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Photo: Mad Man
The "mad man" himself, Man Man lures founder Darren Mooneyham.

Photo: Mad Man
Mad Man recently came out with its crawfish worm, now available in 2 sizes and 16 colors.

Many Bass Anglers Are Mad Men

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Note: This is the second part of a 2-part story on the rise of Mad Man lures. At the bottom of this segment, Mad Man founder Darren Mooneyham tells BassFans his favorite way to fish a Mad Man crawfish tube.

Mad Men Respond

As orders for Mad Man lures have flooded in, so have phone calls, emails and letters from anglers who see themselves as bass fishing Mad Men.

"We didn't know what to expect," Mooneyham says. "But from the response, Mad Man has been refreshing to people. Scary Larry, the guy in the ads, appeals to fishermen. It gets a giggle out of them.

"We also get people calling in, telling us how they jump dykes and wreck their boats, and all their friends think they're crazy. It's funny."

More Coming

Recently Mad Man came out with the crawfish worm. One reason the company stayed with crawfish, Mooneyham says, is that's what made Mad Man famous.

Another is that "it gives jig fishermen another opportunity to use a lure they haven't been able to use otherwise," meaning an ultra-realistic craw-worm.

"Also, some people didn't fish tubes much and were having a problem rigging them," Mooneyham says. "So we wanted to give them a different product but as realistic as the tube."

Eventually Mad Man will have a full line of soft-plastics. Look for the next offering (or two) this spring.

"I'm still designing baits," Mooneyham says. "Every day I sit down with a buddy of mine and we figure out how to make new stuff. We have a lot of things coming down the pipe, some new twists on old stuff -- just like the crawfish tube. The tube has been around for a long time. We're just making something different (from it)."

Industry Needs New Ideas

"My philosophy is that we have a huge industry that's dying for new ideas," he says. "A good example is the crawfish tube. That's not brain surgery, it's just something a little different.

"Six companies are knocking off the bait. That's the way the industry is. It's so knock-off happy, no one's thinking of their owns stuff," he says. "That's how I slipped right in."

Look Out/Order

Check out Ardmore, Okla. pro Jeff Kriet in his Mad Man boat while he fishes the BASSMASTER Tour events. Mooneyham, who just missed qualifying for the BASSMASTER Tour last year, fishes the BASSMASTER Central Opens in his Mad Man boat.

Crawfish tubes and worms come in 16 colors. The crawfish tube comes in 3, 4 and 5-inch sizes. The crawfish worm comes in 3-inch and 4-inch. To view the lure colors and the super-cool Mad man gear, go to the Mad Man web site. To purchase Mad Man lures click here or call toll free (866) 623-6261.

How To Fish a Mad Man

Tubes can be fished a variety of ways (flipping, Carolina rigs, etc.), but Mooneyham reveals that his favorite way to fish the Mad Man crawfish worm is like a jerkbait.

"I'll take an Owner J hook -- 4/0 for a 4-inch crawfish tube -- and apply five or six strips of (lead) Storm SuspenStrips lengthwise on the shank," he says. "That's the only weight I'll use, but I'll also put a rattle in there."

He notes that the tube doesn't weigh much, and because it's a tube it sinks even slower than a soft-plastic of comparable weight. He adds that the SuspenStrips "act as a keel so the tube rolls over slowly in the water. It doesn't matter how it comes through the water, when you pause it those strips make it roll over so it looks very natural."

Mooneyham casts the lure "over shallow vegetation or stick-ups, just like you'd do with any soft-plastic jerkbait. Let it sink 2-3 feet, give it three jerks and let it sink again.

"It's a killer," he says. "I caught an 11 1/2-pounder in Choke Canyon Reservoir (Texas) doing that in September, but I use it all year round." He says a crawfish's naturally jerky movements prompt reaction bites from bass.

His favorite colors are camo and watermelon rose.

- End Part 2 (of 2) -

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