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How to use a Rum Runner (Sassy Shad)

How to use a Rum Runner (Sassy Shad) Cast and Retrieve Method This is arguably the simplest method and if there are fish busting the top of the water probably the most effective methods of catching hybrids, stripers and white bass. Simply cast out your Run Runner using a 3.4oz jig head to the fish exploding on top of the water (you’ll often catch more fish if you cast just beyond the explosions) and start reeling. Sometimes, the fish want it really FAST, sometimes they want a Medium pace, and, sometime they want it Slow. Start fast and progress through the different retrieves until you find what works for that situation. It can vary by the individual school of fish are you fishing.

Targeting Fish in the Water Column Method This is an excellent way to catch suspended fish. If you mark some suspended fish on your graph, try this technique. Let’s say you mark fish hanging around twenty feet deep, throw out your bait and count your bait down. I like to cast out my bait and let it freeline down, by freeline I mean, I do not engage my reel and let the bait free spool down. With a 3/4oz jighead the drop rate will typically be somewhere between 1.5ft – 2ft a second. So I’ll count it down. If the fish are in twenty feet of water, I’ll cast out and countdown to twelve. Twelve being the number of seconds that passed as the bait falls through the water column – falling to 20 feet. Once I’ve counted my bait down to the suspended fish, I’ll engage the reel and start reeling. (Try experimenting with your particular size jig head and the size of line that you use to see how long it takes (counting down) for your Run Runner to hit the bottom in 20 feet of water – then you’ll know).

Dead Sticking Method This method is particularly effective in the coldest days of winter. The fish are often glued to the bottom, not actively feeding and are not willing to really chase their next meal. To deadstick you’ll fish your Rum Runner vertically. I’ll drop my bait to the bottom, pick it up about six inches off the bottom and HOLD it there. I’ll typically hold it as still as humanly possible for approximately 15 seconds then I’ll lower my bait to the bottom and repeat. Where ever you see the fish (on the bottom, maybe 5 feet up or right in the middle of the water column), put your bait right in front of their face and hold it still – the boats movement will move the bait more than enough. Any size jig head will work with this method – since you’re not casting but simply dropping your Rum Runner vertical under the boat.

Carolina Rig Method I learned this method while fishing for Stripers in Arkansas. You take your basic Carolina rig and instead of the usual lizard, worm, craw imitation you use a Rum Runner. Instead of the typical dragging of the bottom that you typically do with a Carolina rig, you’ll want to hop the rig off the bottom. The hopping method will get the Rum Runner to flutter up and seductively fall back to the bottom. I would use a weighted hook when I did this. This method proved particularly effective when I was fishing a flat with roaming packs of stripers. It also worked in winter because of the slow fall of the bait. It gave those reluctant fish maximum opportunity to grab the bait. Printable PDF