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Using the Yamamoto Kreature

By Russ Bassdozer

As a new lure, new ways to use the Kreature are sure to be discovered. The four-inch Kreature weigh a hefty 7/16 oz without any hook or sinker. It has all the necessary equipment - arm, paddle and skirt action in a compact, heavy package. Bulky for its size, much of the mass is in the multiple appendages. The torso where the hook hides is not excessively thick - so you can get a quick, solid hookset. If bass don't gulp the Yamamoto Kreature out of hunger, they'll surely crush it as something out of the ordinary. It's the ultimate odd critter in the underwater food chain.

A Classic Dropbait

Western pro tournament dominator Gary Dobyns says what has been missing from the Yamamoto product line is some kind of bulky flip bait. Although I flip Senkos and Fat Ikas 80-90% of the time, I would still love to have a bulkier flipbait by Yamamoto, says Dobyns. Now it's here! The Kreature is designed to use as a classic dropbait to flip in bassy cover. Rig it either forward or backward to flip. It's heavy enough to sink with or without a sinker. Simply flip or pitch it, let 'er sink, flap it around and flip it again.

New Pegging Method

It can be tough to peg today's tungsten sinkers. Many tungsten sinkers come with tubing inserts inside to protect the line from rubbing and fraying against the tungsten. To try to peg a tungsten sinker with a toothpick can knock the tubing loose inside. Fortunately, rubber bobber stoppers are a new pegging alternative that works well to help peg tungsten (lead, etc.) sinkers in place. Resembling a colorful grain of rice, bobber stoppers come on a keychain type threader. Thread a bobber stopper on the line, then lace a sinker on the line before knotting a hook to the end. You know have an adjustable pegged sinker rig. The rubber grain won't stay perfectly in place all day. The rubber grain may get knocked up the line as you wrestle your Kreature in and out of snags. When required, two rubber grains can be used to better hold a heavy sinker in place.

Unpegged Illusion

Intentionally positioning the rubber grain from a few inches to a foot up the line produces a desirable life-like illusion. The sinker becomes a second lure. The rig mimics a bulky critter (the Kreature) in hot pursuit of a bitty critter (the sinker) - and nipping its heels every time the Kreature bangs up against the sinker. The sinker constantly slips a few inches or a foot away, bumps the bobber stopper, seemingly evading its pursuer. As you shake or pull the line, the Kreature catches its prey again and nips the sinker again. This resemblance of a critter feeding in front of a bass can trigger its competitive instinct. A bass will barrel out of cover for no other reason than to dominate and disrupt the Kreature's foibled feeding opportunity. Additionally as the dense tungsten sinker slams back into the bulky Kreature body each time the contact causes an abrupt change in the Kreature's demeanor - a thud, a shock you can feel in the line, causing the tails to pulse, the paddles to flare open and closed each time the sinker slams it and the Kreature "bites" the sinker. It's an intense moment to trigger a strike.

An Unconventional Swimbait

Long, limber swimming arms that never stop sculling are the Kreature's main feature when the Kreature is in motion. The arms swim constantly. In more open water areas, the Kreature can be used like a casting swimbait rather than a flipping dropbait. Swim it weightless a foot or two under the surface for smashing strikes from suspended bass.

Also swim it a foot or two above bottom. With it's slow weightless descent, count it down, then swim it slowly above bottom through the tops of underwater weed beds or brush piles.

Deadsticked on Bottom

The two short side paddles spring into action when the Kreature settles to rest on bottom, flopping open and closed at the slightest movement. When deadsticked on bottom, the more buoyant plastic formulation of the welded-on skirt takes over too. Even when the Kreature is perfectly motionless, the twenty-four tentacles still quiver nervously to compel any watching bass to strike.

Skimming the Surface

The Kreature will waddle and gurgle across the surface, attracting explosive strikes. To begin, get the right rod angle with the tip high to get the Kreature on plane on top. Once there, the flat wide legs serve as side stabilizers to eliminate roll and get surface-gripping traction to keep the Kreature fairly stable as it purrs and gurgles, creating a bubbly boisterous vee wake like a buzzbait.

A second topwater tactic, a little harder to do, is bulging beneath but not breaking the surface. Bulging is a bit harder to master since the Kreature doesn't get support and stability from being propped up on its side legs raised half out of the water. The objective for bulging is to keep the Kreature barely under the surface, without rolling, while it leaves a bulging, rippling wake. A bit more eye/hand/rod coordination is necessary to perfect this presentation.

On a Jig

With skirt-to-back on a jig, I tend to experience a lot of leg wrap where the side legs get fouled on the hook bend or barb. Leg wrap can be avoided by putting the Kreature on a jig skirt-to-front. This tends to eliminate most of the leg wrap. With the skirt fronds and flappers under the jig skirt, it adds a lot of bulk. The twin tails and stumpy torso at back mimic a crawfish head and pincers.

