whether it’s in really shallow waters with lots of cover or deep rocky open waters.
The fish are constantly moving. They move up early to feed and as the day warms up, they either go deep or find cover to keep cool. As they move up and down in the water column, so does the depth that you want to target. Keep that in mind when picking a diving depth for your crankbait and choose one that can get to the targeted depth of the fish.
SHALLOW – TO 5-FEET
Hands down, the most effective crankbait for fishing in water 0- to 5-feet is the square bill. I’m always looking for cover when I’m throwing a square bill. I want that bait to deflect off as much cover as possible, because it triggers a bass’ natural instinct to strike. A lot of people see the treble hooks on a bait and automatically think they are going to get snagged, if they throw it around trees, stumps, or bushes; but, that’s not necessarily the case. Today’s technology allows you to throw this bait in heavy cover with ease.
One of my favorite squarebill on the market is the Molix SB Crank 55, This bait shines in heavier cover and it’s specifically designed to hunt fish. During the retrieve, the bait will track and then jump off course to the left or right and then quickly get back on track. This absolutely drives the fish insane. The erratic movements mimic a wounded bait fish or a crawfish trying to flee perfectly.
The bait can be burned to keep it high in the water column, or you can fish it slow and get it deeper, as you try to deflect off anything in its path.
I like to throw my square bills on a 7’3”, medium, to medium-heavy 13 Fishing Fate Black Casting Rod with a Concept A 7.3.1 Reel, spooled with 10-pound mono or fluorocarbon line, depending on lake conditions and cover.
If you’re not getting bit shallow, try fishing a little deeper, which takes us to our next crankbait.
MEDIUM – TO 10-FEET
Diving down to about 10’ deep, you’ll need the medium-diving crankbait. This style of crankbait is designed with a more traditional style lip/bill and is a great search bait at this depth.
Again, these baits are designed to deflect off cover, so keep an eye on your electronics and side imagining. When you see a cluster of rock, or trees under water, don’t be afraid to throw this bait right at it.
One of the best medium-diving crankbaits on the market now is the IMA Pinjack 200 and the Molix Sculpo. Both baits really shine in cover and in open water. It is important to always get the bait to make contact with the bottom for as long as you can, so that you force that bass to strike.
My preferred setup is a 13 Fishing 7’3”, moderate- action cranking rod, paired with a Concept A 6.6.1 Reel and spooled with 10- to 12-pound mono or fluorocarbon.