Throughout the late spring, one of the best ways to catch big bass is by sticking close to bream. As the bream infiltrate the shallows to spawn, hungry post-spawn bass lurk in the shadows, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. The Strike King Rage Tail Shellcracker is one of the best baits I’ve used when I know the bass are devouring bream. There are 4 reasons why I will have this bait on my front deck for the next few months.
• Multiple ways to rig it
• Hard nose
• Skips well
• Small, compact profile
Multiple ways to rig it
The Strike King Rage Tail Shellcracker gives you a lot of possibilities for a single bait. When I’m flipping heavy cover, such as vegetation holes and flooded bushes, I keep the tail of the Shellcracker together which allows me to penetrate cover quickly and efficiently. When I’m flipping docks or blowdowns, especially in dirty water, I separate the tail to give the bait an awesome kicking action while it falls.
You can also rig them sideways or with a belly-weighted swimbait hook. I’ve had my best success with the Rage Tail Shellcracker rigged sideways on a 4/0 Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Superline Hook—it seems like the bait is made perfectly for this particular hook.
When flipping and pitching heavy cover, I prefer to fish the Rage Tail Shellcracker with a pegged tungsten bullet weight—the bait penetrates cover very well and lacks an abundance of hang-up inducing appendages.
If you’re fishing for bedding bass, you’ve got to try this: Rig the Shellcracker sideways on a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Hook and leave the weight unpegged. The weight will fall into the bed first, leaving the Shellcracker spiraling downward behind it. Every time the Shellcracker falls, it leaves a trail of bubbles behind. It’s hard for a bass to pass it up.
Hard nose keeps it in place
Fishing around bream beds with cheap plastics gets annoying. Every time a bream “jackhammers” your bait, you reel it in to find a mangled, torn wad of plastic on your hook. Fortunately for us, Strike King took that into consideration when they developed the Rage Tail Shellcracker.
Its nose is much harder than the rest of the body, allowing the bait to stay in place—whether you’re fishing around a bunch of bream or skipping the bait under docks, you won’t have to deal with any slipping or sliding down the hook shank.
Skips very well
When you rig the Rage Tail Shellcracker sideways, it skips like a dream. Its flat surface skips across the water just as a smooth river rock would. When you notice an old brush pile tied to the middle post of a dock or a big bass bedding on the opposite side of a bush, you can skip this bait to them without plopping it down in front of their face.
Small, compact profile increases hookups
The Strike King Rage Tail Shellcracker definitely isn’t a small bait, but its lack of appendages makes it easy for bass to eat. When Texas rigging it on a 4/0 EWG hook, the hook point will penetrate the bait right where the tail meets the body. This means there is very little room for a bass to bite it and escape unhooked.
Most of the bass I’ve caught on the Shellcracker have inhaled it. You can tell by the way they bite it, too—they’ll just about rip the rod out of your hands.
I’m crazy about the Strike King Rage Tail Shellcracker and I’m fairly sure that you will be, too. If you want to show the bass something they probably haven’t seen much, you should definitely give this soft plastic a try. Priced at $4.99 per pack, they’re both affordable and effective.