Berkley Flicker Shad

There’s no denying crankbaits catch bass. But those built to appeal to a largemouth’s predatory instincts are the deadliest of all.

Crankbaits catch bass in a variety of conditions, from idyllic, stable-weather bites to brutal, post-cold-front scenarios. Thanks to years of exhaustive lab and field research, Berkley’s time-tested Flicker Shad ranks high among your options no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

I’ve flung Flickers for bass from Texas to northern Minnesota, and while many anglers associate these deadly hardbaits for walleyes, panfish and pike, I can personally attest that they also tempt largemouths into striking.

Catch rates aside, their tight-wiggling action is one of my favorite features. And make no mistake, the Flicker Shad’s alluring locomotion is no accident. Just ask longtime Berkley researcher Dr. Keith Jones. “While testing bass’ response to different lures, we quickly discovered they strongly favor motion,” he explains. “But not all motions are created equal.” In fact, extensive analysis of crankbait actions identified six key components. They included three linear motions: surge, heave and sway; plus a trio of rotations—roll, yaw and pitch.

According to Jones, when designing the Flicker Shad, Berkley engineers compulsively experimented with these characteristics by tweaking prototype baits’ weighting systems, outer contours, shapes, bills and pull-point positioning. “We kept playing with those, each time analyzing how the motions changed, and the effect the changes had on triggering bass to strike,” he says.

The grueling process allowed Berkley to fine-tune the Flicker Shad’s action for maximum appeal to a largemouth’s sense of sight and its lateral line system, both of which are instinctually wired to look for certain sights and feelings, which in turn initiate feeding or attack responses.

All of which explains why bass go crazy for Flicker Shads. Whether they’re suspended and chasing baitfish over clear, open water, cruising a weed edge at sunrise or prowling bottom transitions in murky conditions, bass respond to the Flicker Shad’s six deadly motions with merciless assaults. Of course, Flicker Shads also trip the triggers of walleyes, crappies, trout, pike and other gamefish, so keep them on hand for multispecies forays as well.

Standard Flicker Shads come in five sizes from 1½ to 3½ inches and a rainbow of colors. New Pro Flash and Pro Slick options add a fistful of flashy and reflective choices to the mix. All sport fiendishly sharp Mustad Ultra Point trebles and weight-transfer systems that engender easy casting.

Bottom line? If you haven’t fished a Flicker Shad for bass, walleyes or other hungry predators, it’s high time to tie one on.

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