Fall is in full swing, and for anglers willing to step down from the tree stand our out of the duck blind, the walleye bite is heating up.
While there are a lot of ways to catch fall ‘eyes, one favorites is covering water with a simple soft plastic and jighead combo. Enter the new Eye-Candy Paddle Shad.
A Marvel on Mille Lacs
“The Paddle Shad’s got a subtle action that walleyes key in on,” says Mille Lacs Lake guide and Northland pro, Brad Hawthorne.
“It doesn’t have a hard ‘thump’ like other paddletails I’ve fished. The Eye-Candy Paddle Shad has the action of a real minnow swimming, not an exaggeration of a minnow swimming, which is what most paddletails do. And when other swimbaits’ action stops—typically at half-a-mile-an-hour—this bait still has tail action, so you can jig it with subtle motions or snap jig it two or three inches forward at a time and the tail still kicks. That’s why it’s catching so many fish.”
For its intended use on a jighead, Hawthorne is throwing the Eye-Candy Paddle Shad on a ¼-ounce Northland Tungsten Jig. He calls the result “the ultimate finesse swimbait.”
The other way Hawthorne’s fishing the Paddle Shad? You might not expect it—but he’s drop-shotting it .
“For drop-shot fishing with forward facing sonar, I use the Paddle Shad nose-hooked on a #6 Octopus-style drop-shot hook attached to two-foot fluorocarbon leader and ½-ounce pencil sinker. It’s super simple. I cast beyond the walleye pods I see on the screen and reel the rig slowly past them—and they basically fight over it. The shortest little movement gets the paddletail kicking—and that’s the key. On the other end of the spectrum, the Paddle Shad doesn’t blow out until you’re moving it well past 2 mph.”
Suggested retail is $7.99 with five baits per bag.