“It’s all about deflection,” Jimmy Mason said about casting a Norman Fat Boy around shallow cover.

A wide-wobbling square-billed crankbait that’s as plump as the name suggests, a Fat Boy was designed to bang as much shallow cover as possible. The combination of its naturally wide swing and the lip style helps it bounce off cover extremely well, and most fish hit the lure when it hits something and rolls sideways.

Mason, a Bassmaster Opens pro and long-time Tennessee River guide, really likes a Fat Boy for cranking around shallow cover because it’s super buoyant, which helps it roll over things and float back up to get over cover.

“That makes it especially good for fishing around wood,” he said.

Mason is likely to pick up a Fat Boy any time he expects the bass to be tight to dock supports, laydowns, stumps or other cover in less than about 4 feet of water and his approach is simple. He casts past every piece of cover that looks like it should hold fish and brings the lure straight at it, crashing into it - if possible.

Mason often will hit the same piece of cover from a few angles, but he usually won’t stay in one place for long. He mostly uses a mobile approach, with the trolling motor engaged.

In most cases, Mason keeps the boat fairly close to the cover and makes many short, accurate casts to hit specific pieces of cover. An exception would be a grass edge, a flat covered with submerged grass that he’s hitting the top of with his lure, or a flat with stumps all over it. In those cases, making long casts keeps the lure hitting cover.

Two of Mason’s favorite colors are Nutter Shad and Chartreuse/Blue. The latter is generally better for stained water, but sometimes it’s simply a matter of the bass’ mood, so if they aren’t hitting one color the way he things they should, he will switch. He normally fishes a Fat Boy on 14-pound-test mono. Sometimes he’ll switch to 17 to keep the lure extra shallow.