Emarld Shiners are common throughout the Great Lakes and even in some inland lakes. They are one of the most important forage base for many cold-water and warm-water gamefish. At different time of the year these baitfish can feed suspended in the water column or they can be feeding near the bottom in deeper water. Being able to match the size and shape of these baitfish and fishing your lure at the right depth is the key to consistent success.
Early in the year when the waters are cold, Emerald Shiners will usually stick close to the bottom as deep as 30′. That’s the time to fish a 4″ swim-bait that matches the length and shape of these baitfish. My go-to for this time of year is non-other than the Lunker City Fin-S Fish fished on a 1/4 or 3/8 oz. jighead. This swim bait has deadly side to side action and flash and fools gamefish easy.
Later on in the summer when the Emerald Shiners start to suspend I either troll or twitch the Rapala Rip Stop in size 9. If you’ve fished the Rip Stop you know that it has amazing flash when twitched and very realistic “wounded baitfish” wobble when retrieved or trolled. Both these lures work extremely well if you fish them for predator fish especially if there are Emerald Shiners around.