In the winter there are a couple of go to baits but one of the most over looked is the lipless crankbait.

There are a number of quality baits made by good manufacturers but the most common is the Rattle Trap. These baits are known for loud rattles that bring fish from far away but another thing it does is let the fish know your bait is on the way.

The fish are staying put on structure or drop offs so if the hear it coming the will come to life a little and expect a feed so when the bait comes near they are ready to attack.

Lipless baits have an ability to travel long ways on your cast so you want to throw it as far as possible when you can and drag the bait parallel along the drop offs.

If you are throwing towards the bank then slow it down and let it fall down the edge then start your retrieve in the deeper water.

The key is to keep it as close to the bottom so you have to imagine what the water column looks like and what the lure looks like traveling through it.

If it does hit bottom then bounce it off and keep retrieving. Most of the strikes will be light and try your best not to set the hook even a little.

You want to slowly bring the rod back and let the rod tip work the fish.

I like to throw traps on a bait casting rod with no more than 12 pound Izorline mono.

This allows a little stretch to help the rod and when the fish gets close to the boat I keep my rod tip down to help with jumping.

The lipless crankbait has put some quality fish in the boat for me this time of year so give it a try next time your out.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore guys have been held to the docks all week with the weather so there is not much to talk about. We know the bluefin are there and some yellowfin and it looks like the weather is about to break so let’s hope for the best.

The beach and pier fishing is empty also with huge rains and massive cold fronts coming in one after another.

Locally we had some good crappie fishing going on in the creeks with live shiners in about 5 to 10 feet of water doing their job.

The striper bite was slow only because of the weather but in my experience rockfish love a good cold front. Some of my best days of fishing for them had rain, 40 degrees and blowing wind.

If anyone gets out this coming week shoot me an email at and let me know how you did.

Mike Sweeney is the fishing columnist for The Daily Advance.