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James Elam’s Top-3 Uses for The Livetarget Slow Roll Shiner

As a professional angler, James Elam’s livelihood depends on catching fish. A seasoned pro of Major League Fishing hailing from Oklahoma, he is well aware that utilizing the right equipment is crucial to his success. Moreover, James would enthusiastically point out that tools that enhance the performance of other gear are truly invaluable.

Catching fish is James Elam’s job, and the Major League Fishing pro from Oklahoma knows that the right tools are critical to his success. Take that a step further, and he’ll tell you the tools that complement other tools are golden.

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Case in point: The LIVETARGET Slow Roll Shiner. Made with Injected Core Technology (ICT), this paddletail swimbait boasts realistic action and appearance.

“The best thing about this bait is that it’s a great tool for modern-day forward facing sonar,” Elam said. “That technology is a big deal right now in bass fishing.”

“No matter what species you’re targeting, whether that’s largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass, especially in the winter time; the colder months when those fish are out offshore and focusing on baitfish, it’s just a tremendous way to target them.”

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The best part about the Slow Roll Shiner is its ease of use. The Exo-Skin design gives the bait all the action you need with minimal retrieve effort.

“You just throw it out there, let it sink, count it down to the target depth, and wind it through the fish,” Elam said. “You’re trying to target fish that are suspended in the water column or get them to commit and come up from the bottom to eat.

“The Slow Roll Shiner is also a good bait in the summertime, especially up north for smallmouth. Small swimbaits are deadly for smallmouth.”

Whichever bass he’s targeting, Elam said the Slow Roll Shiner does a good job of mimicking the common forage. Threadfin shad and alewives top the list, but anytime predators are focused on slender schooling baitfish, this LIVETARGET lure fits the plan.

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Elam generally fishes his Slow Roll Shiner on a Mustad Ball Jig Head and varies his tackle selection. For long casts in deep, clear water, he’ll rig the 3-inch size on a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce head, he’ll use a 7-foot 3-inch medium spinning rod with a 2500-size reel. Elam spools with 25-pound braid and adds an 8- to 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

For stouter duty with bass targeting larger baitfish, Elam rigs the 4- or 5-inch Slow Roll Shiner on a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce ball head and fishes it on a 7-foot 3-inch medium baitcasting rod. He finds that a 7.4:1 reel with 12- to 15-pound-pound fluorocarbon offers the right speed.

Elam described his most common uses for the Slow Roll Shiner:

Shad Kills — When cold weather stuns and kills loads of small shad on southern reservoirs, Elam finds the fish focused on a smorgasbord of dying baitfish. This is when a small swimbait on spinning gear becomes one of the only ways to fool the fish consistently.

“The fish might be as deep as 30 to 40 feet, while there might be some at 20, and there will be some close to the bank,” Elam said. “I think making long casts with a small swimbait on spinning gear is a key technique for smallmouth and largemouth all winter and into April.”

Multi-Tasking — While his MLF tournament rules prohibit the Alabama rig, Elam knows its superior potential on southern reservoirs, especially during the winter and spring months. Loading the multi-arm A-Rig with 3-inch baits or a mix of 3 and 4-inch baits can deliver big results.

On the Hunt — On northern lakes like St. Clair and Champlain, when Elam is looking for the smallmouth bass that are chasing alewives offshore, he knows the Slow Roll Shiner will garner plenty of attention. The only challenge is figuring out which size the fish want. To cover his bases, he keeps a 3-inch bait rigged on spinning gear and a 4- or a 5-inch rigged on a baitcaster.

“That’s a good way to cover water and find out where the fish are,” Elam said. “Sometimes, you’re fishing on St. Clair, and there’s a bunch of grass, so you can’t see the fish until they show themselves and that swimbait is a really good way to make them show themselves.

“On Champlain, you can target those isolated boulders and rocky outcroppings with the Slow Roll Shiner. Staying back off those places, making a really long cast, counting it down, and swimming it over those rocks, you can catch a lot of fish that way.”

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LIVETARGET lures are designed and engineered to build unwavering confidence through measurable success: catching more and bigger fish. Through a highly evolved research and development process, no detail is overlooked and no shortcuts are taken in the pursuit of perfection. Expect nothing less than anatomically precise profiles, ultra-realistic details and meticulously tuned, species-specific actions. By creating baits that look and act like natural forage, they’re no longer baits. They become real.

LIVETARGET is a member of the Mustad family of premium fishing brands. Setting the standard for the global hook market since 1877, Mustad’s mission is to create a comprehensive multi-brand company that leads the fishing tackle industry while focusing on innovation, employee and customer satisfaction, and sustainability. Together with TUF-LINE and LIVETARGET, Mustad continues to solidify its position as a complete sports fishing brand family.

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