We all have encountered all those big black balls of shad in early summer, migrating out of the creeks heading to deeper water and again in the fall heading back into the creeks. When the fish are keyed on the shad they are tough to catch. While spinnerbaits are a good choice to catch these fish, but I’ve found that a rattletrap is more reliable. When you see these schools burn a 1/4oz trap through the middle of the school and kill it once the school starts to scatter. This will draw a strike from even the wariest of fish. It’s always important to have a follow up lure to toss back at bass that chase your lure back to the boat. Try an underspin jig head with a 3″ – 4″ fluke style bait to get a strike from those followers.
If a bass short strikes or “blows up” behind a topwater bait and you don’t connect don’t give up. Quickly cast a different bait to that fish. The follow up bait can be a different topwater bait or soft plastic such as a soft jerkbait, tube or Senko type bait. Many times the bass will be fooled into thinking it has injured the pray it struck just moment earlier.