Biwaa Fishing Performance, which is a French tackle manufacturer, has created a soft-plastic lure for Midwest finesse applications. It is called the Patate, which is the French word for potato. In Europe and Asia, it is called the Patate 60.
It was introduced it to the anglers in the United States at the 2016 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.
It is Biwaa's alternative to the short stickbaits that Midwest finesse anglers have been affixing to a small jig and wielding on a spinning rod since the late Chuck Woods' of Kansas City, Missouri, created the Beetle in the 1950s.
The Patate is 2.5 inches long. It is not round like most modern-day stickbaits. Instead, it possesses several shapes and demeanors; some say it looks like a teardrop or an ellipse, and others describe it as bulbous, flat, and fat. In some observers' eyes, it looks like an abstract rendering of a small or immature fingerling potato, and others say it looks like a leech.
Its back or dorsal possesses a 44-millimeters or 1.773-inch hook slot. Its belly or ventral has a 31-millimeters or 1.220-inch hook slot. Other than the different lengths of the hook slots, its dorsal and ventral are identical.
The widest segment of its dorsal and ventral is 16 millimeters or 0.629 inches.
One end is oval-shaped, and it is 13-millimeters or 0.511-inches wide and 10-mm or 0.397-inches high. The other end is round, and it has a diameter of 9 millimeters or 0.354 inches.
It is impregnated with salt, and it weighs 10 grams or 0.352 ounces.
We exchanged several emails and telephone conversations about the Patate with Zac Guerinoni of Santa Rosa, California, and we received one email from Vincent Alexandre, who is a Frenchman that lives in China. Guerinoni is the is the vice president of Biwaa USA, LLC. Alexandre founded the company in 2008, and he is the president of Biwaa's Asian, European, and American endeavors.
According to Alexandre, the Patate is used in a lot of tournament situations in China and Japan, and most of the anglers rig it weightless and on a 3/0 extra-wide-gap worm hook. They present this rig by allowing it to delicately glide to the bottom, and when it reaches the bottom, they execute a deadstick presentation. In his eyes, it is an ideal bait for deadsticking because it has no appendages. Therefore, when it lies on the bottom without emitting any gyrations or vibrations, it exhibits a demeanor that Alexandre calls "real dead prey." It is also an easy rig to skip under docks and overhanging trees. When anglers employ it on other types of riggings, such as on a jika rig or a slip-sinker rig, Alexandre has found that the Patate's silent and vibration-free deportment can inveigle surprising numbers of black bass. In essence, it is the subtleness of the Patate that makes it alluring to the eyes of black bass, says Alexandre.
Guerinoni noted that a significant number of anglers are affixing the Patate to a mushroom-style jig and employing it with a deadstick presentation, and it has beguiled untold numbers of black bass. What's more, he has found it to be a superb tactic for introducing children and all neophytes to the angling world, and it has become Guerinoni's children's most effective rig.
Guerinoni says either end of the Patate can be affixed to a mushroom-style jig. When he uses a deadstick presentation, he prefers to affix the wider end of the Patate to the collar of the jig and the shank of the hook. When he is dragging it along the bottom, he affixes the smaller end to the collar of the jig and shank of the hook.
Deadsticking and dragging are a critical part of the presentation tactics of Midwest finesse anglers, but there are many hours, minutes, and moments when dragging and deadsticking are not effective. And that is why Midwest finesse anglers have developed six retrieves that can be used with a soft-plastic bait like the Patate that is affixed to a mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook. (See endnote No. 3 for more information about the six Midwest finesse retrieves.)
It is available in the following colors: Black and Blue, Green Pumpkin, Okeechobee, and Pearl White.
A package of eight costs $5.99.
(1) Here is a link to Biwaa's website: https://www.biwaa.com/product/patate/.
(2) Here is the link to the Midwest Finesse gear guide about Biwaa's Venum Tail Worm: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/biwaa-fishing-products-four-inch-venum-tail-worm/.
(3) Here is a link to the Midwest finesse column that focuses on the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/. And all six and variation of those six retrieves should work well with a Patate affixed to a mushroom-style jig.