The most popular model to fish is probably the 3-inch Shad Tail. Simply impale it with an appropriate-size jig head to match wind, current and depth conditions (increase the weight as wind, current and depth increase) and throw it out. Although most fishermen employ some type of twitch/drop retrieve, beginners can simply let it sink and reel it in. The vibrating tail attracts fish with virtually no input from the angler. Some days, especially in the winter when the water is cold and fish metabolisms are slow, fish display a preference for a slow, subtle retrieve and a lure that requires minimal energy to chase down. Which brings up another general rule: The colder the water, the slower the retrieve.
The CAL Shad Tail is also an extremely effective weapon for trolling, especially behind a kayak. Simply stick it on a 1/4-ounce head, throw it behind the kayak, and start paddling.