John's Journal...


Click to enlargeThe Truth About the Quad Shad Spinner Bait

Editor’s Note: Longtime pro fisherman Roger Stegall of Iuka, Mississippi, has guided fishermen on Pickwick Lake on the Alabama/Mississippi/Tennessee border for over 17 years. Here's some of his tactics for catching big smallmouth during the month of November.

I keep a Strike King Quad Shad spinner bait tied on one of my rods throughout the fall when I'm fishing for smallmouths. When the Quad Shad first came out, I thought that it was more of a gimmick bait than a lure that would actually catch fish. Just think about that lure - four blades on a spinner bait wire. No one had ever seen a spinner bait that looked like this before, no one had Click to enlargeever considered having that much flash and that many blades on a spinner bait, and the Quad Shad was totally different from any other type of spinner bait we'd ever seen in the past. So initially I just wasn't impressed with it very much at all.

But I decided I'd try and fish this goofy-looking spinner bait on a guide trip the first year of its introduction. I was fishing in the fall and started catching some really nice-sized smallmouth fishing the Quad Shad around grass. Three days later at a tournament on Pickwick Lake, I was fairly sure no one else would be throwing a spinner bait like this. So, I decided to use the Quad Shad because I'd built confidence in it on that guide trip. I went right back to the bank where I'd caught those smallmouths and largemouths on the Quad Shad three days earlier. But one of my buddies had already gotten to that bank and was fishing it Click to enlargewith a Diamond Shad. I decided to go ahead and fish behind him with the Quad Shad. The first five bass I caught weighed a total of 15 pounds with three of the bass smallmouths and two of the bass largemouths.

That same fall I fished a BASS tournament where I caught a smallmouth that weighed 5 pounds 10 ounces and missed winning the lunker-of-the-tournament award by 1 ounce. Since then, I've caught a boatload of smallmouths that weigh 5 to 7 pounds fishing the Quad Shad. I retrieve the bait usually about 2 feet under the water or just barely out of sight. I fish the Click to enlargeQuad Shad on a cranking reel and 12-pound-test clear line. I like the silver blades with the silver-and-white skirt. I particularly like the titanium wire model of the Quad Shad because the titanium will bounce back and keep its shape. If you don't use that titanium wire, the smallmouth can tear up your spinner bait they attack so savagely. I fish this bait around stumps, logs and shallow flats, and it's extremely deadly when you're fishing over shallow grass. You can fish this Quad Shad spinner bait anywhere you fish other lures for smallmouths, and it will really produce for you. These are my favorite smallmouth tactics and lures. I believe that if you will try them this month, they'll produce more smallmouths for you.

To learn more about fishing below the dam at Pickwick, contact the Hardin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at, call 731-925-8181 or 800-552-3866, or visit Pickwick Landing State Park offers fishing, boating, hiking, camping, swimming and golf. Lodging includes the lakeside inn with over 100 rooms, cabins that sleep eight and a campground that contains 48 sites with grill and electric/water hookup at each site. A restaurant at the park offers delicious southern cuisine. Call 731-689-3135 or 800-250-8615 to learn more.

Check back each day this week for more about HOW TO CATCH SMALLMOUTH NOW WITH ROGER STEGALL

Day 1 - The Crankbait for Smallmouth
Day 2 - New Redfish Magic - Perfect for Smallmouth
Day 3 - Buzzbaits in November Will Help You Catch Smallmouths
Day 4 - Jerkbaits for Smallmouths in the Fall
Day 5 - The Truth About the Quad Shad Spinner Bait


Entry 274, Day 5