When Yamaha Pro Clark Wendlandt fishes shallow water cover, which is just about everywhere he fishes, the veteran tournament angler uses a two-lure approach that fools bass throughout the summer months. It’s a technique that has taken him to 13 Forrest Wood Cup championships and three FLW Angler of the Year titles during his career, so it works on lakes and rivers throughout the country.
“I start fishing shoreline laydowns, stumps, or scattered lily pads and vegetation with a small, square bill crankbait,” explains Wendlandt, “and then follow by pitching or flipping a soft plastic creature bait into the same cover. The crankbait catches the most aggressive, and usually the largest, bass first, and the creature bait attracts others not as anxious to strike.
“It’s always effective to show bass different lures, especially when you know they’re receiving heavy fishing pressure, and these two lures are completely different in their actions and appearance.”
The square bill crankbaits, made by many different manufacturers, are effective because they seldom snag on limbs and brush. In contrast to “regular” crankbaits featuring a line-tie on the bill itself, square bills have the line-tie on the body. This feature, combined with the short, straight-edged bill itself, keeps the lure from diving very deep or very fast. Wendlandt’s favorite depth to use them is between three and five feet.
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