"I think I was using elite blue at the time, and they were crushing it. The first one was a 3-plus male guarding a double-digit-plus female still on the nest. He hit so hard I though it was her for a second.
"Either way, if you're looking for some confidence and a quick limit, this is definitely a tool to use at the right time, and I'm sure it catches 'em with a traditional cadence, as well, especially in the winter."
The water temp hasn't yet dipped low enough to require fishing this bait in the traditional jerk-jerk-pause cadence. It was running about 54 degrees the first time I used it a couple weeks ago, compared to 61 degrees yesterday. As a result, I've been experimenting with several different kinds of retrieves, some of which have worked, while others didn't.
And while I certainly haven't been setting the world on fire with this bait, I've truly enjoyed the reactions I've gotten from the fish so far. Some have nailed it as soon as it splashed down. Others have hit the bait while pausing and letting it rise from just a few inches under the surface. And still others have taken the bait while working it with a steady twitching motion.
Given these results, my next move will be to test some of the bait's other colors that I have. A total of 24 are available on store shelves, including the 14 original Shadow Rap patterns, as well as these 10 new ones: crush, elite blue, haymaker, olive drab, purple haze, gone, halloween, imposter, molten copper, and tropic ice.
Fishing legend Al Linder described this bait's unique action (a horizontal struggle with a slow vertical rise) as perfectly mimicking an injured shad. "Fish haven't seen this before," he said. "That's why it's so deadly."
Bass pros Mike Iaconelli, Brandon Palaniuk, and Davey Hite, to name only a few, all agree with that analogy.
Featuring a shad-shaped body with textured scales, the Shadow Rap Shad comes in models that target two different depth ranges: 3-to-4 feet and 5-to-6 feet. The latter is called the Shadow Rap Shad Deep. Both measure 3 1/2 inches, weigh 3/8 of an ounce, and come armed with two sticky-sharp No. 6 VMC black nickel, thin-wire, round-bend hooks.
"It's a little bit wider than the original Shadow Rap, a little bit shorter, a little bit fatter, and has a two-hook design, rather than a three-hook design," Palaniuk explained.
"I love the wider, flat sides," Hite added. "Seems like everywhere there are threadfin and gizzard shad, and they're all this wider profile. And that's what we're mimicking."
In a school of look-alikes, the bait that swims distinctively stands out, triggering strikes. That's what the Shadow Rap Shad does.