Shaky-Head Fishing

Image result for flat bottom shaky heads

A shaky-head is a rig that I never had much luck with in the past, until lately. There are many different styles of heads and ways to fish them, so that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

The first thing I’m going to discuss with you is my favorite style of head. To cut straight to the point, my favorite style of head is a round-ball head with a flat-bottom (pictured above). The reason I prefer a flat-bottom head, also called a stand-up head, is simple; when I’m fishing a shaky-head, I’m trying to catch fish that are being finicky. When you fish a shaky-head with a flat-bottom, it makes the bait stand up in the water (like the picture above), making the bait look more vulnerable, thus, luring the fish into thinking they have an easy meal. Almost all shaky-heads I’ve seen have a screw lock (see picture) that helps keep your bait locked in place more efficiently. I really only use the ones with a screw-lock on the head.

Ways I Fish a Shaky-Head:

  1. Shake it: This method may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because while this seems to be the most popular way to fish this rig (hence the name), I have a different way I prefer to fish this rig most of the time (we’ll get to that later). I have found that this method can be very effective as well in certain situations. The way I shake this rig is to pretty much just bounce the rod tip to make the bait dance in the water. I find that I prefer to shake this rig when they’re biting a Texas-rig, but they aren’t biting it as well as I’d like them to. This means that the fish are reasonably aggressive, but I feel like I can get a better bite on a slightly more finesse presentation. In my opinion, this method is between fishing a Texas-rig and dragging a shaky-head as far as it’s finesse appeal. It’s a reasonably rare occurrence for me to fish a shaky-head like this, but every presentation has its time and place.
  2. Drag it: This is the way I prefer to fish a shaky-head most of the time. The reason I prefer the drag method is because most of the time I fish a shaky-head, it’s a tougher day on the lake, and I just can’t get the fish to cooperate. I also like to drag a shaky-head because when the fish are finicky, they aren’t going to want to bite a fast-moving, bouncing bait; they’re most likely going to want a less “aggressive” meal so they don’t have to use a lot of energy. another reason I love dragging a shaky-head I because it’s a pretty finesse style of fishing, but it doesn’t have to be slow like a drop-shot necessarily. If I’m going to fish a shaky-head, this is the way I prefer probably 80% of the time.
  3. Bounce it: I haven’t used this method very much in the past because, if I’m going to bounce a bait, I have always just preferred a Texas-rig. But recently, I’ve been trying this method a bit more and it’s definitely starting to grow on me. It is a slimmer profile, making it more finesse, but it’s also hopping and bouncing along, like  a Texas-rig. This combination gives a lot of versatility in your lineup!
  4. Swim it: I’m not going to lie to you, the only time I’ve ever caught a fish using this method is on accident while reeling the bait back into the boat. I know a lot of people purposely swim a shaky-head and use it as a smaller-profile reaction bait; it’s just something that I’ve never really tried, but I may have to look into it soon!

A shaky-head has become a go-to lure for me when I get frustrated, and I hope these tips can help you in the future too! Be sure to subscribe to our page for more “tips and techniques” articles like this one! Also, we’d love to hear from you so either leave a comment or e-mail me anytime at midwestfishing@outlook.com! Thanks and have a great day!

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