Fall bassin’ is typically all about finding baitfish and making an active, high-profile presentation with a lure that reaches out and grabs the attention of fish focused on filling their bellies. It’s usually fast, fun and exciting fishing, but once in a while, the tables turn due to weather, fishing pressure or some other factor and the free-wheeling bite decelerates to nearly a stand-still. That’s when it’s good to have a “Plan B” in your pocket.

Bandit ambassador and competitive angler Josh Jetter experienced just such a lull in the action during a recent Fishers of Men regional tournament on Lake Palestine in his home state of Texas. The solution, he explained, was to slow the retrieve to a crawl to give the bass a good look and plenty of time to make a move. The result was a 4th place finish under tough fishing conditions.

“We found baitfish and active bass back in the coves on secondary points during practice,” he said. “On the first day of the tournament it poured rain, but we caught more than 17 pounds of bass. On Day 2 the wind blew 30 mph and the water turned muddy. Fish activity dropped to near zero, so we had to go to Plan B — what I call ‘wormin’ a crankbait.’”

It involved casting a Bandit 100 crank and reeling it quickly to its 4-foot diving depth, then slowing the retrieve so the lure barely made headway. “It was critical that the point offered some type of cover,” Jetter said. “As soon as the lure touched a rock, I stopped the retrieve and let it rise; that’s when a bass would absolutely smash it. They’d completely engulf the lure.”

Along with probing the points, Jetter and his teammate took the technique to nearby boat docks, with similar success. “You couldn’t throw straight along the dock, though,” he said. “You’d have to cast under the dock at a 45-degree angle, and stop the lure as soon as it hit a piling or crossbeam.”

Team Jetter finished the day with more than 22 pounds of bass, enough to take them into the Top 5 for the competition. Due to limited underwater visibility, Bandit’s high-contrast Splatter Back pattern outperformed others that day, according to the angler, but other shades might perform better under different water conditions.

“It’s critical to pay attention to the fish and let them tell you what they want,” he explained, “but if you’re ever faced with tight-lipped bass during the late season, try wormin’ a crank.”