A lot of people don’t use an umbrella rig in the prespawn, but maybe they should. To me it’s a great follow-up lure to a lipless crankbait or square-bill when you’re fishing shallow flats or gravel banks.
Generally, I don’t use an umbrella rig in place of a lipless crankbait, unless it’s to target a fish that I might have missed in the first pass. If I go down a bank and don’t get any hits on the crankbait, I’ll just keep on going. But if I go down a bank and catch a fish or two on the lipless crankbait, or miss some, I’ll likely turn around and go back through there with an umbrella rig. I’ve found that you might squeeze another keeper or two off a bank fishing one like that.
In those clean-up situations, I prefer to fish a five-hook umbrella rig with really light jig heads and smaller swimbaits in the 4-inch range. I’ve found that any of the shad colors work best for me, and I’ll swim the rig just under the surface with a steady retrieve.
---- Straight Talk pro JT Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla.