James Niggemeyer of Texas has fished professionally for 15 years, amassing almost $1 million in earnings. He loves shallow water techniques and guides on the famed Lake Fork, but his favorite lure this time of year stays on top.

The Lure
Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg, in Chrome Sexy Shad, Clear Sexy Shad (for clear water), white (dirty water), or bone (cloudy days).

The Tackle
Seven-foot Medium-action St. Croix rod with an Ardent Apex 6.3.1 reel and 30-pound Tuf-Line XP braided line, with about 18-24 inches of Gamma co-polymer leader in 14- (2-hook lure) or 17-pound test (3-hook lure).

Where To Fish It
Niggemeyer looks for major tributaries “where you have to run way back into some of these areas and longer creek arms—the back third of them.” The main thing he’s seeking is shad, whether he sees them busting on top or finds them deeper with his Raymarine electronics. If he doesn’t find shad, he’ll move deeper or go to another creek.

How To Fish It
“I may fish a moderate retrieve back to the boat and (while fan casting) vary it a little and see what they want,” Niggemeyer says. “I’m trying to find the cadence. Sometimes you want to make it a hard right-left walking retrieve, and other times it’s more subtle, like the bait is scurrying along.”

Why It Works
Niggemeyer said a walking bait is his favorite from August through autumn. The Sexy Dawg has free-floating rattles and a good knocking rattle. He covers a lot of water because shad are moving from offshore structures toward, and into, the creeks. And with two sizes of the Sexy Dawg, you can have a big profile or smaller version, depending on what they’re hitting.