When Jameson Lecon lets a Heddon Sonar fall toward the bottom after an upward snap of his rod, he keeps the line tight so he can feel the lure wobble and hit bottom. As soon as he feels it hit, he lifts it again.

“If you don’t feel it, that means a fish ate it!” he said.

A tournament bass angler from Ohio, Lecon turns heavily to Sonars when the water gets cold late in the fall and calls on them again during early spring. Whenever the water is cold, he uses Sonars to catch big smallmouths out on Lake Erie and largemouths in bays and boat basins along the big lake’s edges.

Weighted, metal blade baits that have a very tight wiggle when you lift them and that wobble on the fall, Sonars work well throughout winter in most places, as long as waters remain free of ice and the season remains open. Lecon just doesn’t fish much through mid-winter, instead spending extra time working in order to free more opportunities to fish tournaments later in the year.

Lake Erie is currently wide open in Ohio, though, and Lecon has little doubt that the same strategies that work for him in December would work well now on days when it is reasonable to get out on the big lake.

Lecon fishes a Sonar close to the bottom through the cold months. He commonly casts, letting the bait sink and working it back across the bottom with lifts and drops to search for fish. If he spots fish on a rockpile or other defined structure with his electronics, he’ll instead get directly over the key spot and jig his Sonar straight below him. Either way, he works it repeated lifts and drops.

“I like to have a little slack in the line so that when I lift the rod, it kind of snaps the lure off the bottom,” he said.

A Sonar’s design includes three different holes for a tie-on snap, each of which create a little different lure posture in the water. Lecon use the middle hole for this approach. He typically fishes a Sonar on 15-pound test fluorocarbon, and he stressed the importance of a sensitive rod. His favorite Sonar is a ½-ounce model in Chrome.