Just about everyone knows what a Rat-L-Trap is. For those who don’t, it is a lure lure intended to catch fish, not rats.

I would rank the ‘Trap among the Top 3 fish-catchingest baits of all time. It is also one of the most user-friendly lures around. Just chunk it. Wind it. And hang on tight. The Rat-L-Trap will do the rest.

In contrast, not everyone knows what Biosonix is. But word is rapidly beginning to spread. Way too many anglers are fooling way too many fish with the newfangled technology on their side.

Developed through years of research by the folks at BSX Sound Technology in Alexandria, La., Biosonix is what I call bait fish in a box. The electronic unit emits digitally recorded sounds of distressed bait fish being chased, attacked and eaten by game fish in a natural environment. The real life sounds are dispersed via a small speaker that mounts to the trolling motor, much like an external transducer puck.

With the click of a button, Biosonix casts into the depths the signature sounds of an actual feeding frenzy. You can pause the unit just as quickly using a floor switch conveniently mounted to the casting deck of the boat.

Biosonix acoustics are potent. The sounds can travel up to 400 feet horizontally and 100 feet vertically through the water column. It is believed the sounds can arouse the competitive instincts in game fish, often to the point of making inactive fish suddenly become active enough that they will pounce on an artificial lure.

“Biosonix is not a fish call by any means,” says BASS pro Ken Cook of Lawton, Okla. “It is more a fish activator that works by putting sounds in the water that arouse the curiosity of bass and other predators. Basically, it plays on the natural instincts of bass by making them think other predators are in their territory, eating their shad. Bass that may be inactive might suddenly become more active, which in turn makes them more susceptible to striking an artificial lure.”

If you think the concept sounds like a gimmick, you are not alone. Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Ala., was admittedly skeptical of the idea until he actually put Biosonix to the test.

Duckett recently captured the 2007 Bassmaster Classic title on Lay Lake in Alabama. He was among a host of Bass Elite Series pros who laid over a couple a days following the “Battle on the Border” at Lake Amistad to attend a press session hosted by Rat-L-Trap, BSX Sound Technology and Tru-Tungsten.

Duckett and I fished with BSX’s public relations director Wes Higgins on the first morning of the trip. Interestingly, we made a pass over a main lake flat with no strikes. Higgins suggested we make another pass, this time with the Biosonix unit turned on. Within minutes we landed a pair of bass from an area that had already been combed with a trio of artificial lures.

The incident stirred Duckett’s curiosity enough that he continued to use Biosonix off and on throughout the day. He was sold on the technology after the experience he encountered while fishing with outdoor writer Brian Lynn on a windless March afternoon.

Duckett said he and Lynn made a pass over a brushy, main lake point with no strikes. Confident there were bass in the area, Duckett circled back and made a second pass over the point, this time with the Biosonix unit powered up. They caught five bass and missed two others within 15 minutes.

Still not convinced, Duckett went to an area where he and I had caught several quality bass earlier in the day.

Ditto. No Biosonix. No bites.

Things changed when Duckett turned the unit on. He landed a 7 pounder, 3 pounder and had several short strikes.

“I have to admit, I was sort of skeptical about the Biosonix until I actually saw it work,” Duckett said. “I won’t go fishing without it again.”

Duckett and Cook aren’t the big name pros with Biosonix technology on board their bass boats.

BSX has assembled a team of other reputable anglers including Tommy Martin, Stacey King, Aaron Martens, Kenyon Hill, Mike Iaconelli, Homer Humphreys and Bill Dance to help get the word out.

Many of their peers are listening. Peter Thiliveros, Chad Brauer, Skeet Reese, John Murray, John Crews and a host of other pro anglers have Biosonix on the front deck.

Kevin VanDam, BASS’ first $2 million man, has been using the technology for the better part of two seasons. He went on record in 2005 as saying Biosonix was a key factor in his winning back-to-back E-50 events on Lake Lewisville in Texas and Lake Wissota in Wisconsin, and eventually the Bassmasters Classic in Pennsylvania.

Martin was among the first pros approached by the company's late research and development director Randy Flint in June 2004.

Like Duckett, the legendary Texas angler was somewhat leery of the concept at first. He became a believer once he saw it work in his own backyard.

Martin took Flint to some of his favorite worms holes on Toledo Bend. He purposely scheduled the trip well after the early morning feed. They fished six different spots, each for about 45 minutes. The unit was turned on half the time, paused the other half.

“It was pretty impressive,” Martin said. “The first spot we went to I caught three bass with the unit turned off, seven with it turned on. I fished five more places after that and consistently caught more bass with the unit turned on than with it off. It definitely can make a difference.”

So, what does a screaming bait fish scrambling for its life sound like? I can’t say for sure, but the acoustics emitted by Biosonix sound a whole lot like a Rat-L-Trap zipping through the water.

Interestingly, the concept is a spinoff from the remarkable successes of the first lipless crankbait invented by Bill Lewis. Lewis’ son, Buddy, brainstormed idea in 1997 and spent the next five years refining it with help of several professional fisheries biologists and researchers.

The end result is bait fish in a box. Biosonix operates using a compact flash card that contains a series of sound loops that can be combined to build custom programs.

The sound loops last 1-2 minutes. Most users have reported the best results by activating the unit at staggered intervals with a convenient foot switch that comes as part of package.

The cost? BSX technology doesn’t come cheap. MSRP is $699.00. For more info, check the Internet, www.biosonix.com.


Matt Williams is a free lance writer based in Nacogdoches. He can be reached by e-mail at mattwilliams@netdot.com.

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