Prespawn Bass Damiki Rig and Cranking 1-2 Punch

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Adaptability is essential to bass fishing success, with the late winter and spring prespawn period being a case in point to remain tactically flexible. Joey Cifuentes puts this on display as he targets both late winter and early prespawn bass set up in different locations. He comes in hoping for a lights-out cranking bite but soon realizes that he needs to pivot between “scoping” deeper suspended bass using a jig and plastic and cranking the bank for more bass more progressed in the spawning cycle.  

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Cifuentes starts his day with the intention of using crankbait. He explains how to find the best rocky banks, favoring steeper ones adjacent to channel swings and with a rocky bottom. These spots are ideal during early spring, attracting baitfish and crawfish, which in turn attract prespawn bass. Cifuentes walks us through the anatomy of a cast while stressing the importance of keeping your crankbait in constant contact with the bottom. A medium-power casting setup spooled with a 10-pound fluorocarbon is ideal for hitting the max running depth.


As the day progresses, Cifuentes turns to forward-facing sonar (FFS) to identify suspended fish offshore. He notes the importance of always keeping an eye open for deeper suspended bass during the late winter-to-spring transition. He moves out deeper to target early prespawners suspended around timber. The Damiki rig takes center stage with these fish, allowing Cifuentes to get an FFS-optimized bait in their face regardless of depth. 


Cifuentes demonstrates the effectiveness of the Damiki rig for targeting suspended spotted bass around baitfish and timber. His approach involves pitching his jig out and allowing it to drop directly above the fish. With the aid of his LiveScope, he manipulates the bait until he triggers the bite. His preferred rod setup includes a medium-power, fast-action rod equipped with a 30-size spinning reel and a combination of mainline braid with a fluorocarbon leader. He highlights the importance of matching the bait to the fish’s natural prey, favoring the translucent, shad-colored Berkley PowerBait Power Switch in the clear water conditions.


The day’s success highlights the critical role of adaptability in fishing, especially during the prespawn period. Cifuentes illustrates how changing from shallow to deep water tactics, and vice versa, can significantly improve the chances of a successful catch. Whether using a crankbait in the shallows or a Damiki rig in deeper areas, adapting to the bass’s behavior and environment is key to success.

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