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Shad soft bait: most versatile lure

Shad type lure is the basic soft plastic used to start fishing in any area and locate fish. The shad swimbait has a fishy shape with a more or less rounded belly depending on the model. The most characteristic feature of a shad is its tail, also known as a boot tail, or paddle. The paddle is usually v-shaped or inverted V-shaped, the design of the paddle is important because it defines the type of swimming action of the soft shad lure. The body-tail connection gives the shad more or less mobility. We use a shad on a jig head, adapting the shape of the body of the lure to the type of jig head. The shad is versatile and allows to approach the different techniques of freshwater fishing for predators. You can fish black bass with a shad in a linear way to cover water or in a static way to sit on a precise spot.

A Texas rig allows you to fish dense cover with black bass such as weed beds or submerged trees. For zander fishing, it is used in vertical fishing on a round or Texas rig jig head but also on drop-shot rigs used in slow linear fishing. The big-size models are efficient for pike fishing with a linear retrieve along obstacles or bottom breaks. This lure has its place in the boxes of anglers of big perch who can’t turn away this lure during their feeding frenzy. A shad is capable of catching most freshwater predators but is versatile for multi-species sea fishing. It is the first choice for sea bass fishing on the bottom or mid-depth. You can adapt your tackle to your rod and reel, whether spinning or casting combo. For light models, a spinning set with a reel size 2000 to 2500 is ideal for good casting performance. Lightweight equipment allows for better control of small lures up to 6grs. If you want to fish with soft shad lures in casting for very light weights a bait finesse setup is ideal. A casting rod is perfect for using big soft lures for pike fishing in winter. Without a doubt, the best soft lure: vertical fishing for pike, drop shot shad, jig head, Texas rig!

How to fish with shad?

According to the lures used, small paddle for fine vibration, and thick paddle for winter fishing, we can target any type of fish. Generally speaking, medium-sized shads of 4 to 5 inches, with medium to fine vibrations, are intended for perch, black bass, and zander. The larger models, with strong vibrations, are specifically for big pike and catfish. For winter fishing, these large sizes are effective for selecting big zanders when fishing flooded rivers and streams next to the bank. The soft shad lure is mounted by threading the hook of a jig head through the head of the lure, then pushing the shad against the head so that it takes the shape of the jig head. In order to rig it straight, I advise you to make a mental note of where the hook needs to exit on the back of the bait. As for working the lure, you can use the linear retrieve: you throw your lure at a good distance, then you make contact with the bottom. Once this is done, you can pull the lure with a more or less long amplitude depending on the weight of the jig head / the activity of the predators. This method of small pull and drop is the best technique for fast multi-species prospecting.

Zander fishing: linear and vertical fishing

To begin with, zander is a moody and sometimes capricious fish which makes its fishing exciting! The choice of the jig heads is made with the lightest possible weight you can get away with but allowing to keep contact with the bottom. The vertical fishing technique consists in simply holding the lure a few centimeters off the bottom, the drifting speed of the boat takes care of moving the lure by itself. A vertical approach is a technique that is second to none for fishing zander with accuracy with shad. Vertical fishing is done with a front or rear electric motor, but can also be done in a float tube which allows for greater mobility in small canals. Finally, to fish zander vertically, the use of the depth finder is essential to locate the best spots such as breaks, aquatic structures, and so on.

Pike fishing with shad in linear retrieve

Back in the days, pike fishing was practiced with dead fish, but when plastic baits were introduced they were found to the best lures to locate and catch big fish. This technique works from shore, in a boat, or float tube all year long. In lakes, it is best along rocky cliffs where large pike are ambushed. The fishing action can be done in two ways. In pure linear retrieve, we select a water depth, once the lure hits the water we count the number of seconds it takes for the lure to reach the right depth. Then we retrieve the lure with the reel without unnecessary movements of the rod. This technique allows fast prospecting to cover a lot of water.

The second approach, the most efficient as far as I know, consists in making contact with the bottom, then lifting the bait up and pulling it about 70 cm then letting it drop on a tight line back to the bottom. It is during the descending phase that most hits occur! In conclusion, pike fishing with shad allows you to adapt to most fishing situations, try it you won’t be disappointed!