January 16, 2013 by Bryan Thrift
A lot of fishermen think that using a lipless crankbait in late winter or during the early prespawn is all about chunking and winding, but I've had better success yo-yoing one off the bottom. It doesn't have to be in deep water, either. The type of bottom - whether it's a hard bottom, shell bed or hard clay point - is more critical than depth. It can be 4 or 5 feet deep, but it needs to be a place where bass will stage before they move up. I keep several Damiki Tremor lipless crankbaits rigged up with different line sizes to fish at different depths. One thing I like about that bait is that because of the way its head is weighted, when it gets back to the bottom, it stands upright on its nose instead of falling over on its side. I don't rip the bait up; I just pull it up toward me 2 or 3 feet and let it go back. They might nail it on the fall, when it's paused on the bottom or when you start to lift it again. You should work this bait kind of like working a jig. If the water is muddy or deep, I'll start out with a Red Craw color, which shows up better. If it's clear, I'll go with American Shad or Real Shad coloration. The Tremor comes with or without rattles, and that's another important thing to consider. I'll fish rattling baits most days, but if I don't get bit, I'll switch to a non-rattling Tremor. That can make a big difference if the water's real clear. Then, too, I might catch a few fish on the rattling version and come back through the same water with the non-rattling Tremor and pick up another fish or two. It's a different way to fish a lipless crankbait, but sometimes that's what it takes in pressured water. ---- Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C.