There is always a lot of talk about custom, hand-made crankbaits for bass fishing. Anglers around the country pay big money for these unique lures and will swear by their ability to get bites when other options fail to produce. Unfortunately, however, many of these lures will cost you your first-born child and more. They're not cheap whatsoever.
There's good news, though. Many of the world's best crankbait anglers agree that the Norman Fat Boy is the best mass produced squarebill on the market. It has many of the same characteristics of a custom crankbait but you can buy 'em for $6.49 a piece. I think it's one of the best kept secrets in bass fishing. Until now, that is.
Let's go through a few of its most noteworthy characteristics.
Reminiscent of an all-time favorite
The Zoom WEC squarebills are some of the most sought after lures in the fishing industry. After the unfortunate passing of Ed Chambers, the creator of them, they're even tougher to find. You'll have to shell out at least $50 to get your hands on one these days.
The Norman Fat Boy, however, is a dead ringer for this hugely popular crankbait. It has the same wide-wobbling and fast-diving action and you can buy one for next to nothing. You will not find a mass produced crankbait more similar to a Zoom WEC E-1. Again, that's why I strongly believe that the Fat Boy is one of the hidden gems of bass fishing.
Strikes a great balance
As you can see in this photo, the Norman Fat Boy is not a large crankbait by any means. Measuring just 2 inches long, it offers a small profile but with major water displacement. Its blunt nose and wide wobble pushes a bunch of water that draws lots of reaction strikes, but its lack of rattles also allows for a bit quieter approach than many squarebills.
This is a squarebill that can easily be fished in both dirty or clear water. It gets their attention, but it's not overpowering or unnatural.
Also worth noting is its castability. Many similar-sized crankbaits are tough to cast, but the Fat Boy has some meat on its bones. You'll be able to cast it into a stiff wind with no backlashes to speak of. Its 7/16-ounce weight also aides in more accurate casts in skinny or shallow water.
You'll be hard pressed to get it snagged
You can cast the Fat Boy into just about any type of cover and expect to get it back. It has a coffin-shaped lip that deflects excellently off of hard cover, which makes this a perfect crankbait for targeting laydowns, stumps and boat docks. Very rarely will it get snagged.
Its bill and body shape also help this crankbait "hunt" throughout the retrieve. It will wobble several inches from either side of center on a standard retrieve, but it will not blow out. It returns to center and runs true regardless of your retrieve speed or style.
It's ready to go
The Norman Fat Boy is ready to fish straight from the package. You're not going to have to change split rings or hooks. It comes adorned with nlack nickel Gamakatsu trebles and they'll hook just about anything that breathes on this crankbait. If you like to crank rocks, I've also found that these hooks stay sharp quite nicely even after repeated collisions with pea gravel or chunk rock.
There are very few lures these days that come ready to fish, but the Fat Boy is an exception. Just take it out of the package and get to casting.
I almost didn't want to write this review, because I feel like one of my favorite crankbaits is about to become really tough to find. They're probably going to sell out, so grab a few of your favorite colors. I can pretty much guarantee that you're going to fall in love. This crankbait is the full package and until now, very few people knew about it.