Shallow Divers by Andy Lush
There's a huge variety of lures that fit into this category, they're quite simply the most versatile baits of all. Spring, summer or autumn, when all predators are active and willing to intercept lures fished above their head, is the best time to choose these baits. Fish them on a straight retrieve or break up the predictable swimming action by adding the odd twitch, flick or jerk this all adds to the effectiveness of shallow divers. These same lures can still be successful in winter with a little alteration to the "end tackle", to change your presentation and put your plug into the "taking zone" near the bottom, add a small 'egg sinker' weight onto the front of your trace or use a 'bottom walker' device to paternoster the plug. Whichever method you choose the effect is the same, sinking your lure to fish just above the snags right in the pikes face.
There are two distinct shapes of shallow divers which effects their action, the long slim minnows have a slow lazy "side to side" wobble when fished on a constant retrieve, these natural baits are a perfect choice in clear water, when pike are actively hunting, whenever a subtle approach is required. Where as the short fat bodied alphabet style plugs have a tight aggressive swimming action, usually with rattles, these are my first choice when water visibility is reduced, the fish have to "feel" the lures presence before it comes looking for it, I usually pick loud colours for this type of plug, its a brash approach which is sh..t or bust.
There are so many great shallow diving lures that have over the years caught stacks of pike, I will mention just a few of my favourites. Whether casting or trolling my favourite shallow baits are mostly the flat sided types such as Jakes, Invaders, Super Shads and Super Believers, I love the body "wobble and roll" you get when retrieving these lures whatever the speed, what's more, give any of these a twitch and they topple over, "knocked off balance" this often provokes a pike to strike!
One other point worth mentioning, size, yes size does matter! Choose plugs in the 5" - 8" size if your targeting pike, remember that pike actively eat food of approx 10% of their size, so a low double figure pike is eating 1lb plus fish, if available, most of the time, that fish of 10" - 12", are you sure your lures are big enough?