The Fishing Wire – June 5th, 2021.
Pro Z-Man angler Miles “Sonar” Burghoff is stoked to break out his hottest bass trick. For months, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler has been tinkering with a hot bait under the radar, conceiving cool ways to catch bass. The bait’s good, no doubt. Different in all the ways that matter, too. The ‘trick’ dangling from Burghoff’s rod tip, however, seems to have put some crazy ideas in his head. As in, saying he’s actually excited to hit up those places where parades of other lures have already chopped the shallow water salad into mixed greens.
You’d assume even an ace like Burghoff would dread rehashing used water. Instead, the friendly professional angler relishes these scenarios— and it’s all because he’s seen what can happen when he shows his new soft swimming worm to the local largemouth population.
“You can go in right after other anglers’ have tossed bladed jigs and traditional surface baits and really clean house,” exclaims Burghoff, with a nod to Z-Man’s new Turbo FattyZ. “This is a softbait that can go places where wire baits and other lures can’t, such as the thickest matted grass. Or, I can pitch and skip the Turbo FattyZ way up beneath overhangs and docks and pull big bites. On the surface, the bait’s buoyant paddletail spits and sputters water. And when you kill it, the worm has this killer waggling action as it slowly flutters.”
As Burghoff will tell you, though, working shallow grass merely skims the surface of the versatile new bait’s talents. But first, a few details . . .
Weighing in with its robust, yet extra soft swim-worm physique, the 6-inch Turbo FattyZ hangs like a substantial bass chunk at the end of your line. The softbait’s stout, segmented torso transitions to a razor-thin, high-action posterior. Propelled by an intelligently-conceived convex paddle tail, the bait hums along with a pulsing, gliding action on a slow to moderate retrieve. The entire tail section is speckled with micro-protrusions for an appetizing appearance and texture. Providing near-neutral buoyancy, a dosage of 15-percent impregnated salt also increases density for easy casts, even when fished unweighted.
“For several years, I searched for a high-performance swimming worm, but just couldn’t find one that clicked,” recalls Burghoff. “I wanted something with extra bulk and weight; a bait with some natural, neutral buoyancy that could be fished a bunch of different ways. So I was really stoked when my friends at Z-Man listened to my wishes, and helped me design the Turbo FattyZ.”
Burghoff’s essential presentation with the bait— a surface and near-surface swimming worm— employs a lightly weighted 3/16-ounce EWG or 1/6-ounce, 4/0 ChinlockZ SWS™ hook, Texas rigged. “Love the way this worm spits and sputters on the surface. Slides right over and through the thickest pads and matted grass. Pause it in pockets and let its tail slowly waggle as the whole worm glides and entices bites. Throw this bait in any of Florida’s big bass lakes or a ton of other shallow cover, big fish situations. You’ll be a happy angler. The Turbo FattyZ is just a really sweet bait for working shallow cover, especially areas that’ve been worked hard by other lures.”
Moving from surface swimmer to other bass apps, Burghoff now calls the Turbo FattyZ his “go-to swim jig trailer.”
“I’ll trim an inch or two off the bait’s head and thread it onto a CrossEyeZ™ Snakehead Swim Jig. The subtle profile and refined tail-kicking action of the Turbo FattyZ especially shine in slower-retrieve swim jig situations. When a faster swim jig retrieve and more thump and action is needed, such as in dirtier water, I’ll switch to the double tailed GOAT™, which displaces even more water.”
Highlighting a trifecta of presentations, Burghoff says the Turbo FattyZ on a Carolina rig remains one of his aces in the hole. “Put the Turbo FattyZ on a 4/0 or 5/0 EWG hook and you’ve got perhaps the ultimate Carolina rig bait for covering water and getting bit,” he explains. “Go with a ¾-ounce tungsten bullet weight and work right over those hard bottom structures—shell beds, patches of smaller rock and gravel. You’ll find those zones all over the Great Lakes, as well as southern lakes like Eufaula and TVA impoundments. So many good places with amazing Carolina rig potential—and almost no one throws it these days.”
Burghoff continues: “The Turbo FattyZ is the perfect complement to a heavy Carolina sinker. You get a great read on bottom composition. And you’re putting a confidence bait down there in front of the bass—an almost neutrally buoyant soft worm that swims and thumps as you drag it behind the sinker. On the pause the bait flutters seductively and then almost hovers in place.
“Every time I cast the Turbo FattyZ on a Carolina or any other rig, it makes me want to keep this little trick to myself,” Burghoff laughs.
To grab your own packs of Turbo FattyZ, check your local fishing tackle stores or online retailers beginning in August. Crafted at Z-Man’s South Carolina headquarters, the Z-Man 6-inch Turbo FattyZ features 10X Tough ElaZtech® for extreme softness and durability. The new swimming worm comes in eight pro-selected colours.
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