By MIKE ECHOLS
Pick up the Houdini Shad and what you are looking at is not a fishing lure – it's a catching lure. One glance at this lure and it's immediately apparent that for all these years anglers have been missing out when they fished soft plastic jerkbaits. With a body that mimics that of a shad, and a tail that is revolutionary in the product category, the Houdini Shad is one of the best baits to hit the market in a long time. But don't believe me. Tie one (or two) on and see for yourself.
When fishing the Houdini Shad, I usually employ what I call the "Houdini Double-Rig." It incorporates the use of two baits and is a great rig to use in late spring through summer.
To assemble the rig, I slide a two-way swivel over the main line, but I don't tie the swivel to the line. I allow it to move freely. Then I attach another two-way swivel to the end of the main line, which will then prevent the first swivel from exiting the line. On the main line I attach about 12 inches of Silver Thread Fluorocarbon, then I attach a 5/0 Excalibur Tx3 hook. On the second swivel I attach about 10 inches of Silver Thread and another 5/0 Tx3 hook. Then, on each hook, I add a Houdini Shad.
The great thing about this rig is that when you twitch the tip of the rod the Houdini Shads seem to swim around in an erratic fashion, similar to that of two shad that are chasing one another. This is a killer rig for schooling fish.
In late spring, I throw this rig near emergent grass beds or to schooling fish that are on top feeding. I've also caught fish in shallow, sandy pockets as they prepare to leave the spawning site and return to the main lake. Just cast the rig out and after it hits the water, begin slowly twitching the tip of the rod. The erratic action can often draw strikes from inactive largemouth and spotted bass.
In summer and fall the rig can be just as deadly, however. I throw it to any surface activity or to any visible cover, including stumps or rocks, both of which provide cover for ambush predators like bass. The key with the double-rig is realizing there is no wrong way to fish it. There really isn't a time when a largemouth or spotted bass won't eat two shad that seem to have lost their way from the school.
Mike Echols, of Athens, GA, is a Bassmaster pro who has also enjoyed great success in the Angler's Paradise tournament trail.