So, we pull into this creek off Kentucky Lake’s eastern shore and immediately we see threadfin shad flipping, splashing, and occasionally performing evasive maneuvers with largemouth bass in hot pursuit.

Typical fall deal—shad congregate in these arteries and bass follow them, mouths open and looking to gorge.

Observing the melee, Texas pro angler, T-Roy Broussard shared a couple of tricks for mimicking the forage that these gluttonous predators sought.

First, he likes the slender baitfish profile of a soft plastic jerkbait like the Strike King Caffeine Shad. Rigged weedless and unweighted, he’ll twitch the bait around grass edges, docks or anywhere bass corral their meals.

If he needs a little more distance, or if the area also holds the larger gizzard shad, Broussard will upsize to the new 7-inch Caffeine Shad and show the fish a heftier profile.

“If the fish are (hesitant), I’ll take a black permanent marker and draw a dot on the side of my bait to make it look more like a real shad (which has a dot on its side),” he said. “Sometimes, you have to try different things to see what will trigger the fish.”

Lastly, if Broussard observes significant surface action, he’ll use a syringe to inject air into his bait. Increasing the buoyancy keeps the bait higher in the water and allows him to replicate that frantic surface dance that turns baitfish into breakfast.