Every so often I have to go back to my roots and sing the praises of the DOA artificial shrimp. It’s not sexy, it’s not expensive, it’s easy to use, and it catches fish. All kinds of fish.When Mark Nichols, owner of DOA lures, brought this fish killer to life, a lot of thought went into this bait. Since that time there have been many shrimp imitations to hit the market by many different manufactures. Some are frighteningly realistic, with all kinds of rigging techniques, offering jointed features, backwards movement, and indestructible body armor. For me, none have the natural decent, glide, twitch, and buoyancy that brings the DOA shrimp to life.In the past I have described this shrimp imitator as a “do nothing” lure. But over the years I’ve found out there are several techniques that will entice a bite; a hard bite!
The afore mentioned do nothing, is pretty much just that. To be fair, it’s a presentation that works best with current and does require a bit of line watching and “feel”. The take can be a solid thump, but usually a mere tick is all you will feel, or the unmistakable jump in the line. I usually throw the shrimp as far upstream as possible and let the current just carry it. It’s important to maintain as much contact with the lure as possible, and to keep slack out of your line. It requires a bit of line and lure management, but once perfected, it can be deadly. Once you figure the decent rate, and depth of the fall, you’ll be able to work this presentation any where from 2 – 20 feet.
Most Gulf Coasters know that the 3″ DOA shrimp, pinned under a popping cork, with 2-3′ of leader, and popped frequently, will draw strikes from red fish, speckled trout, snook and many others. The Atlantic Coast has been slow to follow, but the DOA/shrimp combo is deadly anywhere anytime. I like to break it out in tidal areas as the water floods the grass. I’ve found it is quite effective over shell, rip rap and submerged trees as well.
Possibly my favorite technique these days is to work like you would any jig, varying retrieval style, until you find out how they want it. Big hops in deeper water, small hops in shallower depths. You can swim this bait, but swim, or drag it slowly. These last few years, going against most retrieval suggestions, I’ve been snapping the bait hard, with the rod tip low, and giving it a pronounced pause. The pause is key!
I guess last, and probably least is color. The DOA color chart resembles something you may see in the paint section at Lowe’s. There is a color for everybody! I use Near Clear(312), Clear w/red glitter(368), Gold glitter(313), and Watermelon/clear/halo(425). Nite Glow(305), is also very popular for many anglers. But choose a color you prefer, as there are many!