Will Dockside’s latest offering fill the trout bill
Many saltwater anglers rely on a 4-inch soft plastic while targeting big speckled trout and slot redfish.
Beginning a few weeks ago, they could get what they want to cast at those bigger fish after Dockside TV Bait & Tackle introduced the Mega Matrix. The 4-inch bait complements the line of Matrix Shad soft plastics and fills a void that will be welcome along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas.
“A lot of trout fishermen who focus on big speckled trout like larger lures like that,” owner Chas Champagne said.
The Mega Matrix fits in between the 2-inch Matrix Mini, introduced in 2016, the original 3-inch Matrix Shad and the 5-inch Monster Matrix, introduced in October 2018.
When the largest model hit the market a little more than a year ago, Champagne said, “We want to offer a product for every fisherman in the world, no matter what species they target.”
The idea, he said, is to make many artificial lures in a few popular colors as opposed to a few baits in a plethora of colors. Champagne — who introduced the original Matrix Shad in 2013 — feels the same way now.
There was a need for the Mega Matrix. Chances are it will be ultra-popular in Texas, where speckled trout anglers traditionally favor 4-inch soft plastics.
“We have a big Texas following. Texans love big baits,” he said.
Many of those anglers probably will fish the Mega Matrix on a 1/8-ounce jighead, particularly the wade fishermen.
“It has the potential to catch fish in Texas, and it probably will,” he said, adding the if it catches on there, he more than likely will have to add a few new color combinations to the list: cockroach (root beer), strawberry and strawberry/white.
Otherwise, he expects the top three color combinations to mirror those of the Matrix Shad: shrimp creole, lemonhead and green hornet. Opening night, which comes in four shades, is right up there, too, he said.
Champagne started working on the bait in March 2018.
“I tested them in Florida this past June. Like we discussed earlier, any time we bring something else out, we test it in Florida,” he said, believing that if the finicky gamefish, which see so many artifiial lures in those clean, salty waters, bite on a prototype there, they’ll bite on the new bait anywhere.
The Mega Matrix was designed to look and vibrate in the water like the Matrix Shad. The Mega Matrix’s action is the same as the original Matrix Shad, just as it is the same with the Matrix Mini and the Monster Matrix because they have the exact same dynamics nose to paddletail, he said, noting “the swimming motion is identical in all of them.”
“That Mega Matrix really puts out a lot of vibration,” Champagne said.
In October, sight-fishing for redfish in the marsh near his home in Slidell with a buddy, both using a Mega Matrix in tiger bait color on back-to-back trips, they both limited out on big, slot redfish using the same durable soft-plastic impaled on a 3/8-ounce jighead.
“Pay attention to some of the latest episode of Dockside TV, because we’ll be fishing The Trestles (a speckled trout hotspot in Lake Pontchartrain) with the Mega Matrix,” he said.
He recommends these hook sizes for jigheads: 3/0 hooks for 1/8-, ¼-, 5/16- and 3/8-ounce jigheads and either 4/0 or 5/0 for ½-, ¾- and 1-ounce jigheads.
For more information about the Mega Matrix and other Dockside Bait & Tackle products, go to matrixshad.com.
JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month
Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.