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Alternative Rigging for the Live Magic Shad

Article: December, 2008
 Lake Fork Pro Guide Tom RedingtonThe Live Magic Shad by Lake Fork Trophy Lures continues to be one of my staple baits, either fished weightless like a soft plastic jerkbait or swimming it as a swimbait on a weighted Ultimate Swimbait Hook. While these methods are great for shallow water bass, I’ve discovered a number of other rigging methods for fishing the Live Magic Shad that can load the boat when conditions are right.

One of the most popular and effective methods for rigging the Live Magic Shad is on a Chatterbait. Simply remove the skirt on a Chatterbait or similar swimming jig and thread a Live Magic Shad on the hook shank, just like adding a trailer to a spinnerbait. Depending on the size of the fish, I’ll throw the 3.5”, 4.5”, or 5.5” Live Magic Shad. Some days a steady retrieve catches them best with this rig, although a stop and go presentation with a pull of the rod often triggers more strikes. Try this anywhere you’d fish a spinnerbait and it’ll often catch more and bigger bass.

Around docks or for suspended bass, I rig a Live Magic Shad on a Scrounger head. These heads have a unique lip on a leadhead jig and give a great rolling motion to the lure, which is deadly when combined with the tail swimming of the Live Magic Shad. Combining the heavy leadhead and the flat sides of the Live Magic Shad, you can skip this bait way under docks and swim it out to catch suspended spots or largemouth. Or if bass are schooling and suspended in the water column over points or around bridge pilings, count your bait down to the desired depth and swim it slightly above the bass. Hang on, because strikes on this rig are vicious. For a more subtle swimming action and more flash, you can also rig the Live Magic Shad on the back of a Sworming Hornet Fish Head Swim. This little spinner will take your lure deep, plus it adds a spinner blade for extra attraction. Finally, when the fish are really deep, on really windy days, or when you need to make long casts, put the Live Magic Shad on the back of a heavy jighead from 3/8 to ¾ oz and you can cast it a mile and quickly get it down to the bass.

For fish more on the bottom or relating to cover, the Live Magic Shad also works great on Texas and Carolina rigs. For Carolina rigs, you get the great swimming action of a Live Magic Shad and its dying fall on a slack line, while quickly getting it down deep with the heavy sinker. Around heavy cover, a Texas rigged Live Magic Shad swims realistically down to the bottom and gives the bass a different look. Rig it with a heavy pegged sinker to force it to fall quickly enough to make the tail swim. I use a Mega Weight screw lock tungsten sinker in ¼ to ½ oz because its small size allows the bait to swim naturally.

The more I fish the Live Magic Shad, the more I like it. Experiment with your rigging and you can catch fish with it from topwater to 40’.
Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by  Lake Fork Pro Tom Redington


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