Most Gulf Coast anglers have seen, either in person or in videos, redfish in water that’s so clear, it looks like it should have been delivered by the Kentwood man.
But aside from that, even water that most saltwater anglers would call clean has some degree of stain or color to it. Sight range in such water is, at best, maybe 3 feet.
That means redfish have to use their lateral lines in addition to their eyes to feed, so lures that give off some type of vibration tend to produce more than those that are whisper-quiet moving through the water.
The Z-Man ChatterBait certainly does that. The lure has skyrocketed in popularity in local waters because it produces when many other baits don’t.
Certainly a portion of the productivity has to do with the flash the lure gives off as it’s moving through the water, but it’s no more than a gold spoon or traditional safety-pin spinnerbait with a gold Colorado blade.
What sets the bait apart, however, is its vibration. Tie one to the end of your line, and within three cranks of the handle, you’ll swear you’re retrieving a Rat-L-Trap.
Glenn Young, national sales director for Z-Man, put the lure to good use last month while fishing in Venice, La., for three days. It was just about the only thing he threw, and it put plenty of keeper reds in the boat.
He said, as a general rule, anglers who don’t have success with ChatterBaits are probably fishing them too quickly.
“If I’m fishing a clean bank, I’ll really slow it down to give those fish time to zero in on it,” Young said. “Sometimes you can’t do that because there’s grass around, but even then, you want to slow it down in the clean areas between the grass patches.”
The hits Young got weren’t dainty. He didn’t have to think about setting the hook, as fish practically ripped the rod from his hands.
ChatterBaits come in a host of sizes and styles, but some are designed for bass fishing.
If you intend to target redfish with them, be sure to pick up the DieZel ChatterBait, which is made from hardier components for inshore fishing.
The bait retails for $6.99.