Monday, February 14, 2011
Randall Tharp Sets Record Catch With New ATTRAXX Design
Team ATTRAXX pro Randall Tharp will carry momentum – and a secret weapon he designed himself – to the Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 18-20 in New Orleans.
The momentum comes from his record-setting performance in the FLW Open, held Feb. 3-6 on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Fla. Tharp landed 20 bass weighing a tournament record 102 pounds, 2 ounces. Unfortunately, the record didn’t stand long and he placed second in the 160-boat event, but that excellent finish should carry him into his first Bassmaster Classic.
At Lake Okeechobee, the Gardendale, Ala., pro flipped two baits, an ATTRAXX Mystic Bug and his own creation, the new ATTRAXX Predator Craw. Using the ATTRAXX Predator Craw as his primary bait, Tharp caught more than 200 bass in four days in the tournament debut for his new design.
“In the Okeechobee tournament, 5- and 6-pounders were the little ones,” Tharp said. “Every day, I caught some 7- and 8-pounders. My biggest bass during the tournament weighed about 8.5 pounds. This was the first time I used the ATTRAXX Predator Craw and it worked perfectly. It’s exactly what I wanted.”
Tharp flipped his black and blue ATTRAXX Predator Craw into matted vegetation, making vertical presentations at specific grass stalks, twigs, stems and other targets. About 4.5 inches long including the claws with a 3-inch body, the ATTRAXX Predator Craw easily slipped through the grass.
“An ATTRAXX Predator Craw is basically a craw with tons of action,” Tharp explained. “I designed it to work with a big weight, a straight-shank flipping hook and big line. I wanted something compact to go through cover, but with a big profile and a lot of action to get a bass’s attention from quite a distance. I dropped it into the biggest, nastiest cover I could find and it looks awesome in the water.”
Tharp came up with the idea after trying many other baits over several years. Not satisfied with what he found, he thought up a lure design that he wanted to use. When he signed with the Attraxx team, company management gave Tharp a free hand to design his own dream bait.
“I’ve been thinking about designing such a bait for about five years,” Tharp explained. “Nobody else had the perfect flipping bait. Some have the right action, but they are not the right design. Some don’t fit well with hooks so I designed a bait around my favorite hook and weight. It will work with a 3/0 to 5/0 straight shank flipping hook, but a 4/0 fits it perfectly.”
Building up on his momentum, Tharp will take his design to the grassy wetlands of south Louisiana for his first Bassmaster Classic. The Louisiana Delta offers anglers endless places to fish including shallow, natural lakes filled with grass -- just the way Tharp likes it – plus deep canals, bayous, cypress swamps and tidal marshes full of fish. Known for producing huge numbers of fish, the Louisiana Delta can also deliver bass in the 4- to 7-pound range with some breaking 8 pounds and an occasional 10-pounder.
“I’m looking forward to fishing an ATTRAXX Predator Craw and other ATTRAXX baits in the Louisiana Delta during the Bassmaster Classic,” Tharp said. “The tournament is going to be dominated by a flipping stick. I’m really impressed with these ATTRAXX baits. The response I’m getting from other anglers is extremely positive. I gave some guys a few baits to use and the next day, they came back begging for more. That says a lot.”
Although designed for flipping grass, an ATTRAXX Predator Craw could work well as a jig trailer or with a swimming bait. Anglers could also simply Texas-rig it and fish it like a worm or put it on a Carolina rig.
“The uses of it are endless, but it works best with a vertical presentation in thick grass,” Tharp advised. “The vibration makes it unique. Most of the time, fish will bite it on the fall. I’m really excited that ATTRAXX gave me an opportunity to design exactly the bait I want to fish. With the SCI-X in it, it’s an awesome bait.”
Like all other ATTRAXX baits, each Predator Craw comes infused with SCI-X natural feeding stimulants, the most powerful feeding stimulant ever placed into a fishing lure. Developed after years of research, the biodegradable SCI-X chemical compound activates nerve centers in a fish’s brain telling it to eat. When a fish bites into a bait with SCI-X feeding stimulants, it doesn’t let go.
For more information on ATTRAXX baits, see www.attraxxbaits.com. To order ATTRAXX soft plastic baits, see www.attraxxbaits.com/dealers/online-retailers.html.