During the 2010 Bassmaster Classic on Alabama's Lay Lake, Elite Series pro Jeff Kriet mined a tiny stretch of Beeswax Creek for three straight days to amass nearly 50 pounds of bass under ultra-tough conditions.
Think your home lake has pressure?
Throughout the competition, no less than seven competitors fished inside the creek where Kriet was set up — that's the very definition of pressure. And while tiny Beeswax Creek held the largest concentration of bass on Lay Lake, Kriet and his fellow competitors were still required to offer them something new virtually every day of the event.
One of the lures Kriet used was a Sebile Flatt Shad, a silent lipless crankbait. "I really like throwing a lipless rattling bait, but there are times when you can get more bites by not having any rattles," he says.
"Most of the time this comes out when you've been beating on fish over and over. If a lot of guys are throwing a rattling bait, I'll switch to a Flat Shad without rattles because it's a little more subtle."
Kriet explains that baits like the Sebile Flatt Shad, even absent of rattles, still offer a tremendous amount of vibration to entice a heavily pressured bass into biting. "Sometimes by switching up to a bait that's more subtle, and with more natural colors, that vibration is the key," he explains.
"On the last day of the 2010 Classic, switching to a silent Sebile helped me a lot. There's no doubt about it."
Kriet suggests that in clearer water, a lipless bait without rattles can be downright deadly. "I really like throwing a bait like that Sebile in those conditions," he says. "You can work it pretty slow, which can be really important in high-pressure situations or if the water's really clean."
While he may prefer the silent lipless bait in clearer water, Kriet points out that there are times when he'll throw it in murkier conditions. "If I'm really needing to slow down, I'll throw it," he says. "Again, that Sebile is going to be throwing off a ton of vibration, so if the fish are really pressured — regardless of the water clarity — I'm not afraid to use it."
In fact, there are times when Kriet will fish through an area with a rattling lipless crankbait and immediately return with a silent lipless bait to pick off bass that may be wary of all the noise. "If I'm throwing a lipless crankbait, I'm generally going to have four or five varieties tied on," he says.
"I'll vary them by size and by the sound they make. Among them will be a silent bait, which shines particularly well if you've made multiple passes through an area and picked up a fish or two each time. That silent bait can pick up the stragglers."
Often enough, it's the "stragglers" that can make all the difference. "In a tournament, particularly a multi-day tournament, you're usually going to be faced with a situation where an ounce or two can make a lot of difference," he says.
"By the time you get to the end of the event and look back, you don't want to be wondering if you left some fish swimming that you could've weighed in if you would've tried something different. That's where a subtle change to a silent lipless bait can really play to your advantage."