Rockhopper, Mojo or Carolina Rig

Another tactic is to rig the Kreature about a foot behind a Rockhopper, Mojo or Carolina sinker. As you skitter, pull and pause the rig across the bottom in a stop-n-go fashion, the sinker appears to be a small food item being stalked by another critter, actually your Kreature. It's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, one that can infuriate a nearby bass to belt the Kreature sharply. You get some nasty reaction bites doing this. Bass just don't tolerate another critter (your Kreature) feeding in front of them. Bass will aggressively belt the Kreature that is attempting to "eat" the sinker. It's Mother Nature's version of a food fight.

Use a Rockhopper, Mojo or Carolina sinker? Both the Rockhopper or original Mojo are more snagless than many other Carolina sinker types. I use the original Mojo sinker to come through weedy environments. I use the Rockhopper in rocks, brush and weedless environments. Even in open environments, I tend to use the Rockhopper. Reason is when reeling it up off bottom, the Rockhopper tends to sway side-to-side on the line. I equate this sinker action to what a diving bill does on a crankbait. Although the bait trailing behind the sinker does not sway, the Rockhopper itself paddles from side to side. To me, I fancy this generates a wobbling vibration or cadence of water displacement that bass can sense emanating from the sinker. So I think the Rockhopper's paddling on the line has some attractive properties, thus the reason I use it even over smooth open bottom.

I rig either the Rockhopper or the original Mojo the same as the venerable Carolina rig. I lace the sinker loose on the main line, followed by a bead, a swivel, a length of leader line and hook. To me, there are no finer than SPRO Power Swivels. They are strong swivels despite their tiny appearance. A standard rigging size of SPRO Power Swivel is incredibly 130 lb. test.

I tend to rig religiously with a bead because:

  1. It makes small clicking noises when the sinker strikes the bead, and
  2. bait-sized small-fries are always pecking at the bead like barnyard hens on a June bug.

These small bead peckers attract larger predators like bass over to the scene. As the bead peckers scurry to exit stage right, your Kreature is the last man left standing on the dance floor to attract the interest or ire of a larger fish.

I favor plastic beads, which have less chance than glass to chip and cut the line. Some say glass makes a louder click than plastic. I find the plastic clicks more than loud enough for me and my bass, and plastic has more vibrant colors. There are also plastic hollow beads with sand or buckshot in them. I like the sound of that too. I can't swear it helps, but I do swear it doesn't hamper the fish-attracting confidence such beads can give me.

The Well-Anointed Kreature

Speaking of confidence, I have it in MegaStrike attractant. I don't put MegaStrike on individual baits. I squeeze a big glop into an entire bag of Kreatures, then smush it around to cover them all. This way, I put MegaStrike on once per bag, not each and every time I put on a new bait. If I fish with a Kreature long enough that I lose confidence, I will re-apply MegaStrike to the bait and to the entire rig - hook, line, swivel, bead, sinker.

The Hawaii Rig

Who knows why rigging methods are named after states? Texas, Carolina, Florida. It is a fine American bass fishing tradition. So I have dubbed what I do with a heavy tackle dropshot rigging as the Hawaii rig since the original components I deployed both have Hawaiian-sounding names:

  1. a hula grub, until now has been the only lure I've used on a heavy tackle dropshot or Hawaii rig. Reason is line twist, the bane of dropshotting, will twist the line into nasty knotted coils with any other bait type I've tried except for the hula grub. Now, the Kreature is another relatively twistless lure to use on a Hawaii rig.
  2. a pineapple sinker, made by Mojo. It is an elongated cylindrical snagless dropshot sinker shape that slips through snags that would eat most other sinker shapes. On its crown, the pineapple sinker sprouts a grooved swivel that clips on the line without a knot. I also use the Mojo Drop Shot Dream sinker, which is the same shape, except in sizes up to a full ounce. The line clip is an internal wire that pulls inside the Drop Shot Dream sinker.

The rod and line I favor for the Hawaii rig are stout. A medium/heavy or heavy action stick and 16 lb gray Sugoi fluorocarbon line. It's more the strength of a Carolina rigging rod. It is not your typical light line dropshot set-up. I use a 4/0 offset shank hook tied dropshot style to Texas-rig the Kreature a foot or two above the dropshot sinker.

Light Line Dropshot Rig

Most other ways you rig (weightless, Carolina, Texas, a jig), there is only one direction of pull - from ahead of the Kreature. The dropshot is the only rig that pulls the Kreature from two directions - ahead (rod, reel, line) and behind (sinker below). This seesaw effect generates more flexure in the tentacles, more "start and stop" action in the paddles and swimming legs than most other ways to rig the Kreature.

As big and bulky as it is, the Kreature excels on light six pound test dropshot spinning rods. Relatively twistless when rigged carefully straight, I simply impale a Kreature about four rib-rings back, in the chin and out the top with a 1/0 Gamakatsu Splitshot/Dropshot hook. When away from line-popping cover, this light-line approach to using a big bulky "flipbait" has been as or more effective as any other way I've tried using the Kreature.

These are some of the ways the Kreature has been deadly for me and can be for you. As a new lure, exciting new ways to use the Kreature are sure to be discovered.

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