Westernbass Magazine February 2012, Page 26

Westernbass Magazine February 2012, Page 26



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!