Paul Brown’s Fat Boys are still kicking, slowly twitching underwater, tantalizing and catching saltwater fish after the proven soft plastic was bought in the late 2000s.
Florida’s L&S Bait Co. Inc., which is known for its diverse line of MirrOlures, is owner of the artificial lure that draws praise from anglers such as Michael Tennian and Jeff Poe, who owns Big Lake Guide Service and uses the Fat Boy to catch speckled trout and redfish consistently.
Tennian, a sales manager who has been with L&S Bait Co. for 11 years, and Poe used that very artificial lure earlier this year while filming a television fishing show in Louisiana.
Despite a hard rain and a short outing, they caught speckled trout after speckled trout on the slightly weighted soft plastic with the bug eyes (black inside white) on a shad-shaped body with two treble hooks.
That May fishing trip probably made a believer of anyone who might have wondered about Fat Boy. It’s a suspending type of soft plastic originally made by angler Paul Brown, who still monitors the quality of his Paul Brown’s Original Series of soft plastics that include Fat Boy, Paul Brown’s Original, Paul Brown’s Floating Original, Paul Brown’s Floating Fat Boy and Paul Brown’s Devil.
“He’s still very involved with us,” Tennian said about Brown, who introduced the killer soft plastic to the saltwater fishing world.
As its name suggests, Fat Boy features a wide-bodied profile and suspending action that drive large speckled trout and redfish wild. Tennian said it’s “wider-based and fatter.”
Such a distinctive profile obviously has made its mark on the fish population.
While MirrOlure’s MirrOdine, another highly successful artificial lure manufactured by L&S Bait Co., is widely known for getting bites in clear water, the Paul Brown’s Original Series Fat Boy seems to be just as effective in off-colored water as clear water, Poe said.
“One thing about them, too, is it seems you can catch good in dirtier water with a Fat Boy,” Poe said.
Perhaps the rattle in the Fat Boy is partly responsible for that.
“It’s got a small rattle in it,” Poe said. It’s not real loud — not like the (MirrOlure) SheDog has in it.
“I like it. I like it a lot.”
And it’s a versatile bait, he said.
“As far as working it, there are a lot of different ways to work it,” Poe said, explaining that it can trigger strikes when it’s twitched fast or when it’s twitched slowly.
Many times the guide retrieves it as if he is walking the dog with the artificial bait under the water.
Poe said one of the leading attributes of the Fat Boy is its castability.
“You can cover a lot of water with them. You can fling it,” he said.
“It’s a great bait,” Tennian said. “The trout hit it so hard — harder than a lot of other baits.”
Apparently so do redfish. In fact, Poe will remove a Fat Boy from the business end of his fishing line when he gets into some big, hungry redfish in Calcasieu Lake.
“Oh, yeah, it catches redfish,” he said. “I generally take them off when we’re around them. They swallow them. I hate to gut fish right there in the boat to get the bait back.”
It’s success on the speckled trout population he touts, though.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to try it any time, especially if I’m looking for bigger fish,” the veteran charter boat captain said.
Tennian said the soft plastic has proved effective throughout the year.
“A lot of people think it’s more of a wintertime bait but, heck, we were there (in Louisiana with Poe) in May. It’s really a versatile bait that can be used any time of the year,” he said.
One of the speckled trout he caught during that trip was an eye-catching 5-pounder.
“It was a falling a tide,” he said. “They were coming up in shallow water and hammering it. I caught that nice one right off the bank.”
However, Tennian noted that the week before that fishing trip he hooked and landed a 9 ¼-pound speckled trout on the Fat Boy while fishing around Jacksonville, Fla. That catch further proved its versatility in any season, he said.
“Oh, yeah, it’s good in the winter,” Poe said. “(But) it’s good anytime. Any time fish are eating finfish, they’ll eat that. If they’re eating pogies or eating mullets, put that out there, too.”
For example, he said, he caught plenty of speckled trout on the Fat Boy this summer in the surf.
As far as top color combinations, Poe favors natural colors such as green/silver. But he has been pleasantly surprised.
“Shoot, you never know with that thing,” he said. “They’ve got some wild colors and, heck, they’ll hit that thing.”
For more information on Fat Boys and other Paul Brown’s Original Series artificial lures and L&S Bait Co. products, call 727-584-7691.