When the water is cold, or cold but warming up, a lipless crankbait is an absolute killer. There’s a misconception that it’s only good in the spring. I hear that all the time, but this is a lure that works in all four seasons. It’s during the winter and pre-spawn when it really shines, though. abyLet’s back up for a second. What is a lipless crankbait? Well, as the name suggests, and you probably guessed if you didn’t already know, it’s hard-bodied like a crankbait, minus one thing…The lip! It’s that design that makes it so effective for bass because […]
Tag: casting rod
The Ultimate Guide to Crankbait Tackle
In previous columns, I’ve talked a lot about diving crankbaits. They are a great lure because they’ll catch fish that are hungry and they’ll also trigger bites from non-feeding fish. We discussed color, size and the importance of making your lures deflect off of something and change direction. That’s how you generate reaction strikes. In order to complete the circle, though, we need to discuss the proper rod, reel and line. Without that system in place, you can’t fully appreciate what a great lure a crankbait can be. Let’s start with the rod. Crankbait rods are very different than most […]
The Ultimate Spinnerbait Series – Retrieves and Tackle
In the first part of my Ultimate Spinnerbait Series, I outlined when and where I use different kinds of spinnerbaits. It’s one of the greatest categories of lures ever made, but if you don’t dial in the proper retrieve, having the right blade style, color and other components really doesn’t matter. The good news: with three basic retrieves, you can maximize your effectiveness. I tailor them to the different zones of the water column – top, middle and bottom – and by thinking of it that way, you can really improve your game. For the top of the water column, […]
The Beginner’s Guide to Rod Selection
If you’re a guide or an experienced tournament fisherman, you might have five, 10, 20 or even 30 fishing rods already. But what about those of you who are just getting started? Maybe you’re a kid or someone who just wants to make a few casts in a neighborhood pond. Or perhaps you’re on a limited budget. You don’t need to have that many, but you do need to make sure that whatever you get is versatile. Before I dive into adult options, let me discuss rods for kids. This is really easy. For younger children, get a spinning or […]
The Best Rig for Spawning Bass
No matter where in the country you live, at some point during the spring the bass are going to be on the beds. Spawning bass can be really challenging to catch and I know that frustrates some of you, but I’ve got a system and technique that works just about everywhere. It drives them nuts. They’ve got to have it. I’m telling you, if you think that you suck at sight fishing, this is one bait you’ve got to try. There’s already been a lot of chatter about this lure, the soft plastic Berkley Gilly, a dead-on imitation of a […]
Blade Baits: Tackle and Techniques
Last time we reviewed blade baits by looking at the lure in detail. Now we’re going to talk about what tackle to use and how to fish them. For starters let’s review the holes and clips on the back of the lure. It doesn’t make much difference whether you use a clip, a split ring or a swivel on a blade bait. They’ll all work. I like clips and snaps because you can change holes on the fly easy. Split rings are a little harder to take off and put back where you want them, especially with cold fingers. The […]
The Best Fall Lure!
The fall season is here. The nights are getting cold, the water temperature is dropping and the water is getting clearer. That all adds up to mean that bait is what bass fishing is all about. With that in mind let’s talk about the best fall bass lure. And yes, there is only one. It’s the great baitfish imitator — the spinnerbait. The way we need to fish our spinnerbait is by burning it. That can be done the best with an ordinary, but heavy, size spinnerbait. The key to this technique is weight and a size that’s not too […]
My World with Martin Truex Jr.
OK, here’s the deal: I’m filming My World with Mike Iaconelli. My guest is Martin Truex Jr. We’re going to drive some fast cars and then try to catch a couple of big bass. Martin is the real deal. I’ve known him for some time. We’re friends. In the first part of the show he spends some time teaching me how to drive fast in go-karts indoors. And then, we went to the Airport Speedway in Maryland to do some dirt track driving. I had a blast. I can’t say I beat him on either track. But I did […]
Jerkbait Choices for Right Now!
OK, so the water’s cold and the air is even colder. I don’t care. I want to go fishing. And, I want to catch some bass so I’m going to break out my jerkbait box. They’re one of my go-to baits for right now. But, I don’t carry just one size, shape or type. No, I carry a whole collection of them. The differences between them might be subtle, but they’re important. Let me say it again: Subtle differences are important in cold water. Don’t forget that! I carry at least three different ones for three different sets of conditions. […]
Winter Water Jerkbaits
One of the best winter lures in the whole world is a suspending jerkbait. Now, when I’m talking about winter conditions. I’m talking about water temperatures below 50 degrees all the way down into the 30s. That’s right now in most of our country. I use two models depending on the depth of the water I’m fishing. In water that’s less than 8 feet deep I go with a short bill Rapala Shadow Rap. If the water’s deeper, maybe up to 15 feet, I’ll go with a long bill version of the same lure. They both have an internal, fixed […]