By Capt. Mel Berman, 970-WFLA
** Among the great and varied topics presented by callers to my 970-WFLA radio program, and here via listener emails, none show up with more frequency than queries on how to work the DOA shrimp. It is however, a mystery that is easily solved.
There is a distinct divide between those who have figured out this unique bait, and those who apparently are struggling with learning how to make that shrimp look-alike catch fish. For anglers who have mastered this small but effective bait, you will find dedicated and avid proponents. For those who have yet to unravel the mystery of how to catch fish with the DOA Shrimp, it all sounds like a bunch of malarkey.
Here’s a typical email from one of the unconvinced:
“Re: DOA shrimp and TerrorEyz: I have heard how great these two baits are and I’m sure from the amount of them sold they work. However, for two trips and a total of est. 6 hours of chunking and winding I have naught to show for my efforts. Is there a secret formula for these two baits? I’ve tried going slow and steady, slow and slower, popping cork etc. to no avail. I even tried them tying your loop knot shown on your knot tying 101 page. Can you help or am I beyond hope.
And here was my response:
First of all let me state with all honesty that I have caught the overwhelming majority of fish over the last several year using those very two DOA lures. And more recently, with the introduction of the CAL jigs, have caught a great many fish with this newest of DOA products.
Now I will ask what might seem like an impertinent question, but I mean no malice. Were you where the fish were? I don’t care how effective a bait is, if there are no fish in the neighborhood, you will not catch fish.
My suggestion to you would be to find yourself a nice grass flats, with lots of sand holes and start a drift across them. If the waters are shallow, use the DOA Shrimp, casting along the edges of the sand holes and then reeling slowly back to the boat. You can give it a very slight twitch every so often to emulate a shrimp jumping out of the way of a predator. Remember, the DOA Shrimp is not a jig – it’s an imitation shrimp and should be crawled along the bottom just like a shrimp.
I assure you that, as you drift over a large area of flats, using the technique just described, you will definitely catch fish. Once you do, you should develop a “feel” for this unique bait and gain a great deal of confidence in its capabilities.
If you drift deeper flats, switch to the DOA Terror-Eyz or the new DOA CAL jigs. The Terror-Eyz itself is used like any other jig –you can swim it through the water column and jig it up and down. Most times the fish will strike on the drop.
You can also drift the flats with a DOA Shrimp rigged on a small float or a “Cajun Thunder” cork. Flip it out and twitch. When the Cajun Thunder again sits upright, twitch again, etc. Each time the Cajun Thunder flips upright, the shrimp is dropping slowly to the bottom, which is very enticing to the fish.
Thus it is my sincere hope that with the emailed response, I have cleared up “The Mystery of the DOA Shrimp.”