Fishing the shad spawn in a Texas reservoir is about as exciting as bass fishing gets. Baitfish are concentrated and in the throes of a reproductive frenzy. While largemouths, having recently gone through their own spawning season, are active and hungry.

“Bass fishermen everywhere anticipate this period all year long,” said Booyah ambassador and tournament angler Josh Jetter. “Around here it usually runs from the end of April through May, though local weather patterns can speed or delay the start. You know it’s on when you motor into a back cove and see big clouds of baitfish on your sonar screen. Or, early in the morning — before dawn — you’ll actually see big schools of shad along seawalls and under dock lights.”

When the signs point to spawning shad, it’s time to break out the topwater lures; buzzbaits and poppers are sound choices, but Jetter prefers the Booyah Pad Crasher hollow-body frog for one reason. With an ever-so-simple modification, he turns it into a lure that can dance in the strike zone for as long as he wants to keep it there.

“All you have to do is add a large split ring to the hook’s line tie at the lure’s nose,” he explained. “It’s got to be big — like a size 3 or 4 — and made with heavy wire. Fine wire can straighten out too easily.”

He ties 65-pound braided line directly to the ring, while admitting that it probably doesn’t have to be that stout. “Heavy line works for me, but I’m sure other anglers could go with something lighter and be just as successful.”

With crisp, but gentle, twitches of the rodtip the split ring acts like a hinge, he explained, causing the lure to swing widely from side-to-side while making very little lateral headway. “You can twitch the lure for a long time and it might move forward 3 inches,” he said. “It’s pretty incredible; it’s like walking the dog — in place.”

The benefit, of course, is that the Pad Crasher stays in the strike zone and continues to agitate a bass until it attacks. What’s more, an angler can stop and work the lure anywhere that looks particularly good along the retrieve. “It’s just a real simple tweak that will help you catch a lot more fish,” he concluded.

Jetter’s lure modification really shines during the shad spawn, but don’t wait that long to try it. The next time bass are taking topwater lure, test it out for yourself.