The late winter and early spring is a challenging time to find bass on the move between wintering and spawning areas. Mike “Ike” Iaconelli explains why a lipless crankbait is among the best baits for finding these nomadic transitional fish and shares several pointers for fishing the bait from retrieves, a key bait modification, and the rod setup to get optimal performance in shallow water.
- Rapala Rippin’ Rap
- VMC Hybrid Bladed Treble
- Abu Garcia Ike Delay Series Casting Rod, 7’6″ Medium
- Abu Garcia REVO IKE Casting Reel, 8.0:1
- Berkley Sensation Profesional Grade Monofilament, 14lb
- Power Pole Blade
- Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE with Active Imaging 3-in-1 Chartplotter
According to Iaconelli, lipless crankbaits shine when water temps are in the low- to mid-50’s. The power of the bait lies in its ability to cover water fast and be fished in different ways. Ike triggers bites by varying his retrieves — he shares his top 2 retrieves depending on the situation.
When it comes to modifications, Ike stresses the power of adding a bladed treble hook — the added flash and vibration is an additional trigger that adds up to extra bites over a day. Lastly, he explains the importance of using a moderate action rod paired with a high-speed reel and old school monofilament line for fishing fast and keeping the bait off the bottom when fishing shallow flats.