by Michelle Armstrong
I don’t fish from the back of the boat often, but when I do, I have to be creative in order to catch what’s left. Often times though, I end up catching the “kicker” fish since I’m forced to be more methodical in my presentation. And I’m also fishing more relaxed. The amount of “duties” the “captain” of the ship has in front of them, can often be stressful. Manning the trolling motor, and watching electronics, all while trying to fish takes focus and coordination. Of course they get all the ideal shots first, but they also tend to fish at a faster rate, leaving some bigger fish behind. A prime example is when, that boy I married (Troy), and I compete together as a team, he usually catches the numbers and I often catch the bigger fish.
One of my preferred “back of the boat” methods is slooow fishing with a Shaky Head. More specifically, a ½ oz Knuckle Head rig. (Made by Doris at Tackle Town). There are many different versions of this “swinging” head Shaky head but this is by far the best I’ve used. Armed with C3 Baits’ Magnum worm with the color that meets your situation will load the back of the boat. I rig this on my Powell Endurance 733 rod for maximum sensitivity. I can slow crawl this rig just as I would a Carolina Rig, but with twice the action. It is such a versatile rig, that if the fish are biting, you can essentially use it all day. I crawl this along points, through stumps or over rock piles. It does get stopped from time to time in crevices but it is easily popped out by lifting you rod tip and giving it a few “jiggles”. Often when you pop your bait loose, a strike will occur, so be ready.
A second shaky head I have rigged is specific to fishing the edges of docks, blowdowns, stumps, etc. This is typically a lighter rig on a Powell 753 Endurance spinning rod. I use a 3/16 to ¼ oz depending on wind conditions and bait preference. On the 3/16 I like use a BPS Finesse Fin-eke. On the ¼ oz you can also use the C3Bait’s Magnum mentioned earlier. This is more of a vertical presentation but can be used horizontally. Just make sure your bait is weedless, meaning, no part of the hook is exposed.
Remember, It’s not called Shaky Head by accident. This hook is designed to make your bait stand up, and to shake. Whether presenting as a slow crawl, vertical, or horizontal, pause your bait, and using your rod tip, give a few quick shakes, repeat often. Don’t confuse my advice and limit these rigs to only be used while fishing behind someone. You can easily present this to fish from the front of the boat. Just remember to slow down your retrieve. Now go catch fish.