Chas Champagne wishes it would have been as simple as pointing a futuristic-looking device at one of the most-popular speckled trout soft plastics on the market and reducing the size significantly, like in the 1989 movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”
Champagne, who owns Dockside Bait & Tackle, eventually shrunk a Matrix Shad to make a Matrix Mini that is perfect for impaling on 1/8-, 1/16- and 1/32-ounce leadheads and tapping the crappie population.
The artificial lure manufacturer calls the finished product “a pan fisherman’s dream.”
Champagne won’t get an argument from people who fished it long before its wider release.
More Matrix Minis started appearing on shelves around the region and disappearing just as fast.
“I’m really surprised how many we’ve been selling and the feedback we’re getting,” Champagne said. “We’ve got a huge shipment coming in, and we’ll be able to have access to every one of our accounts. Keeping up with demand will not be a problem.
“The demand is there. Our following was wanting it, and we finally got squared away.”
Why Matrix Minis? Champagne realized speckled trout fishing success can be up and down January through April. So he decided to make a miniature Matrix Shad.
And, after months of painstaking work, the designers shrank it to an ultra-compressed version of the original Matrix Shad.
The Matrix Mini is just a little under 2 inches long.
“We wanted to do this now because this is the time for crappie,” Champagne said. “We fish across the country, especially Louisiana and Mississippi. We go all over chasing crappie.
“It was a really good addition to the Matrix family.”
He said that’s what he was hopeful panfishermen would realize once they get their hands on the Matrix Minis.
“We said, ‘Let’s make it a product where the most-avid crappie angler would want to have it in their arsenal,’” Champagne said. “We’re going to sell the heck out of it here in Louisiana, like all our products.”
Champagne is hopeful the Matrix Minis also will catch on at Toledo Bend and Mississippi lakes such as Sardis Lake, both widely known for their crappie fishing success.
The key to the lure is all about the action, because it’s a swim bait and the tail vibrates as it moves in the water, he explained.
Tony Fontenot of Schriever agreed.
“I guess it’s the vibration from the paddletail,” Fontenot said.
The 58-year-old host of the television fishing show “Castin’ Cajun” also put on a Crappie Psychic soft plastic trailer made by Clyde Folse of Raceland during a recent trip, and the combination proved too much for 25 crappie and just about as many bass to resist in March. That was enough for the private pond’s landowner to sit up and take notice.
Fontenot said the property owner told him, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anybody catch (sac-a-lait) on artificial baits in this pond.”
Three colors are currently available, and his favorite is kryptonite, a blue-ish green color. The others are a pinkish “opening night” hue called ladies night and a blue/clear called blue horizon.
Champagne said he prefers using a 1/8-ounce leadhead because he fishes deep. But he admitted some anglers, like those who frequent the Atchafalaya Basin are partial to 1/32- or 1/16-ounce leadheads because they like fishing the Matrix Minis under corks.
For more information on the Matrix Mini or other Dockside Bait & Tackle products call 985-707-2105 or go to www.Matrixshad.com.