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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I have been thinking about retrieve speed when inshore fishing. Lets say you are drifting a bank searching for fish casting at docks, the bank, or out into open water. How slow do you retrieve the lure? To fish a popping cork effectively shouldn't it take around 1.5 minutes (rough estimate) to retrieve? DOA shrimp is another one. Watch videos of Mark Nichols on Youtube fishing the shrimp and it is a VERY slow twitch, pause, reel, retrieve. When I have fished for an hour or two without a strike my bad habit is to speed up the lure subconsciously to cover more water, thus leading to fish ignoring my lure. I think this is also why I have favored 1/4 oz jigheads over 1/8 oz jigheads because it just seemed like the 1/8 oz rigged lure just stayed too close to the top. Am I correct in thinking that a slow retrieve is ALMOST ALWAYS better than a fast one?
 

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In most scenarios slow is better than fast. I am a power fisher by nature though and often have to force myself to slow down when using soft plastics. The DOA Shrimp was designed to be fished slow so definitely slow that one down. There are however times when the fish want a lure fast. Prime example: not long ago I was trout fishing with mirrolures. I had fished a solid 2 hours without a sniff. I was working a point and saw a fish pushing bait. I reeled in at a fast rate and my lure got slammed on it's way in. After that I sped up my retrieve and caught several more fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah it seems when fish are pushing bait they are excited and the baitfish are swimming as fast as they can go tryin to avoid the predators. Good idea to retrieve it fast. Striper also will hit a fast retrieve well.
 

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There is no such thing as a "correct retrieve speed". Each lure was designed to operate most effectively at the natural speed the thing it is trying to imitate and even that can vary depending on conditions. Shrimp like Vudu, DOA, and Storm work best when you don't do a thing except let the current carry them...except when they're under a popping cork. Then, you need to give the cork enough time to settle back for another pop. A lipless crankbait (Rat-l-Trap) can be virtually buzzed just under the surface, or yo-yoed up and down off the bottom. There are times when you can't retrieve a bait fast enough to keep it away from a spanish or bluefish or slow enough to catch a speck in the winter. A diving or suspending hardbait needs to be retrieved so that the lip operates most efficiently and causes the wiggle that triggers a strike. Don't over-think it. Go fishing.
 

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I made a cast with a skitterwalk topwater lure the other day and the line got tangled in the hook. I then reeled it in as fast as I could and a drum swiped at it right near the boat. I never reel that fast except for bonito and Spanish. Never know, it's good to try various speeds.
 

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What ever speed and action that triggers the fish to bite is the correct speed and action for that cast, next cast it will be different ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know that a slow retrieve is not always the way to go but most of the time a soft plastic swimbait slowly puttering by a fish, tail flapping lazily is hard for it to resist if the fish isn't on a feeding frenzy. My habit I believe has been to fish too fast when I haven't caught fish in a while.. I am not saying a retrieve should always be less than a foot a second tho.
 
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