Strike King News

Spice Up Your Fall Fishing with some Caffeine

Submitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media

Fall fishing is in finally in full swing in most parts of the country. This time of year is noted for schooling fish, topwater blowups and overall fast and exciting fishing. The cooler temps seem to ignite both fish and fishermen alike as the water cools and the bait and bass move shallow. It is a fun time to be a bass angler!


One of the best things about fall fishing is the abundant surface activity and corresponding topwater action. There is nothing quite like a school of bass annihilating a pod of bait on a shallow flat only to have them get fixated on your Sexy Dawg or KVD Splash. The action is fast and furious, and the bites can be breathtaking.

Following behind topwater, there are a few techniques and presentations that lend themselves to fall fishing. Most have experienced memorable fall fishing days that were due to a spinnerbait, Red Eye Shad, swimbait, etc. These are all great tools for prying the shallows for hungry bass.

But, today I want to look at another option. A less talked about option. Yet a very lethal option when it comes to tricking shallow, bait-chasing bass. Let’s check out the Caffeine Shad.

I was first introduced to the power of the Caffeine Shad about 6 years ago while filming a fall show with KVD. We were throwing Burner spinnerbaits around grass on Kentucky Lake in late October (Oh to have grass on KY Lake again, but that’s another story for another time). Everywhere we would stop when Kevin would unstrap his rods on the front deck, he would always unhook a rod with a Caffeine Shad tied on it and lay it where is was easily accessible.

Todd is taking the next step up the ladder in the fishing ranks in 2018 as he will compete as a touring pro on the FLW Tour. He will be sharing that move and many hotel rooms with Cecil, as both are making the move at the same time.

After seeing this happen at our first several stops, I finally asked, “what’s up with the Caffeine Shad rod?”, to which he replied, “You’ll see”. Well, it wasn’t very much longer before a bass rolled on his Burner and he quickly reeled it in, laid it down and grabbed the aforementioned rod. He made a precise cast which landed the Caffeine Shad exactly where the bass missed his spinnerbait. He twitched it furiously for a few feet and then stopped it allowing it to fall. You can guess what happened next. That’s right. A hookset, bent rod and nice 4 pound largemouth.

I got to see that happen several more times that day and then again the next fall on a subsequent trip while we were filming a Sexy Dawg show. I got a firsthand perspective on how deadly a Caffeine Shad can be as a follow up bait for a topwater.


The fact is, the Caffeine Shad is not only an incredible option for following up missed strikes, it is remarkable as a standalone offering. I have had experiences in the fall in pressured areas where the bass just wouldn’t eat a topwater. They would boil on it, slap at it, or follow it. In several of these instances, pulling the Caffeine Shad out of my bag of tricks has saved the day.

Strike originally came out with a 5” version, which is most people’s favorite. That was followed by a 4” “Finnessy-er” version that shines in clear water and in areas where the average fish is smaller. Then, we came out with the 7” Mag Caffeine Shad. It is the “big boy” of the family and is very diverse.

Here’s the deal; the Caffeine Shad is basically a shad-shaped body, but the tail is what makes the difference. The tail features a “bulbous” design that totally changes the action of the bait from that of its straight, or fork-tailed competitors. This tail is heavy and therefore affects the action while being worked as well as on the fall.

Speaking of being worked, this is primarily used a “twitch style bait”. Short twitches, both long and fast, impart a wicked action to the Caffeine Shad.

Normal rigging takes place weightless on an EWG style hook. Although some people prefer belly weighted hooks as well. I personally don’t as I feel that the salt content of the plastic makes the Caffeine Shad plenty heavy and allows for surprisingly long casts as well as a perfect rate of fall when the retrieve is stopped.


KVD loves to fish the Caffeine Shad super-fast (imagine that) employing quick, short rapid twitches all the way from the time the bait hits the water to his rod tip. I have also had much success by slower, methodical twitches with a few pauses thrown in. This is a very visual presentation that lends itself to followers. I believe that the sudden stop and fall triggers a fair amount of bites as the bait suddenly moves towards a bass’ face.

This is a clear water presentation as well. There are no flapping appendages. No spinning blades. And no rattles. The fish must be able to see the bait to find it and eat it.

One of my favorite things about fishing the Caffeine Shad is that you almost never lose a fish on it. The single hook with virtually no weight makes it quite hard for a fish to throw your bait or pull loose.

The next time you head to the lake for a fall outing, grab you a couple packs of the KVD Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad. I bet you’ll like them as much as the bass!

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