November 11, 2019
Berkley’s Powerbait Fatty Bottom Hopper is one of scores of soft-plastic baits that was introduced to the angling world at the 2018 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Orlando, Florida.
Even though it was not designed for Midwest finesse applications, it is one that Midwest finesse anglers can readily customize and employ in a variety of ways.
Berkley manufactures it in two sizes: a five-incher and a seven-incher.
We asked Hunter Cole of Columbia, South Carolina, who is Berkley’s media and public relations manager, to help us in our endeavor to publish a gear guide about the five-incher. He responded by sending us some samples to examine, work with, and describe.
Here is what we discovered about the Fatty Bottom Hopper.
From the tip of its peristomium or mouth to the tip of its anus, it is 5 1/4 inches long.
Its entire ventral area is flat, and except for the word Berkley, which is embossed on an area that is seven-eighths of an inch long and three-sixteenths of an inch wide, the ventral’s epidermis is smooth.
The center of its peristomium is slightly concave, which allows the collar of a jig to be easily inserted. At its widest spot, the width of the peristomium is a quarter of an inch with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches.
The portion of the anterior from the tip of its peristomium to the union with its clitellum is an inch long. The dorsal area of this section is adorned with nine segments, and its shape is convexed. The bottom half of its sides are flat with an epidermis that is smooth.
Its clitellum is fifteen-sixteenths of an inch long. Its epidermis is smooth except for the word Berkley that adorns a small section of its ventral area. Its dorsal is convexed. The bottom half of its sides are flat.
From the back junction of the clitellum to the tip of its anus, the dorsal area is convexed and garlanded with 30 segments.
At the junction of the anterior’s ninth segment and the beginning of its clitellum, it is slightly wider than three-eighths of an inch, and it has a circumference of about 1 3/8 inches. This is the Fatty Bottom Hopper‘s largest area. From this point to the beginning of the final nine segments of its posterior area, the dimensions of the torso decrease in size.
The posterior’s segment number 20 is a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of about an inch.
From segment 21 to the beginning of segment 30, its dimensions increase. At segment 24, it is three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/16 inches. The sides and dorsal section of segment number 30 is dome shaped, and it is a quarter of an inch long and five-sixteenths of an inch wide at it widest spot with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches. The enlargement of this portion of its posterior is said to provoke the Fatty Bottom Hopper to exhibit an array of alluring vibrations and undulations.
It is available in the following colors: Black, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Magic, Green Pumpkin Purple Gold, Green Pumpkin Red Flake, June Bug, Plum, Pumpkinseed, Redbug, Red Shad, Shady Watermelon Candy, Skeet's Ghost Minnow, Smoke Purple Flake, South African Special, Watermelon, Watermelon Red, and Watermelon Red Magic.
It is permeated with Berkley’s exclusive Powerbait formula, which, according to the folks at Berkley, is a scent that will provoke a black bass to “hold on longer – up to 18-times longer than with standard soft plastic baits.”
It is buoyant, which along with its flat ventral area, are virtues in the eyes of many Midwest finesse anglers. These virtues help accentuate the gliding motif of the swim-glide-and-shake presentation that Midwest finesse anglers regularly use.
One of Berkley’s press releases noted that the Fatty Bottom Hopper’s “large rounded head increases durability and makes rigging on a shaky head or Texas-rig extremely user friendly.” But Midwest finesse anglers will affix it to a small mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook. And before they affix it to a jig, they will use a pair of Fiskar scissors to shorten it. At times, they will make two 2 5/8-inch stick-style baits. At other times, they will remove 1 1/4 inches from its anterior section to make a four-inch Fatty Bottom Hopper.
A package of 10 costs $3.99.