Sebile Stick Shadd By Rob Radlof
The Sebile stick shadd has been a sleeper plug in many tackle bags for years. When you talk to guys about this lure some are skeptical about its action; however, the guys who fish it with confidence know the true potential of this bait. From the inception of the stick shadd several years ago, I was one of those anglers weary of its abilities. I would make a few casts with it before swiftly place it back into my bag to grab a lure that had history of being successful. Over the past few years the word has spread between the surf and boat fisherman of success stories when nothing else was producing a catch. This spring I made a point to become very familiar with this particular bait. On several outings it was the only plug that was thrown, for this is the best way to gain confidence in the unknown. Now, the Sebile stick shadd has truly earned its place among my most productive baits in both freshwater and saltwater applications. From pre-spawn river smallmouth to back bay blues and ocean running striped bass this lure has proven itself to be a fish-catching machine. Its versatility is unmatched by any lure I have ever thrown. What I have found is that with a reel and slight pauses you can achieve a ‘walk the dog’ style bait just under the surface. If you add in sharp rod twitches this bait has a very erratic side to side motion that triggers violent strikes. One such strike on a sharp jerk and pause motion was so powerful it knocked the lure completely off of a backlash lure clip. It was one of the most impressive strikes I had ever seen out of a striped bass.
When targeting striped bass in deeper waters the stick shadd can be worked at various depths. While working a 40ft contour line we began to mark life suspending 15- 20ft down. With the sinking stick shadd tied on we were able to count down to the desired depth and work it back up through the water column. It’s hard to ignore the results when the first fish boated pinned the scale at 42lbs. The versatility of this lure is what is so impressive. We followed this particular school of fish up onto a flat as they pushed the baitfish onto the shallow bars. With the same bait we were able to fish it in the ‘walk the dog’ manor just under the surface drawing explosive reaction strikes. On this particular day, a sharp reel and pause was the key. As the lure paused to change direction, the fish would react and doggy bone the stick shadd across their mouth.
The Sebile stick shadd has earned its place on the boat, in the surf bag and also in the freshwater scene. This plug has impressed me more than any new bait to hit the market in recent years. I believe it would be hard pressed to find a predator that would not be willing to eat this plug. Like any artificial lure on the market, confidence is the key. Tie one on and experiment, throw it shallow, count it down in deep water, burn it for bluefish, walk the dog for striped bass, pause it on a smallmouth bed; you will not be let down. Just hold on tight – the bites will jar the rod out of your hand!