- Meat Stick: Shumway likes a long rod with a strong butt and forgiving tip. "It should be good and tough like an old mule, with a finesse tip so the fish won't feel the pressure."
- Tighten Up To maximize strikes, run your lure tight to the structure, and bang it against wood or rock when possible. Still, you don't need to be perfect, says Shumway. "Anything that comes within 10 feet of that fish will probably get slammed."
- Drop Shots: To get lures near the bottom in current, slip an egg sinker on the main line above your barrel swivel. It's not uncommon for Shumway to use 8 ounces of lead. No-roll sinkers are another good option for keeping baits in the strike zone.
- The Thick of It: Look for flatheads holding tight to rockpiles, logjams, and stumps. On the Kansas River, Shumway targets huge flooded brushpiles. He calls them "haciendas," or flathead hotels. "The bigger the hacienda, the bigger the fish," he says. Slack water behind brush or jams will also hold flatheads.
- Crank and Yank: When you get hit, lean into the rod with heavy side pressure and keep cranking. The goal is to get the fish away from its lair fast.
- Fake Out Any: artificial that mimics a shad or other baitfish will fool flatheads. Shumway's favorite is a big swimbait.