LaPlace is the home of Delta Lures and the Thunder Jig, among other artificial lures being made by two serious bass fishermen.

Fred King and Roy Laborde are churning out Thunder Jigs, which are similar to ChatterBaits, as quickly as they can in a home operation that includes hours of testing prototypes in a swimming pool.

It’s time-consuming but rewarding, as they hear more and more reports of bass mauling the lures.

The local artificial lures have grown in popularity to local and, even, regional proportions. No doubt that bass eating spinnerbaits, buzz baits, swim jigs, jigs and vibrating jigs in North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi should chew on Delta Lures products like the Thunder Jig.

King and Laborde, who have been fishing together since 1997, won beau coup bass tournaments with those proven baits’ predecessors over the years on the old Caenarvon circuit and in Media Bass trail.

So it was a natural progression borne out of necessity that they became co-owners of Delta Lures.

When their favorite spinnerbaits, buzz baits, jigs and other artificial lures began drying up on the market, they decided to do something about it.

First, they stockpiled as many of those lures as they could, and then they began making their own spittin’ images of the top artificial baits.

Their friends soon wanted a piece of the action, so to speak. People wanted the artificial lures.

King and Laborde, who both have full-time jobs in the oil field industry, fielded so many requests they eventually decided to manufacture the artificial lures and distribute them to tackle shops.

As of the end of April, Delta Lures products were in 25 tackle shops and spreading fast.

Their business is a family affair. Moms, dads, uncles, aunts, daughters and more have been busy putting the line together and shipping the artificial lures out since 2011.

“It’s been a journey, I’d have to say,” Laborde said. “I’m here all the time; it’s never-ending. There’s always something to build.”

When ChatterBaits became so popular a few years ago, store owners started asking Delta Lures to make a better vibrating jig, and the small company obliged by producing Thunder Jig.

Kind said consumers wanted an improved snap, a hook with a keeper for a soft plastic and a different hook.

King began throwing their own version of the bladed jig about three years ago. Bass started coming in the boat, and even he was impressed.

“It does really well,” King said. “I wasn’t a ChatterBait fisherman; I was a spinnerbait fisherman.”

Then he threw his own Thunder Jig. And caught fish on it regularly.

“I said, ‘Man, this is unbelievable,’”King said.

Thunder Jigs are available in 3/8- and ½-ounce models. The ½-ounce model is armed with a 5/0 black nickel Mustad hook and the 3/8-ounce model has a 4/0 black nickel Mustad hook.

Why does a Thunder Jig seem to produce more than similar products?

“I think we give it a different sound,” Laborde said. “I think it’s a different sound than other baits. It’s hitting the head. Fred (King) tells me he can hear when it’s coming” when the bladed jigs are tested in the swimming pool.

King confirmed this.

“We made it so the blade hits the head and makes a clicking noise as it comes through the water,” he explained.

Word about the Thunder Jig spread across the Deep South. Since January, approximately 5,000 Thunder Jigs have been sold, King said.

One shop owner said one of the main reasons people favor that bladed jig is because of the high-quality components. 

“We sold a bunch this spring,” King said, noting an expanded line for early this year “really took off.”

Until 2016, the most-popular color combination for a Thunder Jig was a black blade with a black/blue skirt.

Now discerning bass anglers have options such as copper blade with a “Houdini” (green pumpkinish/copper) skirt, a red blade with a black/red skirt, a blue blade with a black/blue skirt and a chartreuse blade with a chartreuse/white skirt. 

“We got real lucky this year. The colors we came up with are all taking off,” he said.

Other color combinations include green pumpkin blade/green pumpkin skirt, gold blade/white shad skirt, gold blade/blue-chartreuse-white skirt, gold blade/chartreuse-white skirt, gold blade/watermelon-blue-orange, gold blade/delta shad skirt, lime blade/delta shad skirt and orange blade/black-blue-orange skirt.

For more information about Thunder Jigs and other Delta Lures products, call 504-559-2111 or 504-559-1689, or log email ladeltalures@gmail.com