While not as long as jerkbaits, what they lack in
length they make up for in girth and action. Again, stick
with suspending models because like jerkbaits, a stop-
and-go retrieve attracts them like a magnet. When
you stop a suspending lure, it tantalizingly holds right in
front of a following bass’ mouth, making it fresh meat.
The key to triggering strikes with all crankbaits is
to convince a bass that it is an easy meal. This is the
reason that I prefer to crank these lures down deep for
about seven fast cranks on my 5:1 gear ratio baitcaster,
and then suddenly STOP.
After a brief count of two seconds, I resume my
rapid cranking for three or four more cranks and stop
again. I continue this pattern until the lure is right under
the boat. Once it reaches this point, I keep the rod tip
pointed down at the water’s surface and stop the lure
once again. It is amazing how many big bass will slam
your crankbait when it is only 4-feet below your rod tip
next to the boat! Be READY to be freight-trained!
Like jerkbaits, the best angle to cast deep divers
is parallel to the drop-off, but now you are fishing the
deep side. I prefer models such as the Lucky Craft Flat
CB DR, or the Slim Shad D-9. Early in the season it is
important to match the size of baitfish that were able
to survive the winter. These two models are perfect
in size, extremely realistic in appearance, and they
suspend when stopped.
The key to landing big bass caught on a lure with
treble hooks is to use a rod that has a slow action, or
“parabolic” bend. A Lamiglas fiberglass cranking stick
(Excel XL 704 Glass) bends evenly from butt to tip. C a f é Using the same rod designed for plastic worms will
cause crankbait trebles to either get shaken or ripped
out of Mama Pesce’s maw. Keep your reel’s drag
adjusted on the loose side to help prevent your hooks
from ripping out, and to prevent line breakage when
you set the hook. Rod sensitivity for feeling strikes is
not nearly as important as having a parabolic bend that
keeps bass hooked until landed.
For both jerkbaits and deep-diving crankbaits, I prefer
12-pound test Sugoi fluorocarbon line. The thin diameter,
low-stretch line gets your lures deep, and its sinking
quality keeps your line in a straight path from your rod tip
to the suspending lure. This magnifies light bites into hard
jerks, and makes up for the lesser sensitivity of a glass rod.
So now you have the scoop, and the only thing left to do is
to grab your crankbaits and go fishing!