“How do you make this thing work,” asked Lewis Williams as I tied the nondescript rubber lure on his line and tossed it in his direction. “Paul Brown already took care of that part,” I replied. “Just toss it out there as far as you can, retrieve it very slowly and let the trout do the rest!”

While that advice may at first seem a little over simplified, it is the single most important factor in allowing the Corky to work its magic for you. In fact, a large percentage of the trophy trout hunting contingent that long ago discovered the advantage of keeping a Corky wet during the coldest months of the year, seldom if ever even twitch their rod tip during the entire retrieve.

Long before the love affair with double-digit trout crept its way up the Texas coast, Paul Brown was already listening to a small handful of dedicated anglers that knew what wide-bodied sow trout were looking for on their brief feeding forays on the shallow flats. They needed a lure that cast well, sank very slowly if at all and even more importantly, mimicked a mullet.

Even today, his entire line of lures includes only four body styles in a handful of proven colors. Through years of trial and angler feedback, he produced a time tested lure that has required very few changes to consistently dupe the picky predators.

The only argument among the most devout Corky enthusiasts involves their allegiance to the Fat Boy or the Devil. You can rest assured that they have a box full of the original Corkys tucked away as well, but the prior two are the bell cows of the Corky line. While choice of color depends on water clarity and angler confidence, most hard core Corky-users opt for the floating model.

As much time as I spend in the pursuit of trout, I was still very slow to appreciate the benefits of keeping a Corky not only tied on, but in the water as well. Because I could not stand to fish any lure that slowly, they were on the clock after my first cast. That mistake proved to be the product of my own impatience.

Even after Johnny Cormier befriended Jim Wallace, the state record holder for speckled trout, and eventually made a trip to the lower coast to learn the nuances of fishing the Corky with him, I was still slow to cash in on his shared information. On at least two occasions, he caught several big trout with the Fat Boy while I struck out, yet I was still reluctant to buy into the merits of the lure.

He would methodically crank the handle on his reel only slightly faster than paint dries and even more challenging was obtaining a replacement after losing one to unseen shell. While Johnny considered the numbing act to be a minor inconvenience, I refused to dive for a chunk of plastic in the dead of winter. Trying to keep clients in Corkys was not even a consideration.

The one aspect of Corky fishing that was not lost on me during that period, however, was the value of fishing a suspending lure that resembled a fin fish. Enter MirrOlure and their line of hard plastic suspending lures that come in the same great colors and are also shaped like a mullet.

The Catch 2000 and the Catch V both work well under the same conditions and are still effective, even when you twitch them every now and then. The wider, but thinner Mirrodine XL was eventually added to the line and I am convinced that there are very few days when Corkys and MirrOlures do not work equally well. More importantly, early on, any lost MirrOlure lure was much easier to replace!

It is a rare day, however, when I do not fish both the Corky and MirrOlure on the same outing. The best news of all for trophy trout hunters is that the Corky will be available in area tackle shops by the end of January and can be found hanging right next to the MirrOlures. I would expect the initial delivery to disappear within the first hour following their arrival, but the shortage will be short lived.

The reason for the increased availability is that MirrOlure recently purchased not only the entire Corky line, but Mr. Brown’s expertise as well. He and his wife are headed to Puerto Rica to oversee the operation while ensuring that every lure is still made exactly to his specifications for at least a full year

We have recently started catching our largest trout of the winter and not surprisingly, MirrOlures and Corkys are dominating the scene. You are still going to have to get wet and shiver a little in the face of an icy north wind most days, but the lures your next big trout are looking for are only a short drive away.

Paul Brown and the folks at MirrOlure have done their part…now just how badly do you want to catch that trophy trout?