Kyle catches big ones on Huddlestons.
Kyle catches big ones on Huddlestons.

I think I met Kyle via Facebook.  When I see a guy catching 8″ Huddleston fish, and I don’t care where, I try to pay attention.  Kyle showed me a picture one time and I immediately recognized it as a pond in my old neighborhood in Roswell, GA.  It was funny.  Kyle is in 11th grade, he runs his own bait company (BigBoy Bait Co), and he catches fish on 3:16 Rising Sons and 8″ Huddleston Deluxe Trout baits.  I really enjoy the passion and the drive these High School and College anglers have…both for the tournament styles of fishing and the bigbait styles of fishing.

Notice ice on the shoreline, and a stud on the 3:16 Rising Son. Good one Kyle.

Kyle shared a recent school assignment with me, a paper on Mickey Ellis and the 3:16 Lure Company.  Read it below.  I like the simple, well synthesized and organized way he explains bigbait fishing and tells a story.  He does a very good job of educating someone who doesn’t know much about fishing, the key things they need to understand and connect with.   I’m impressed with Kyle’s fishing, his writing and his bait company.

Here is Kyle in his own words/his Bio:

“Kyle Meyer here, a little about myself. First off, I am a senior in High School, at Glynn Academy in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. I strongly believe in doing what you love, and right now I am doing just that. I have been handpouring/injecting custom baits for almost 3 years now, and have started a small business in the industry, Big Boy Baits. I am extremely interested in swimbaits and bigbaits, but not just fishing them…the industry, the makers, the processes, and the dedication that goes into these baits is largely unknown to the general public, and I want to change that. Handmade swimbaits are not just another product on the website, they are works of art, masterpieces of mechanics and realism, and useful tools in your arsenal. I also believe in “doing all you can”. I also run a Youtube Video channel, The Southbound Fishing show, to document my journey, the success and failure. Along with my business, I plan to unroll many other projects to the Southern Swimbait fisherman, to help and guide the fresh generation of fishermen, as they are by far the most important to the sport. Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you soon.” KM

 Kyle Meyer
Kyle Meyer with gorgeous fish caught on one Big Boy Baits Paddle Stick
Kyle Meyer with gorgeous fish caught on one Big Boy Baits Paddle Stick

The Success of Mickey Ellis and 3:16 Lure Company

by Kyle Meyer


Mickey Ellis is a man of dedication, of passion, and of perfection. For 13 years, Mickey has been selling the biggest and the most innovative swimbaits on the market. These are not your normal fishing lures, these baits are giants in themselves. These baits are 4-12 inches long, ultra-realistic fish imitations that catch some of the biggest Largemouth Bass in the world. Every bait is handmade and handcrafted by Mickey himself. The question is, how did he get here? Years before this business ever was dreamed of, Mickey was a hardcore street motorcycle racer, on a path that certainly did not lead to a successful business and a profound love for God and Christianity.  What changed and took him to divine success and the forefront of trophy West Coast bass fishing?

One should note that without work, there can be no progress. To say that a specific person achieved great success without work and dedication is a very false statement. To say that uncontrollable factors can influence the work and goals of a successful person is much more understandable. Mickey Ellis has everything it takes: drive, vision, insight, and most of all, timing. He came into the swimbait industry at just the right time. If he had had his “vision” to make baits 10 years earlier, he might have just made some plastic worms and called it a day. But no, he came into the bait scene just as things were really exploding. Swimbait fishing was a almost a secret cult, barely practiced at all outside of the clear California reservoirs, but it was not to stay that way for long. Mickey came along at precisely the right time, with precisely the right mindset needed for the time period. Technicality, realism, and action were all becoming the focus of his competitors, and he had the experience and timing to pull it all off at the same time. It sounds like another American businessman that took a passion and ran with it, but behind the scenes it is much more.

