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hi_steel_basser

Shaky Head Rigs

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I live on the banks of Lake Allatoona, which is primarily a spotted bass fishery (and not even good at that). Most Georgians refer to it as the "Dead Sea". However, I have had considerable luck fishing the shaky head rig here, as well as at other fisheries. This is not a rig that you throw all day, and it is not a rig that you throw when you aren't sure that there are bass nearby. However, if you know the bass are there, but can't get a bite any other way, there is no better way to put them in the boat. It excels at deep brushpiles, bluffs, points, and laydowns. I use 1/8-1/4 oz. jigheads for all applications. If the wind is blowing too hard to feel the 1/4 oz. jighead, I will switch to a C-rig or jig. For most applications, however, a 3/16 oz jighead is ny all-purpose weight. I prefer Spot Remover jigheads, which are shaped somewhat like upside down mushroom heads. These heads seem to give the bait a slight stand-up quality, but are not true standup jigheads. They will fall on thier side, which adds to the erratic nature of the lure. The key to the shaky rig is to be slow and steady. After the lure lands, start bumping it ever so slightly with the rod tip. Keep the rod bouncing from the time the lure lands to the time it starts "bumping" off of the bottom. A good retrieve will take forever. My favorite ways to work this lure are as follows. First, laydown wood in deeper water. Cast to the middle of the tree, and start SLOWLY bouncing your lure along. You will feel the difference in weight when the line is across a branch, similar to a jignpig. Try to keep the lure shaking in the water about one foot below the limbs/forks. When you do this, the lure is quivering in the face of any bass hiding there. Work it through the branches slowly, and reel in once you are sure you have cleared all the wood cover. Please note: some of my best fish have come when I thought I had cleared th wood, and let the lure fall back to the bottom. Sometimes the end of the laydown has broken off and is laying in the deeper water, and there are some truly huge bass on these limbs. Bites are usually easy to detect in this situation, as the line will be wrapped or bent around limbs. The line will simply pull your rod down, and that is when you know to set the hook. Second, I like to throw the lure on steep rocky banks(ie riprap or bluff- like banks). The only variation here is that you rarely feel the fish, only slack line. Also, you do not shake as hard.A very gentle shake will keep the lure tight to the bank, allowing a slower fall. Whenever you don't feel anything at the other end, a fish has the bait. Drop your rod tip, reel til you feel weight, and set the hook. Finally, and the best technique on the planet for spawning to early summer spots, is working uphill on large points. Set the boat up shallow, cast deep, and work the lure back to you. The best spots in this scenario are theareas where your lure is trying to get hung up. Rock, stumps, brushpiles, whatever, if you hit them on the cast, put your lure back in there. Once again, strikes are easy to detect. These fish will move to deeper water 9 times out of 10. That means your rod will be pulled down. I guess that's all I have to say abbout it right now. My favorite worm is the zoom finesse worm in green pumpkin, although I plan to expiriment more with hand-pours and other colors later.

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Excellent!

Thank you.

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Good stuff

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hi steel,

Thanks for an excellent post!  I'm new to shaky-head rigging and I'm curious, what type and size line do you use for this, particularly when fishing it in and around laydowns?

Thanks,

Hillbilly

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i can't imagine fishing laydowns with less than 10 or 12 pound test.

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Dodgeguy,

I can't imagine using anything lighter than that either.  In fact, I use 12# on nearly everything except my spinning outfit, but I was curious if he uses something heavier than that.

Hillbilly

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i fished it in cover on 65 lb braid this year.next year i am going to fish it on 12 lb cajun red cast in cover.if you're in open water 8 lb would be ok imho.

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Sorry I didn't post back, I got busy the next few days after I wrote this and never checked back in on it. To answer your question, I use 10 lb. test when I'm fishing it in open water on spinning tackle. The spinning tackle allows longer casts of lightweight jigheads. When I fish it in laydowns I use baitcasting tackle and 12 lb test P-Line flouroclear. I have tried heavier line, but it is too stiff to cast the lightweight jigheads effectively IMO. Also I mostly fish it in clear water and I don't want the line to be any more visible than that. Also I don't use mono because I am fishing deeper water, and I don't want the line floating for obvious reasons. Thanks for your compliments and interest, all.

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