Success, as usual in the artificial lure manufacturing business — or anything else, for that matter — begats success.
Clyde Folse of Raceland was riding the crest of popularity for his Crappie Psychic’s Crappie Trailers last year when a buddy at work asked what Folse could to help the dyed-in-the-wool saltwater fishermen in their chase for speckled trout and redfish.
Folse didn’t leave Brad Matherne hanging for long.
“(Matherne) says, ‘I fish strictly saltwater. I want something specifically for trout.’ So I just got to the drawing board and began tinkered with a design,” Folse said the first week of May.
Folse, his family and a recently hired employee were up to their elbows at the time keeping up with demand for Crappie Trailers.
He gave Matherne and the rest of the saltwater fishing world something to think about — something that made an immediate impact in two recent saltwater fishing tournaments.
Crappie Psychic’s Trout Trailer is a slightly beefed-up version, if you will, of the Crappie Trailer, said the 52-year-old charter captain who started guiding for sac-a-lait last year.
Plain and simple, it’s an “enhancer” when attached to some tried-and-true, established artificial lures, Folse said, noting the Trout Trailer is “the absolute best enhancer out there.
“Yep, that’s the ticket,” Folse said. “‘Enhancer,’ which doesn’t put us in direct competition with any other lure manufacturer out there, in fact.
“I really think the Trout Trailer will be bigger than the Crappie Trailers, and the Crappie Trailers are already a huge success.”
The Trout Trailer is 2.63 inches long. Naturally, Folse made a bigger ball at one end because it will be used on hooks common in saltwater fishing. It’s also made of a more-durable soft plastic because those speckled trout and redfish are “vicious,” he said.
What makes it work is the action and the special oh-so-secret “Psychic Sauce” applied to the soft plastic, Folse said.
That action is a direct result of the “four water-cutting edges” and the patent-pending tapering that results in a “diamond/square” shape.
He explained it this way: Drop a marble in the water and it sinks straight down, but drop a quarter in the water and watch it waffle and sway on the way down.
“You have to have a tapered ratio,” Folse said. “In other words, how it’s tapered from the ball all the way to the tail. Everything’s extremely precise for the drawings. They have to be that way for the patent.”
The Trout Trailer’s shape, the scent and the five popular colors are a combination that is deadly, he said.
“I don’t know what a fish thinks, even though I call myself the Crappie Psychic, but a pro staffer I talk to says, ‘Who knows what the fish are seeing, but I’m telling you it’s a huge difference,’” Folse said.
What has the new enhancer accomplished so far, in addition to putting beau coup speckled trout and redfish in the boat? Folse was proud to report the Trout Trailer accounted for a first- and second-place finish May 2 in the Wounded War Heroes tournament in Cocodrie.
Folse and retired charter captain Tom McClain took out Marine sniper veteran Justin Whatley and his wife Haley. Haley used the Trout Trailer and won the speckled trout division with a 2.4-pound fish, while her husband nailed a runner-up honor in the miscellaneous division with a 4- t0 5-pound catfish.
Folse said artificials adorned with Trout Trailers outfished live shrimp 5 to 1.
On the same day, Capt. Nick Lapre was second in the Redfish Division in a 50-team Laitram Company tournament in Delacroix. Lapre affixed the Trout Trailer to a gold/black weedless spoon. He missed first place by 4 ounces.
Lapre, a 33-year-old angler from Tickfaw who fishes out of Pointe-a-la-Hache, met Folse at the Lamar-Dixon Sporting Show in Gonzales, where Folse was giving a free bag of Trout Trailers with a purchase of Crappie Trailers.
Lapre’s fiancee told him about the Trout Trailers. The rest is fishcatching history.
“He got his hands on them. He’s been fishing with them for a while,” Folse said.
Lapre, who works full time at Intralox in Harahan, said after using the new soft plastic — which should be in approximately 100 stores by mid-summer — he plans to use it on live bait as well as proven artificials.
The Trout Trailers make a difference, he said.
“I can tell it. It makes a difference. I see a difference in using it,” he said, adding he has thrown it a lot on Matrix Shad and Vortex Shad. “I’m not sure if it’s just the action of the bait or just the scent.
“But I know the two together make a difference. Capt. Clyde’s been a blessing. He’s got something there.”
Basically, in a nutshell, Lapre believes it is successful because fish have seen just about every type of bait people can throw. The Trout Trailer, he claimed, adds an extra dimension that’s hard to resist.
Oh, about that scent: Four to five drops are added to a bag of Crappie Trailers, while seven to eight drops go into a bag of Trout Trailer.
What is happening, Folse said, is that anglers are putting Trout Trailers on widely known brands of artificials — even models they haven’t tied on for a while.
And they are producing.
“To me that’s the glory of it all,” Folse said.