled trout in the marsh and inland waters. You can fish them in deeper water, too, because they'll suspend. They'll come up for that sound."
More than just serious saltwater fishermen are hooked on it.
"It's something for the wife, kids, who like to watch a bobber go up and down. The popularity has increased dramatically because people like watching a cork. Some people need to have a strike indicator to see if a fish is biting," he said. "The bobber has been going on in saltwater forever. The rattling part is basically a noisemaker — like rattles in a Rat-L-Trap. It's a fish attractant. The fish come to it. They'll see a slow presentation of a Bayou Chub Minnow. They're going to eat it.
"It's like working a topwater bait. It requires a short, pretty aggressive snap. By doing that, the bobber slides up and down on the wire and bangs the beads. Basically, it's like a topwater Carolina rig."
Corks are available in three popular colors: chartreuse, rocket red and lime green. The colors match the highest preferences among anglers, Dean said.
"Some people have different preferences. On a cloudy day, they say chartreuse shows up better. On a bright, sunny day, red and lime green show up better," he said.
The bobber rig itself is 6 inches long. The rest of it is a leader and "wide bite" hook called a Shrimpaler made by Gary Thompson of Bayou Buck in Baton Rouge.
"He and I are good friends. It's the best hook out there, hands down, because the bait stays on the shank of the hook. It will not slide down," Dean said. "Look at the shank of the hook, the ridges. Thread the plastic on there, and you literally have to rip it off the shank of the hook to put another one on."
That means many, many fish can be caught with one soft plastic.
Of course, anglers can put a shrimp on the hook under the cork. Dean, as an artificial lure manufacturer, said with a chuckle, "I prefer you put a Bayou Chub on it. But, heck, you can put a Marlboro Light cigarette butt on there if you want to."
Bayou Chub Minnows are proven fish-catchers along the coast from one state line to the other. They are available in three colors, one for each pack.
The chartreuse cork gets five glow/chartreuse Bayou Chub Minnows. The rocket red cork gets five black/chartreuse Bayou Chub Minnows. And the lime green cork gets the purple/chartreuse (LSU) Bayou Chub Minnow.
"Those are my three top sellers in Bayou Chubs. You can go anywhere on the coast of Louisiana with a black/chartreuse, LSU and glow/chartreuse and catch anything that swims. With the Rattlin' Chub Rig, you've got everything you need," he said.
For more information on Bayou Chub Rigs and other ReAction Lures products, log on to www.reactionlures.com, or call 1-800-256-2075.