“I rented a condo on Lake Mission Viejo. I would go out there on the dock every night and fly-line those big Bass Assassins, and catch 10 pounders or better every time”, Mickey says in his interview with Matt Peters of the movie Southern Trout Eaters. Just for reference, a lot of fishermen in the US will never catch or see a 10 pound Largemouth Bass. It is a fish that could break lake and potentially state records all over the country, and Mickey Ellis was catching them on a regular basis, in his backyard. A quote from Malcolm Gladwell reads:  “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Catching these giant fish in his own backyard using his own sought-out methods gave Mickey the skill and knowledge of his subject to create a bait so well-suited for the task at hand that it would become one of the top baits in its category: The Mission Fish. To this day the Mission Fish is still one of the most widely fished weedless swimbaits to ever hit the market, and it has exploded the 3:16 Lure Company, Mickey’s business.

Location also greatly affected the success of Mickey and his business. The Southern California area is home to some of the best Largemouth Bass fishing in the country, with 20 out of the 25 largest bass ever caught coming from the Southern California region. That’s right, 80 percent of the largest fish EVER caught came from the local area where Mickey was from. In fact, number 14 on the list came from Lake Mission Viejo; the same lake Mickey practiced and honed his techniques on.  This is a perfect example of the advantageous location, also known as being “in the right place at the right time”. Just as Mickey started his bait business, the niche industry of big swimbaits really exploded and his creations became some of the most sought-after baits in the big-bait world. The baits that are created by the master lure designers of California, folks such as Matt Servant of Mattlures, Jerry Rago of Rago Baits, Scott Whitmer of 22nd Century Baits, Ken Huddleston of Huddleston and of course Mickey Ellis can be found selling for hundreds of dollars sometimes, and they were almost all handmade or hand carved in that time period. When thousands of people want a product that takes hours to make, it creates a bottleneck effect and the demand will always meet the supply. If there had been 500 or 1,000 bait makers in Southern California at that time, who knows who would have made it. Maybe instead of a single devoted person crafting artful baits, it would have been a large scale factory producing cheap knockoffs. But instead, the industry flourished and a unique niche was created to fill the makers’ lists, and competition ensued, driving each man to create a better, more innovative bait, and the technology advanced faster than ever before, with new features, paint jobs, and of course innovation coming to the table. A skilled group of designers and crafters developed this industry from the ground up, and Mickey was right in the middle of it, at just the right time, with just the right ideas.

The success of the 3:16 Lure Company and the man behind it, Mickey Ellis cannot be totally attributed to the cases of “successful phenomenon”, but there are many factors that did make the pendulum swing the right way, and coupled with an insane drive to produce the wildest and most innovative baits, made a machine of a company that to this day provides the public with some of the best trophy bass lures made, and there seems to be no sign of stopping.  KM


3 more studs Kyle caught on his own baits.
3 more studs Kyle caught on his own baits.


Par 7 or 8, Huddleston Fish
Par 7 or 8, Huddleston Fish


Thank you Kyle for sharing and best of luck in your future endeavors with fishing.  Go for it man.  You live in a great part of the country to catch fish!  Hope you got an “A” on your paper and you have many days of Rising Son and 8″ Huddie bites.  MP


Nothing makes me feel better than a good bite on a 8″ Huddleston!  I finally got a day of fishing where the wind was <20MPH and was able to setup and just fish, and I caught a nice one.  A lot of why I decided to come to West Palm Beach is access to Okeechobee. I have a sweet deal going where I store my boat at the lake and have a place to stay on the weekends, so that is just working out beautifully.  I have a lot of bigbait sessions ahead of me I hope.  The water level is 14.7 or something, so it’s falling out pretty quick.  But, I’m looking forward to another couple months of fishing for sure.  It was 85 degrees out there this day.

Hard grass and soft grass and black water.  3-4 feet deep.
Hard grass and soft grass and black water. 3-4 feet deep.

