A Legend on Top!
Several years ago, I walked past a fishing expo booth with a video of a topwater plug I had used as a kid but hadn’t seen in decades. I talked to the enthusiastic owner about his single lure lineup! He handed me a couple. I packed them away.
During an off-season clean up I found the lure, a Hubs Chub. I gave it a whirl. I loved how it walked, spit, rattled and churned up the water. Apparently so did the bass! I was amazed how this old fashioned lure was met with such ferocity! Bass killed it! If they missed, they would come back! And back again until they were hooked! I played with it all summer and decided to give the owner a call.
A long phone conversation with Steve Monoyoudis proved worth the time! Monoyoudis discovered the lure in 1987 as a 15 year old watching the legendary Billy Westmorland catch fish with it on his TV show. Westmorland endorsed the Rattalur, the original name, for years and dedicated four of his “Fishing Diary” television shows to this lure; calling it “The Best Topwater Lure Going.” This was verified by his long time fishing companion Buddy Banks, owner of Silver Buddy Lures, who remembers the previous lure owner coming to Billy with this “new” lure and Billy achieving success when other lures struck out!
Monoyoudis ordered two, went wading on the river, and on his first cast caught the biggest smallie he’d seen. “I was hooked and it came to be my favorite lure for the next 4 years into 1994.” Losing his last one and finding they were no longer available, Monoyoudis went 12 years without the lures. He was elated to find Hubs Chub owner Phil Yeather on line. Monoyoudisrestocked his Tacklebox. But Yeather had lost interest in the lure as Wal-Mart had a greater interest in his cricket cages. The following year the company buying Yeather out wasn’t interested in the bait. Monoyoudis’ immediate reaction was to keep the Hubs Chub alive and in 2007 made an offer to buy the rights to the bait. “We got the molds and inventory of 500 baits.” It didn’t take long to find out how tough the tackle business really is! Getting lures into the hands of anglers and on store shelves is difficult, even harder when you aren’t a tackle giant!
Independent insurance salesman and financial advisor Monoyoudis thought it was a wonderful opportunity to enter the fishing industry. “My first thought was not a get rich quick, it was a heartfelt effort to keep a lure around for people to create the same memories for them as it did for me.” To preserve effectiveness and increase quality, he took 2 years to make the first lure. Overcoming weak plastic, leaks and loose screws, clear Butyrate, a tougher plastic costing twice as much, and automotive grade paint improved durability. Screw eyes instead of hangers allowed more hook rotation. Made in the USA meant quality rivaling high-dollar Japanese lures, but nearly double the cost of overseas production. May of 2009 new and improved Hubs Chub were rolled out!
Hubs Chub fans found their bait! “I’ve received many stories from anglers that this is the best topwater bait and they really have a passion as they have done so well with them.” But, Monoyoudis knew original customers would not sustain the business. He needed to reach new fishing prospects by contacting stores and guides with samples, seeking word-of-mouth demand.
So, upon finding the Hubs Chub lures, I tossed them during a tough 2013 Potomac River season. My instinct guided me to walk the dog with this 4-inch black topwater lure. The rattles were loud, the propeller on the rear created a bubble trail, and side notches sprayed water outward. This commotion awakened the mean streak in the River’s largemouth! I think they just wanted to make it stop making noise in their quiet neighborhood! Who can argue with Billy Westmorland? This really is the best topwater lure.
You won’t see pro bass anglers donning the Hubs Chub logo on tournament shirts or wearing Hubs Chub hats. Writers won’t flock to editors with article queries. Corporate stores won’t go out on a limb to stock valuable shelf space. So, why would any halfway intelligent guy invest so much time, money and passion in a single fishing lure? If you could ask a young Steve Monoyoudis, he would tell you it’s because it catches fish! Steve Monoyoudis the elder would tell you it captures memories.
Written by: Steve Chaconas
Potomac River Bassing in JULY
Start on top with Lucky Craft G-Splash poppers. Bigger ones in stained choppy water and the regular size G-Splash 65 for clear calm water. Have a Mann’s HardNose Freefall worm Texas rigged weightless with a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite hook. Ties this to 12-pound test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon line.
Then it’s a combo of Mann’s Baby 1-Minus in chartreuse on sunny days or shad patterns on cloudy days. Use Classic spinnerbaits with white skirts on cloudy days. Or craw patterned chatterbaits anytime. This is also a good time to swim a Mann’s Stone Jig around cover. Use a HardNose Frankentoad trailer. Try these on 14-16 pound test GAMMA Edge.
Pitching Mizmo tubes, Texas rigged with 14-16 pound Edge and 3/16-ounce weights to grass clumps, wood and docks, especially during the heat of the day. A good soaking in garlic Jack’s Juice will help to keep fish holding on longer!
At the peak of the heat, try drop shotting steep drops. I like the GAMMA Torque 20-pound braid with a 12-pound test Edge leader on a Quantum EXO spinning outfit. Use a 2/0 Mustad Mega Bite hook and Mann’s HardNose 6 inch Jelly worm worm. Anchor this rig with a 1/8 ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot weight.
Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS “Ask the Expert” (http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/bassfishing/)
Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com.