Tournament bass angler Rich Lindgren says it’s hard to beat a jerkbait to determine the whereabouts of pre-spawn smallies.
“The Megabass Ito Vision 110 or Soul5 Soul Jerk 115 are good for playing cat and mouse. Like fishing a topwater in summer, fish will reveal themselves even if they don’t annihilate the bait. Smallies will often follow the bait all the way to boat. Then I know I’m in the right area and switch up to the Mojo Rig,” says Lindgren.
To get his mojo working, Lindgren slides a 1/8- to 3/16-ounce tungsten bullet onto 12-pound Sunline fluoro, pegging it 18 inches up with a rubber nail punch bait stop, tying a 3/0 thin wire EWG worm hook on the business end. It’s similar to a Carolina Rig but without the bead knocker and swivel.
“The tungsten adds sensitivity so I can tell bottom composition. I simply drag it with long horizontal sweeps on a medium light baitcasting combo.”
In terms of bait choice, Lindgren typically starts with a Lake Fork Ring Fry, moving up to the Baby Fork Craw and Baby Fork Creature as water temperatures warm. “Ribbed baits hold scent better and move more water. They also glide in a way that just gets bit.”
In ultra-clear waters, Lindgren says he keeps a 7’ spinning rod rigged with 12 pound braid, a 2- to 6-foot fluoro leader and a 1/8- to 3/16 ounce Secret Lures thin wire EWG Tail Shaker football head rigged with an Evolve Kompak Craw.
“It’s my secret weapon for spooky fish. It’s streamlined and mimics a lot of forage, from craws to sculpins to gobies.”
Check out the underwater footage of the Kompak Craw.