1. Rick McFerrin | 2. Wayne Byrd

The Buckeye Shad - August 2005
Written By: G. Wayne Byrd

I love to use lipless crank baits and the day I discovered the Buckeye Shad, my catching ability drastically improved. About a year ago I first tried the Buckeye Shad and boy am I glad I did. I can honestly say that it's been the most productive lure I have ever fished. The Buckeye Shad comes in four colors and all four of them produce fish! I really did not know what to think about the lure the first time it was handed to me because it did not have the flash that some of the other lures had, but being a lover of lipless crank baits I gave it a try. I was fishing in a smaller pond with about 6 other fishermen. Between the 7 of us we had probably caught 3 fish in about 5 hours. I put the Buckeye Shad on and within two casts, started nailing fish. I ended up catching 11 largemouth in the next two hours with the largest one being about 6 lbs. From that point forward I was HOOKED on the Buckeye Shad. The Buckeye works great on largemouth as well as small mouth bass and I have caught many "slab" crappie and bluegill as well.

I contacted the owners of Buckeye Shad, explained that I was a professional bass angler who fished several different circuits and ask to be on the Buckeye Pro-Staff. They were happy to have me and I was even happier to be aboard. I do segments on the Buckeye Shad during my in-store appearances, write tips on the lures in my articles and always talk about the lure on the tournament trail as well. You see, so many lures on the market today are holographic and flashy and full of glitz and glitter but they don't produce. The Buckeye Shad catches the fish, not the fisherman. I fish the Buckeye Shad in many different ways. I would like to share some of these tactics with you in hopes that you will find success on the lure as well.

My favorite way to fish the buckeye Shad is simply cast the lure out and do a straight, non-stop retrieve. You can feel the awesome wobble the lure creates and it's very sensitive as you can feel everything you come in contact with as well. It's like no other lure on the market. The action this lure produces is awesome. Sometimes I like to crank the bait slowly and other times I rip the bait as fast as I can depending on the situation. If your Buckeye Shad comes back with weeds or salad on the hooks, that's alright because you are working the bait right over the top of the weed beds and that will produce strikes. I also do the old stop and start procedure where you crank the lure 8-10 times and stop and count to 3 and then start the 8-10 count crank back up and keep repeating the procedure. When you do the “stop and count to three routine,” the Buckeye Shad sinks rather quickly so be prepared and hang on because most strikes occur when the lure is sinking or when you begin your next retrieve. You better be ready to set the hook! Another favorite is the sweep and pause. This is done with a tight line and you simply sweep the lure with entire length of your rod from left to right and then reel in the slack and repeat. Many times when I reel the slack in and start the sweep, there is a fish taking off the other direction with my Buckeye Shad. Another great way is to rig the Buckeye Shad with a drop shot weight (1/4 oz) about 18' in front of the lure and just jerk it forward a few feet, count to 3 and jerk it again. This technique makes the lure act like an injured baitfish and bass love this action especially with the combination of the sinking effect in between.

The Buckeye Shads are colored all the way through so you don't have to worry about knocking the paint off of them or scratching them up or having them fade. As long as you don't lose the lure, it will last a long period of time. I have probably taken around 100 Buckeye Shads out of the box, tied them on my line, and never have I made a single adjustment. You see, they are ready to go and catch fish right out of the box at all times. I like to play with the colors at times because as you know, no color or pattern catches fish all the time. On the Black model I usually take a bit of white nail polish and put 3 or 4 stripes down each side to resemble the old ghost pattern from Heddon. On the White model, I sometimes take bright orange spray paint and just spray the belly and this simple procedure really increases strikes. I never change the Bloody or the Chartreuse colors as they produce without any alterations.

During the early morning hours and throughout the day I stick to the Chartreuse and the White colors. During the evening hours and for night fishing I always go to the Bloody and the Black. These darker colors give the fish a silhouette to focus on and they are able to find and strike the lure with ease. There are times when I want to fish the lure deeper than it naturally runs. When this occurs, I take a split shot and put it about 12 to 18 inches above the lure and this will get the lure to my desired depth depending on the size of shot used. 

In closing, I will tell you I have had many 60 plus bass catching days on the Buckeye Shad and I have caught many large fish as well. The 10 pounder above was caught on the Chartreuse color just before dark using the stop and start technique that I discussed earlier. This bass measured 24" long, which is 1 1/2 inches longer than the Colorado State record. I thought I had hooked the record! I have filled the live well many times thanks to the Buckeye Shad and it has earned me several top 5 and top 10 place finishes in tournaments. If you have any questions on the buckeye Shad, please feel free to e-mail me anytime at bassmasters65@yahoo.com and if you are ever in Colorado let me know and I would be happy to take you out and share the Buckeye Shad experience with you.

Thanks--G. Wayne Byrd