When Stephen Browning, Z-Man pro, 2013 Bassmaster Central Open champion and 9-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, predicted The Original ChatterBait would likely play a pivotal role in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, the perennial Elite Series standout ended up being dead on.
Connecticut native, B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier, and fourth-year FLW Tour co-angler Paul Mueller made good on Browning’s hunch when, following a slow 47th place Day One, he switched to a ChatterBait Elite that produced a massive 32 lb., 3 oz. second-day bag and ultimately catapulted him to a second-place finish in one of professional bass fishing’s most coveted tournaments.
Following a lackluster start that centered around lipless crakbaiting, Mueller began fishing a Sexy Shad-colored ChatterBait Elite around depth irregularities in close proximity to eelgrass, popping it free from the grass to trigger reaction strikes.
“They’d sit on the upside of the point and I’d throw that ChatterBait and slow roll it and they’d react to that,” recalled Mueller. “The difference when you’d throw the lipless crankbait in the grass is if you reeled it slow, it would get buried in the grass. With the ChatterBait, you can slow roll it. I was just creeping it through there.”
“The ChatterBait could get through the eelgrass no matter how you retrieved it,” Mueller continued. “If you went too slow, it would get buried and you’d have to pop it. I’d work it slow enough to where it would get hung up a little bit and then I’d give it a short pop and a lot of times on that short pop, boom, they’d hit it.”
From the angler who anticipated the ChatterBait would play a key role in the tournament’s outcome to another whose previous five-fish, single-day Classic record weight Mueller eclipsed, both Stephen Browning and fellow Z-Man pro, Luke Clausen, weighed in on the B.A.S.S. Nation angler’s success.
“The only good that came out of the Classic for me, unfortunately, was my prediction of the importance the ChatterBait would play in its outcome,” commented Browning. “It is truly a big-fish bait that has a ton of applications. My congratulations go out to Paul for utilizing the ChatterBait (Elite) to locate the right water—and area—on Guntersville.”
Past Bassmaster Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion, Clausen echoed Browning’s sentiments. “The Classic record I set back in 2006 (29 lbs., 6 oz.) was broken this year on the best big-fish bait I know. Relying on the ChatterBait as much as I do, Paul’s success with it doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Introduced at the ICAST show in July 2012, the ChatterBait Elite boasts several improvements and upgrades over The Original ChatterBait and has quickly become a favorite of tournament anglers nationwide. Built upon Z-Man’s patented bladed swim jig design and hex-shaped ChatterBlade®, it sports a 5/0 Gamakatsu® hook, low profile EZ Skirt® jig skirt, molded-in trailer keeper and improved head-to-blade connection.
In fact, Mueller selected the ChatterBait Elite due to its beefed-up hook and other components, and construction. “If I hooked a big one, I didn’t want any flex,” he said.
Just two months into 2014, the ChatterBait Elite has played a crucial role not only in the Classic, but also in Brett Hite’s season-opening win at the first FLW Tour event at Lake Okeechobee last month. Along with Mueller’s impressive 32 lb., 3 oz. second-day bag at Guntersville, Hite’s day one catch of 34 lb., 14 oz. at Okeechobee are examples of the potential to produce a monster bag of fish with the ChatterBait.
According to Hite, the reason for the ChatterBait’s prowess as a big fish enticer is clear. “It’s a reaction-bite bait, which is deadly on big bass . . . Something suddenly snaps or flashes in front of a fish’s face and that fish’s gut reaction is to just inhale it. A ChatterBait snapping out of the grass, deflecting off a piling or ping-ponging off rock triggers the same thing.”
The ChatterBait Elite is available in 3/8 and ½ oz. sizes and is offered in eight different color patterns designed to match a variety of fishing scenarios.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jeff Espy with Adventure Advertising, LLC at (678) 730-4770, or by e-mail at Jeff@adventureadv.com.
Logo courtesy Z-Man Fishing Products