On Mar. 4, Pok-Chi Lau of Lawrence, Kansas, and I went largemouth bass and temperate bass fishing at 2,600-acre power-plant reservoir in eastern Kansas. At the end of our outing, Lau and I crossed paths at the boat ramp with Travis Brooks and Ronny Denayer, both of Butler, Missouri, and we talked.
They said that they had fished several cold-water areas, including the dam and the riprap shoreline that parallels the access road to the power plant. We also saw them plying one of the bluffs in the heart of the warm-water plume. They are power anglers, and they said they caught 15 largemouth bass, and lost one that looked as if it would weigh at least six pounds. This brute was hooked on a jerkbait along the riprap of the access road.
As we exchanged tidbits about our hours afloat, Denayer told us that Brooks, who is 30 years old, was the proprietor of Fat Boyz Baits. Denayer participates in Brooks’ bait business, too.
Brooks called it a family-owned business in which Brooks and Jeff Hill of Butler, Missouri, hand-pour all of the company’s soft-plastic baits and Denayer makes the jigs. And as Brooks notes on the company’s Web site: ”Every bait is manufactured by us. Nothing leaves our shop without us touching it. We don’t produce as many baits as some companies, but you can be assured we sell the best. We thoroughly test every lure we produce, and only sell it if it is a bait we want to fish.”
Initially, they began making hand-poured baits in 2010 just for themselves. Eventually other bass anglers got wind of what Brooks, Denayer and Hill were doing, and these curious anglers wanted to buy some Brooks and his friends’ wares. And as this threesome received more and more requests for their baits, they decided to start their bait business, which began rather rudimentarily in March of 2012.
Lau and I confessed that we had not heard of Fat Boyz Baits. So in the parking lot at the boat ramp, Brooks and Denayer spent a considerable amount of time showing us some of their baits, and they tested several of them on this outing.
Posted below are photographs of seven of the Fat Boyz’s hand-poured soft-plastic baits that Brooks and Denayer showed us. More of the products can be seen at www.fatboyzbaits.com, and anglers can talk to Brooks at 660-679-1632.
As this burgeoning company expands and produces more baits in the months to come, we will update this blog by featuring some of their new baits.
- Fat Boyz four-inch Real Craw