Forward facing sonar has undoubtably taken over the world of bass fishing. This new technology allows anglers to target fish that would otherwise go unnoticed. While technology has been rapidly advancing, our lures have largely stayed the same. Berkley has set out to alleviate this issue by creating a whole new line of forward facing sonar optimized baits. One of the newest and most talked about baits from this lineup is the Berkley KREJ 100. This is an entirely new style of lure, that is sure to catch fish throughout the entire season.
FFS OPTIMZED BAITS
Berkley has really developed their new forward facing sonar optimized baits with the goal of giving anglers the best tools possible to catch more fish. I think it’s a fair statement that forward facing sonar has changed the way we approach fisheries, and its taught us so much about the fish that we never knew existed. Using these new baits from Berkley, you can see how fish react to your bait in real time, making adjustments within the same cast.
Berkley has designed the Krej, Finisher and Power Switch all to be used in conjunction with forward facing sonar. These baits are designed to be thrown at specific fish, allowing you to adjust your retrieve based on their reaction. All three of these options come equipped with a fast sink rate, making them ideal for targeting both deep and shallow suspended fish. The Krej is arguably the most revolutionary bait from the lineup, creating a whole new category of lure.
WHAT IS THE KREJ
The KREJ is simply jerk spelled backwards, and that’s exactly what it is. It has an upturned bill that allows you to twitch the bait and work it upwards in the water column. This allows you to quickly draw fish to the surface, often leading to some intense blowups. The Berkley Krej has an incredible side to side shimmy on the fall, and actually slides backwards when given slack. This allows the bait to fall back towards the fish, giving them a presentation they’re not used to seeing.
This bait is 4 inches in length and comes in a variety of different color options. The Berkley Krej weighs right at 1/2 an ounce allowing for accurate casts even in windy conditions. This bait also has a fast sink rate, allowing your bait to quickly reach suspended fish. This will be a major player nation wide and one that should do exceedingly well on herring fisheries. While this bait may resemble a jerkbait, its upturned bill allows you to fish this bait in completely different ways.
HOW TO FISH THE KREJ
I recently had the pleasure of talking with my good friend and Elite Series Rookie Logan Parks about the new Berkley Krej. I was aware he had some experience with the bait, and I wanted to get his take on some productive methods for fishing this new style of lure. Logans used this bait on a variety of spotted bass fisheries across the South, and he shared a few sneaky Krejing tips for getting fish to constantly commit.
Logan explained, “There’s so many ways to fish this bait and that’s why I like it so much. I can use forward facing sonar to let the fish tell me how they want the bait worked, learning from how they react to my different presentations. I can work this bait over structure and draw fish out, then I can pause it and slide the bait backwards right into their face. The bait has incredible rolling action when just straight reeled that seems to trigger bass to strike as well. It can even be reeled along the surface like a dying minnow creating violent topwater strikes.
I think this bait will be absolutely killer on herring fisheries and can’t wait to use it on Murray in the Elite Event later this year. I also look forward to seeing all the different ways everyone will use this bait now that its available to the public. With the increasing roll electronics are playing in tournament fishing, I think this bait will be a major player throughout the upcoming tournament season.”
EXPERIENCE FISHING THE KREJ
Fishing the Krej using forward facing sonar is both a fun and productive way to target bass all over the country. Our local river systems in Auburn, Alabama are covered in spotted bass, creating the prefect location to test out the new Krej. Throughout the winter spotted bass tend to suspend offshore in search of bait. Targeting these fish using the Krej is an effective way to catch these nomadic bass. Logan recently shared his experience testing out the Krej on one of our local river systems.
Logan stated, “This was my first time fishing with the Krej so I didn’t know what to expect. After firing it out at several fish suspended on bait, I noticed they wouldn’t commit to my twitching presentation. Seeing the fish following my bait to the boat but not biting, I quickly realized I needed to change my technique. I then started to find fish on forward facing sonar, casting the Krej past them, and slowly reel it by them. As the fish closed in on the bait, I would slightly increase my retrieve. Right when it neared the surface, the fish would explode on my bait taking it and itself out of the water. It was one of the most epic bites I’ve had all year, and at this point I knew we were on to something.
Over the next few hours of fishing we quickly put together a solid limit of spotted bass, catching a few in the 4 pound class. That was when I found a bass about 20 feet deep on forward facing sonar. All the fish prior we had been catching were up high swimming in 15 feet or less. I lined up my sonar and made the perfect cast landing the bait just out in front of the fish. As I watched my bait sink down and slide backwards to him, he immediately saw it and completely knocked slack in my line. This fish ate due to the side to side action and backwards falling motion. This helped us complete the puzzle for that day and we ended with a few more nice spotted bass in the 3 1/2-pound range.”
Fishing the Krej doesn’t require any special setup. A traditional jerkbait setup with anything from 8 to 12-pound line will work perfect for the majority of applications. For a rod, I prefer a 7-foot, medium action with a parabolic tip. A great choice for this technique is the Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod. For a reel, I prefer something light with a high gear ratio. This allows for a quick retrieval speed and maximum comfort when fishing this bait for extended periods of time. A great reel for this application is the Abu Garcia Zenon X Casting Reel.
The Berkley Krej is a completely new style of lure that’s sure to catch giant bass all over the country. Berkley was able to create a lure optimized for forward facing sonar thanks to its unique fall and action. If you’re looking to put more fish in the boat this year using forward facing sonar, be sure to check out the new Krej 100 and the rest of the forward facing sonar lineup from Berkley.