The 8″ Weedless Huddleston is something I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a while. I just haven’t had many sessions with it, where I could commit and throw it the majority of the day.  I really like the way the bait fishes.  The line tie on the nose makes it a ‘superior’ bait?  I don’t know if that makes sense, but I really like the line tie on the nose.  It just swims and fishes and orients right to you.  I am fishing it on straight 80 pound Power Pro Spectra, and Calcutta 400 TE and Loomis 966 BBR.  I just love that setup and with braid, its like, plus one or plus two more better.  I just love braid.   The braid is key for snatching and snapping your bait free in the grass.  If you muck up, a hard pop or jerk will often clear the bait and you fish thru.  At distance, these are things that cannot be done with anything but braid.  Couple that, with my experiences with the Grass Minnow, Weedless Shad and 6″ Weedless Trout, I know that braid is the deal with those baits, so to me, this was a no brainer.

Florida fish have an interesting frame. I didn't weigh this thing. It didn't cross my mind.  Unless they get enormous, I just sorta eye ball them.  I think it was about 7-8 pounds.  But that is what I'm hunting.  I need to figure out how to get 5-7 bites a day on this thing.
Florida fish have an interesting frame. I didn’t weigh this thing. It didn’t cross my mind. Unless they get enormous, I just sorta eye ball them. I think it was about 7-8 pounds. But that is what I’m hunting. I need to figure out how to get 5-7 bites a day on this thing.


Don’t hate because I have that carp/orange trout color on the 8″ Weedless.  Really, I have one.  I really hope Ken and Dennis come up with colors like this, and make them staples in their lineup.  I love the nightstalker color, and I love this color too. I really like the golden shiner color too. I just prefer darker/dark baits that would go good in the Okeechobee water.  The Night Stalker color looks fantastic in the Okeechobee water.  White has never been a good color of moving bait (save a chatterbait or spinnerbait) for me on Okeechobee with swimbaits/swimming worms.    I know other colors of the 8″ Huddleston will work on Okeechobobee too. I’ve caught them on hitch on baby bass, the non-weedless versions.

Halloween Style.
Halloween Style.


I’m landing the bites I’m getting on the 8″ Weedless, and they tend to be >6 pound fish.   They are awesome bites and you’ll have to be patient to see the film. I hope our next DVD might be a bigbait fishing thing in Florida.  Grass fishing.  Haven’t put it all together by a long shot, and if I’ve learned anything at 35, I know better to than to make claims and predictions, especially if they involve fish or women!  You cannot predict the fish.  You just don’t know how things will play out with the filming and footage and flow.  I sure hope I find a balance of work, social life, fishing Okeechobee and surfing around Jupiter and North!  I hope it works out and I make good decisions and have good flow.  We shall see. It has been anything but an easy transition back into corporate life, in a new city I’ve never lived.   But……8″ Huddleston bites do a man right!



Ace of Spades!



Burnt Orange Flavored 8" Weedless Huddleston Trout
Burnt Orange Flavored 8″ Weedless Huddleston Trout


From above, the 8" Weedless Trout in a not so trout kinda color.
From above, the 8″ Weedless Trout in a not so trout kinda color.


Slide slippin' around some eel grass
Slide slippin’ around some eel grass


This color isn’t generally available yet.  Ken sent me one, and since I’m fishing Okeechobee, I have been throwing this color.  Thought I’d show the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe Weedless Trout in action around some outside grass on Okeechobee.     I have no insights into when Ken will have more 8″ weedless baits for sale, and what color schemes he will go forward with.  I am just thankful to have gotten a few of them, and hope to show you some fish catches with them.  MP

My buddy, Chad Johnson, sight fishing carp on a fly rod. Notice the egg pattern looks a whole lot like a piece of corn. Arkansas is an excellent place to fish, year round.


Fly fisherman make it a point to educate themselves on how to tie bugs and streamers that ‘match the hatch’ but as the younger crew of fly fisherman come of age, they are showing it’s not all about barbless size 20 single hooks. Big fish eat big baits and you better be prepared if you want to land them. Streamer fishing, White River, Arkansas


Chad Johnson, brown trout, ‘hopper dropper’. Come get you some.


