The shaky head has become a staple across the country. It’s a great way to add a few fish when the bite is tough. Sometimes it’s the main tactic on a fishery, but usually that’s when a finesse bite dominates, like on an ultra clear fishery in cold water.
But this summer we fished with a couple anglers who needed another option for fishing on the ledges but fishing a 1/8-ounce shaky head isn’t practical because of the depth. So they upsized their jighead size to 3/8 ounce and put it on 10- to 15-pound line and threaded on a larger than normal plastic for a shaky head to give the fish another presentation.
The results surprised them and us as we’ve since started fishing the heavier shaky head in different situations. We still throw the 1/8- and 3/16-ounce varieties, but we feel you can maintain better contact with the heavier rig and we’re almost always fishing a shaky head right on the bottom. So the light fall really doesn’t come into play say on a ledge or a hump out in deep water.
If you fish offshore, you know the bass seldom fall for just one presentation. Sometimes you pull up on a school and they won’t hit a jig, but they’ll bite a big worm every time or vice versa. So having multiple presentations is a good thing. We always have a big worm and a big football jig tied on. But now we can add another smaller shorter profile to the mix.
Several plastics work well for this power sized shaky. But some of our favorites are a Zoom Mag Finesse Worm, a Hag’s Tornado, and a Yamamoto Senko and for a little different profile we like a Kicker Fish Kicker Craw, a Berkley Crazy Legs Chigger Craw, or a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Craw. You can give the fish a lot of different looks while still showing more finesse than a 3/4-ounce football jig or a 10- or 12-inch worm.
Some folks have asked why not just a Texas rig. That’s a valid question but we feel like fishing with a shaky head is about direct contact to the bait. You can really make a tail stand up and wiggle in a fish’s face. So there is a much different looking presentation than both the jig and the big worm.
As far as the head, we prefer the screw lock type head rather than the collared head. We also prefer a wider gap hook because we’re fishing a little thicker worms like that Mag Finesse worm or the Hag’s Tornado. It’s a lot of plastic for a straight shank hook to penetration. There are a few manufacturers making bigger shaky heads with wide gap hooks and spiral corkscrew keepers. But we feel the trend will lead to more options very soon.
The beauty of this shaky head is we fish it on baitcasting gear, medium action rods, 10 to 15 pound line depending on depth and cover and the bite is just like a jig bite. This will help some of the spinning rod naysayers another option for a more finesse presentation on baitcasting gear.
Once guys see how effective a little thicker and heavier shaky head is in different situations, there will be more demand for good jigheads, plastics in that mid range size, etc.