Redfish love Sebile’s Flatt Shad

The Louisiana state fish is something special.

A Lake Charles outdoorsman, professional redfish fisherman and television fishing show host saw first-hand recently the painstaking effort one of the world’s leading artificial lure designers puts into making an artificial lure like the Flatt Shad.

Phil Broussard, better known as Cajun Phil, was in South Louisiana with Patrick Sebile, a Frenchman who owns Sebile Innovative Fishing. Broussard said this region’s swarming and oft-inhospitable insects never deterred the man who designs some of the world’s most intricate artificial lures while he worked tirelessly on a prototype.

“Patrick Sebile, without a doubt, I think he’s the best lure designer there is. He stood on a dock, gnats eating us up, and stayed with the prototype until it was doing what he wanted it to do,” said Broussard, who has been friends and fished with Sebile ever since the Lake Charles native started fishing and winning redfish tournaments with products manufactured overseas by Sebile Innovative Fishing, which has U.S. headquarters at Palmer Lake, Colo.

Sebile, Broussard said, holds world records for 26 species, but has spent most of his time studying feeding habits, movements and mechanics of predators and prey with renowned scientists around the world. As a result, Sebile has an uncanny ability to translate natural action to practical designs in his artificial lures.

Sebile’s Flatt Shad has been money for Broussard, 67, and his son Kevin, a 42-year-old Calcasieu Lake guide who teams up with his father to fish redfish circuits such as ESPN’s Redfish Cup. They toured the circuit four years and won it all last year by taking the team of the year title as well as the championship event Sept. 25-27 in Pensacola, Fla.

Phil Broussard got hooked on Sebile’s artificial lures at an ICast Show, where he met Florida pro angler Todd Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt told him about the Flatt Shad, which he had been catching on consistently, and other appealing (to fish and fishermen) artificial lures from Sebile.

The Broussards swear by Sebile’s Flatt Shad, the elder Broussard’s favorite. Kevin Broussard, however, prefers Sebile’s Stick Shad.

“We use their lures so much,” Phil Broussard said. “Of course, we throw a lot of soft plastics, too.”

He likes the .66-ounce Flatt Shad because it is just a little shorter than the .77-ounce Flatt Shad.

“What I like about it, this (.66-ounce) is a little more subtle. You don’t have to fish it as fast,” he said, noting that model glides through regular hydrilla-type vegetation with ease. “I can pull it through and work it slowly. You can catch sheepshead, flounder, everything.”

However, Broussard admitted, he does modify it to come through the grass. He cuts off the front barb of both treble hooks.

Their top Flatt Shad colors are white lady (Kevin’s favorite), hollow mullet (Cajun Phil’s favorite) and golden baitfish.

“Those three are probably the best colors. The other we like is Rouge Craw,” Broussard said. “We change colors quite a bit.”

What’s so special about the Flatt Shad? The lipless crankbait has a rounded belly, and it swims with a lot of vibration. While accurately imitating most baitfish, a “loss of scales” effect might be the coup de grace — especially in a school of marauding fish. The revolutionary principle behind the patent-pending “possessed” series is the glitter-filled fluid in that cavity that moves and flows to bring life to the artificial lure. The moving fluid, Sebile says, creates the “3D” appearance of loss of scales like a fleeing or wounded baitfish, at the same time improving casting distance and accuracy by optimizing weight displacement.

What really catches many a predator’s eye are the artificial lure’s blood-red eyes, the company says.

Also, Sebile says, only the highest-quality stainless and corrosion-resistant components are used in manufacturing the “possessed” series.

“It’s a real versatile bait. It’s not like you’re stuck with one thing,” Phil Broussard said.

In addition to redfish, sheepshead and flounder, Flatt Shads catch speckled trout when they’re marauding under the birds in Calcasieu Lake, he said from experience.

“When the birds are working schooling trout, you don’t throw it out there without bringing one back. A good thing, it’s heavy enough to throw a long way,” he said, noting that’s a plus when fishing a school because an angler can stay far enough away so as not to spook the birds and stay “right in ‘em.”

It’s durable.

“Oh, yeah, knock on wood right here,” he said, pausing a moment on the telephone while he knocked on some wood. “We slap ‘em hard to get grass off and we’ve never had one crack or split. It’s a well-built bait.”


Broussard and his son have caught numerous bull reds this spring on the 77 Flatt Shad. Those big redfish have been picked off by the father-son team at the Cameron Jetties.

“What I like about it is you can throw it out, reel fast and catch bass if you want to. I did that two weeks ago at Toledo Bend, through the grass, and the bass were hammering it. I think we caught 15 or 16 (keepers),” he said.

For more information about the Flatt Shad and similar products manufactured by Sebile Innovation Fishing, go to

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About Don Shoopman 472 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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