Dinosaurs are fun to catch, especially with fly rods, you don’t even need hooks.


I’m fishing for a 30+ pound brown trout that eats stocked rainbow trout. Keep it Soft Stupid (KISS)


Kids Fishing Derby, big fish winner. Kid was stoked, and Dad was too. The “Friends of the Hatchery”, Corp of Engineers, and a host of other puts on a kids fishing derby every year at the Norfork River/Dry Run Creek confluence adjacent to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. Free event for the kids and just fun to help out and volunteer.


“Light Trout” is so 2005. Get with it, Pink Bass is the shizzle.


Canoes, wet wading, and swimbait fishing. Me gusta.






Swim Signatures. I just like this project.  So, this is the mighty ROF 5 Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout swimbait that didn’t get the airtime it deserved in Southern Trout Eaters.  Now, why would that be?  Because of where the fish were and the time(s) of year we did most of the fishing and filming.  The ROF 5 is a staple in my Huddleston approach.  I usually have a ROF 5 and ROF 12 tied on every time.  The ROF 5 is where “rate of stall” came from in my head.  I can fish the ROF 5 much slower across a point, while still having the bait swim true, than I can the ROF 12 or ROF 16.  The ROF 12/16 will want to sink out faster so you have to reel them a bit faster to keep the nose from pointing down.   The ROF 5 sinks belly button first, something we captured in above video clip that is key.  It falls straight horizontal and remains parallel to the surface of the water as it sinks which too helps you creep it along at a super slow pace and keep the bait oriented correctly.

ROF 5 means more stall, more neutral buoyancy, a bait that falls horizontal (vs. nose down). I’d best compare it to a properly rigged and balanced senko setup. Very slow horizontal fall with a lot of wiggling and undulating, but its the ability to swim it slowly on a perfect horizontal plain, and wag that tail super duper SLOW that gets this ROF destroyed by trout eaters.

The ROF 5 has different applications than does the ROF 12, and fishes really well in cold water, offshore, and along pieces of key structure where I know there are fish living, and I want to slow down and really stall them out.   Think about grass fishing.   As I progress and poke around places like Okeechobee and Guntersville with the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe, I’m using the ROF 5 a lot because of the buoyancy and stall factor which is very important in grass fishing, and it also all tends to balance really well with 80# Power Pro braided line fishing.

Watch in the video all the undulating and subtle things the Huddleston does while its swimming. Fins waving, head and body wobbling and literally swimming.

I’m planning on doing a whole series of thing solely around the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout, which will better compare ROFs and ‘things’.  But this exercise is about the swim, the swim signature of a ROF 5 version of the Huddleston Deluxe Rainbow Trout.  I tell people who want to get started with Huddleston fishing, learn the ROF 5 and ROF 12 because they are both very good tools for hunting big fish, tournament or just solely trophy hunting.   They are the 2 ROFs I most recommend (but don’t discount the effectiveness of the ROF 0 or ROF 16 either, they are just more ‘specialty’ but not duds by any stretch).

ROF 5, because it has no top hook, is perhaps the finest, most real swimming specimen you can feature. Hence, an almost 5 minute YouTube video of various angles and looks at the ROF 5 in the water. It deserves <5 minutes of your time.  Or actually no, don’t worry about the ROF 5, just throw the ROF 12 and let me worry about it!

Stay tuned for more from our ‘Swim Signatures’ series.   Kind of a fun project to look at what is going on under the water with the baits we fish, big and small.


“Desert Sand”

Album:  The Left Hand Side

Usage Courtesy:  Body Deep Music

Click the above imaged for the enlarged version, that you can read. This is a digital image of an article I was fortunate enough to get done in collaboration with Curt Niedermier. The intent was to take a simple look at various tails on swimbaits and understand some subtleties and just keep it simple.