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Rattle Some Cages
By: Scott M. Petersen

When you hear someone talk about a search bait what is the bait that comes to mind? For some this answer may be a crankbait and for others it will be a spinnerbait, for me it is a Spro Aruka Shad. Given all the conditions that we fish in an Aruka Shad is a viable choice when you have to find bass in different water conditions. Letís take a closer look at what the Spro Aruka Shad has to offer and a few tips in how to fish the Aruka Shad along the way.

To start the Aruka Shad is made in 3 different sizes Aruka Shad Jr., 3/8oz, Aruka Shad 75, 5/8oz, and the Aruka Shad 85, 1oz. So you are covered when it comes to different size baits to get the job done in a bunch of different fishing conditions.

Letís start with spring conditions. It is the first time to you are on the water and you have a good feeling where the bass may be located at but you need to cover water to see if you can make contact with active bass. My first choice is the 3/8oz Aruka Shad Jr. I will be covering water that is 3ft to 5ft. and I will be looking for cover in these areas for the bass to relate too as the water temps start to warm. If you can find areas that have weeds left over from last year this is an area that will get a good look.

The key when fishing these areas is to make contact with the cover that you are fishing. You will hear this said a few different times during this article but it is that important. If you take anything away from this article this is key, if you are not making contact with the cover you are fishing; you will not be triggering many bites. Yes there are days that you can catch bass on a free swimming Aruka Shad, but you will get more bites if you are making contact with the cover you are fishing.

If you have bass sitting in deeper water just off the break do not be afraid to up size your offering, and tie on the Aruka Shad 75 to get the bait down into the bass zone.  Because there may not be weed cover in these areas yet pay attention to bottom structure. Stumps and hard bottom areas will be key so use your electronics to help you find these areas.

As the spring progresses and starts to turn into summer the weed flats will start to take hold and this will be one area that you will want to attack with your Aurka Shad. Once again I will match the Aruka Shad to the weed conditions I am fishing in. My first bait of choice is the Aruka 75, but if I cannot keep the bait from getting fouled I will downsize and go to the Aurka Jr.  

Make a long cast and start your retrieve, reel just fast enough to make contact with the weeds you are targeting. When the bait hits a weeds rip the bait free just like you are setting the hook and get it on its way again, many times this is when the strike will happen; so be ready. The more you can make contact with the weeds and get the bait to swim off of the weeds freely; the more bites you will get.

 Just as this is a viable pattern to fish in the spring of the season this pattern will play a big part again during the fall months of the season.

The last area that I want to target is open water rock areas that hold summertime bass during the summer months. With the bass taking up summer residence on deepwater rocks the Aruka Shad 85 is the bait of choice to use for these situations; because unlike a crankbait the Aruka Shad has no depth boundaries.  

Make a long cast and let the bait settle to the bottom, you will know your bait is on the bottom as your line will go slack. Give the rod a hop to get the bait up off of the bottom, and on its way. The key here is to slow roll your Aruka Shad along the bottom; you do not want the bait high above the bottom you want the bait to work close to the bottom making contact as the bait goes. If you feel the bait strike a boulder or larger rock try to kill the bait and let it settle to the bottom. Pay attention as the strike will comes when the bait flutters back to the bottom or will happen when you start the bait back up again.

One key feature of the Aruka Shad is the bait is designed to run nose down. This will help keep the bait tangle free when fishing in all conditions. So do not be afraid to throw this bait into areas that you would not have in the past using other rattle baits.

When it comes to equipment I generally fish my Aruka Shad on a 7 1/2ft to 7í11Ē medium to medium heavy action baitcaster rod. I team this with a 5:3 to 1 or 6 to 1 retrieve reel. I try to shy away from a 7 to 1 reel as it is very easy to over reel these baits.

For line choice I use Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon line in 12 to 20lb test. I try to match the line to the conditions that I am fishing. If I am fishing around heavy cover I will up my line size but if I am fishing in deeper water conditions I will down size my line choice.  

So the next time you are looking for a bait to search for bass give the Spro Aruka Shad a try. To cover all water conditions you may be faced with make sure you carry all 3 sizes with you in your box. You will soon find out that you will need all sizes to rattle some cages.