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The Mag FattyZ: An Overlooked Big Fish Bait

Flipping soft plastics is one of the most productive methods in bass fishing, and one that I rely on anytime the water temperature gets above fifty-five degrees. There's just something about getting on the bank and throwing at everything you see that clicks with my style.

For years, I relied on the standard flipping bait profiles when dissecting cover, but lately I've made a switch for the better. I'd say about three season's ago, I started including straight-tail worms more in my flipping, and I was surprised at what I found.

Sure, I've used a straight-tail worm for years in many scenarios. Tournaments held in Florida immediately come to mind; you just can't go down there and not flip some type of straight plastic. And it was there, in Florida, that I really got comfortable with my favorite straight-tail worm of all time: the Mag FattyZ.

First off, it should be mentioned that this is no finesse bait, used solely for the purpose of catching one more keeper. On the contrary, the Mag FattyZ is a big fish weapon for me. In fact, in times where I've got a group of fish located - like a productive stretch of bank or a few hot boat docks - the Mag FattyZ will almost always catch a larger grade of fish than any other soft bait I throw. I've caught bass over nine-pounds on it.

Although it's thin, the Mag FattyZ is a big bait. Think about it this way: most anglers today routinely flip four-inch baits; creatures, craws and the like. But the Mag FattyZ measures out at 7.25 inches, so it's really a big intruder in the eyes of a bass.

That brings up another good point: the Mag FattyZ seems to excel on lakes with a lot of fishing pressure. Again, I think it goes back to the fact that so many bass anglers are now choosing the same size and profile for their flip baits, regardless of manufacturer. The bass get conditioned to seeing these little short, squat baits go gliding or paddling by. Then this big, straight-tail worm comes swaying in.

The Mag FattyZ is built from ElaZtech, so it stands up on the bottom like other Z-Man soft baits. Just as important, however, is the worm's bulbous tail: even when the lure is at rest, that tail is always moving. For that reason, I don't hop the Mag FattyZ like a traditional Texas-rig worm; I dead stick it. The key is not to overwork the worm, and to let it work itself. It's crazy effective.

My flipping and pitching tackle is pretty standard: I rely on a 7'6" St. Croix Legend X rod, but I choose a medium-heavy power to be able to make a cast, or skip under a dock if I need to. I fish Gamma braid in the grass, and usually about 20-pound fluoro around wood. If there's one key to my shallow set-up with the Mag FattyZ, it's my hook.

I'm a big believer in fishing heavy-cover with a straight-shank hook, and this is no exception. That's another nice feature of the Mag FattyZ: it's size and thickness allow it to ride a heavy 5/0 flipping hook without overpowering the bait. That's a key, since this is a technique for a magnum fish.

Morning usually finds me fishing a Black / Blue Laminate worm under dark sky conditions, as that color stands out a little better. I'll stick to it all day in Florida, on any brackish waters (say, the James River or Chesapeake Bay) or in tannic conditions. In more clear water environments, I'll lighten up as the sun comes up, relying on Green Pumpkin and California Craw.

Does it seem like there's endless fishing pressure up shallow where you fish? Separate yourself from the crowd. This summer, put a Mag FattyZ in your flipping rotation, and you'll be surprised at how many more fish you'll catch.

Big fish.

Stephen Browning

Z-Man Pro-Staff

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