Put Some Fat in Your Fishing Diet


Most doctors say that you should take fat out of your diet. It is better to put fat into your fishing diet by using Z-Man’s FattyZ. However, I have had my best luck by going with moderation by using the 5-inch finesse style, and even making it smaller at times, rather than using the 7.25-inch Mag FattyZ. All of this is discussed, including rigging, within this article.

Items used for rigging are ProX Offset Worm and EWG (Extra Wide Gap) and Daiichi Bleeding Bait Copperhead hooks in 2/0 to 4/0 sizes; Z-Man SchroomZ and B-Fish-N Precision H2O jig heads; and bullet-style worm weights from 1/16- to 1/4-ounce. All are used for three basic rigs: Texas, free fall jerk and jigging.

The 5-inch Fatty has a slit/pocket in one side which I use to hide the hook point when doing any sort of Texas-style rigging. While I’ve always done this with the Natural Forage Baits soft plastic jerk baits that have the slit, I didn’t with Z-Man lures. However, I discovered that skin-hooking a soft plastic ElaZtech lure is a lot different than skin-hooking a normal, soft plastic lure. Normal soft plastic releases the hook point on the strike and makes it easy to achieve a quick hookset. But the very tough ElaZtech very often keeps the point from popping completely out, if at all. So, using the slit works very well for protecting the hook, while providing the needed hooksetting ability.

ProX hooks are extremely sharp, which is a must when Texas-rigging the ElaZtech lures, but the Daiichi Copperhead is my favorite because of the ElaZtech. I say this because of the lure’s head where the hooks are inserted, and an offset holds it in place. A normal hook being Texas-rigged will not tear out at the head, as with other soft plastics, but will quickly wear, making it very difficult for the head area of the lure to stay in place. With the Copperhead having a spring-like screw to be placed in the head, it holds extremely tight in the tough material. In fact, ElaZtech is so tough that I need something to puncture a small hole in the head of the lure so that the spring can be started to screw in. Without this hole, this can often be next to impossible to do. Generally, I used the smallest screwdriver blade on my Leatherman Wave multi-tool.

The FattyZ has some good weight to it, so no matter what hook is used, it makes a good lure to cast without a weight and then allowed to slowly fall. A twitch on the retrieve is always good, but I like a lift-n-fall or a slow crawl, especially in weeds and brush, allowing the natural slow, floating action to attract fish. I will also “finger jig” this rig if using it on my B‘n’M 75 Series 7-foot combo.

A normal Texas rig with a bullet sinker works great for bottom hopping or crawling through cover of all sorts. It can also be used when flipping/pitching heavy cover when a lure with bulky presence is needed, rather than a lot of action.

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One thing not mentioned has been split shot fishing. This is an excellent lure to “split shot” along a gravel bottom. In the right location, it can also pick up a walleye or two.

Using any of the mentioned jigheads is a great way to hop or lift-n-drop this lure along riprap and other rocky shores. It also is a fantastic way to drop in and along weed edges and pop it loose from weeds to attract a fish into striking. As with about any of the rigs, use the least about weight possible to achieve what is needed.

Last year, I discovered to definitely not throw away these lures if they are torn up. The ElaZtech is so tough that normally, the last 2 to 3 inches of tail area is still in good shape, since the front area sees all the action with hooks and fish to give it wear. I will cut the tail area off and use it with a jighead, which turns it into a great finesse lure that I almost always use with my “finger jigging” technique. Finger jigging gives the bulb-like tail a totally different bobbing action than it has when on the full-size lure and fished in other ways. Even if the full-sized lure is finger jigged, this tail does not have the same action. With this rig, it will not only continue catching bass, but also lure in very nice size crappies and larger bluegills.

Since the use of jigheads has been mentioned in a few different ways, there is a preference for different techniques. With anything being hopped along a bottom, I prefer the ShroomZ head because of its ability to set up on the flatter front of the head. H2O heads can also be used for swimming, but it is definitely my first choice for finger jigging with a constant, swim-type retrieve.

At some time this coming spring, Z-Man will be producing a new finesse FattyZ that will be a shorter version, as just mentioned on cutting off the tail area. I have not seen these, so they may or may not work the same as with my “recycled” version. It is definitely one of those lures to look forward to trying.

The 5-inch FattyZ is one of those lures that a person may look at and think, “Well, maybe or maybe not.” However, it will quickly become a “Fat” that bass won’t want you to cut out of their fishing diet.