Monthly Archives: September 2013

Bass Fishing Basics 101 – Fishing Line Types

There are several types of fishing line in the market place and in this article I’ll try to explain the different kinds and their uses in your fishing. First we need to determine a few things that will help in your choice of line types. So let’s get started.

  • What type reel will you be using?
  • If you will be using a bait casting reel then you can use all three type lines listed below. But each line will have its place in the technique of fishing and lure type you’ll be using.
  • How important is casting distance?
  • If casting distance is important to keep from spooking fish then you will need a smaller diameter line for less wind resistance to get those longer casts.
  • How important is line visibility to you and the fish?
  • Do you need to see the line for light fish bites or will be you be fishing extremely clear water?
  • Do you need a line that floats, sinks or suspends?
  • Will you be fishing deep diving crankbaits, or using suspending jerkbaits or how about floating Topwater lures?
  • Is sensitivity important to you?
  • Do you need the extra sensitivity while fishing finesse lures like small jigs or drop-shotting?
  • How much shock resistance do you need in your line?
  • When you are using fishing techniques like the Carolina Rig or the Alabama Rig?
  • Will you be fishing where abrasions, nicks and scrapes are a problem?
  • Will you be fishing around rip-rap rocks, zebra mussels or shell-beds?

Strength per diameter: How strong is the line at a given diameter?
Knot Strength: What strength is the line at the knot.
Abrasion Resistant: How your line holds up to nicks and scrapes.
Sensitivity: How you feel bites and what’s on the bottom through your rod and line.
Shock Resistant: How much strength your line has when you set the hook on a fish.

Line Colors:

Clear: Clear line is transparent in clear water and is best when fishing for finicky fish.
Green: The perfect color for blending in with the underwater environment, like weeds or grass filled lakes and during algae blooms.
Clear-Blue: Has a light blue florescent color to it above the water and makes it easier to see than clear line. This line is used for night fishing when the fisherman uses a black-light to be able to see his line.
Hi-Vis Yellow or Solar Green: The best when you need a high visible line, also glows at night under a black-light.

Monofilament Lines

monoline

Monofilament lines are the most common and cheapest of all the types of fishing lines on the market. More reels are spooled with this type line that the other two lines combined. If you buy a pre-spooled rod and reel combo or just a reel pre-spooled with line then it will be monofilament.

Pros and Cons of Monofilament Lines

• Pro: Cheap less expensive than the other line types
• Pro: Excellent line for most fishing conditions and for all reel types
• Pro: Monofilament stretches for good shock absorption
• Pro: Knots are strong and easy to tie
• Pro: Absorbs water which relaxes the line

• Con: You need to re-spool often with monofilament lines

I personally use monofilament for most of my fishing techniques. When I’m fishing crankbaits I use 10 pound monofilament on my slow speed bait casting reels. I also use this line for Shaky-heads, tubes and most top-water lures like Pop-R’s and Zara Spook type lures.

Fluorocarbon Lines

floroline

This type line is the most sensitive and the less visible to both you the fisherman and the fish.

It is virtually invisible underwater.
Sinks, and allows you to get your lures deeper and less slack in the line.
No water absorption which allows it to maintain it’s strength.
More sensitive to feel more bites and for finesse fishing lures.
Make sure to wet knots to keep from burning or friction damage to the line.

Braids and Super-lines

braidline

Up to 4 times stronger than monofilaments
Extremely strong for fishing heavy cover
Zero stretch for maximum sensitivity
Thinner diameter for longer casts and maximum line capacity
Longest lasting line

Where and When to Use

This is the line you want to use when fishing around any type of grass such as hydrilla, milfoils, coontail or lily-pads for example. The strong thin line will slice through a lot of these weed types allowing you to get your lure and fish out of this heavy cover. When flipping heavy cover you can haul out those huge bass that at buried down in the heavy cover without fear of breaking your line.

Some types of other lures I like to use braid with are lures such as a buzzbait, walking lures like the Zara Spook and Lucky Craft Sammy for example. Of course you want to use braid when fishing a Topwater frog and swimming frogs like Zoom’s Horny Toad or Stan Sloan’s Rabbit frogs.

Another setup I like to use braid with are bottom bumping lures such as a ½ to ¾ ounce football jig, a regular jig, a Carolina Rig and a 10” to 14” power worms. In this case I use a leader made from monofilament instead of a leader made from fluorocarbon. I do this because I want a little stretch in my line when I set the hook on these lures. If you use a titanium weight instead of lead you will have the ultimate feel or sensitivity for this setup. I unite these two types of lines with a double uni-knot for maximum strength.

Choosing the Right Line

Ultra-Light – Panfish (bluegill, crappie, etc)
Mono – 2 to 6 pound test.
Fluocarbon – 2 to 6 pound test.
Braid – 4 to 15 pound test.

Dropshotting – Smallmouth and Largemouth
Mono – 4 to 8 pound test
Fluorocarbon – 4 to 8 pound test

Jigs and Worms – Medium Weight Lines
Mono – 12 to 17 pound test
Fluorocarbon – 14 to 20 pound test
Braid – 15 to 30 pound test

Flipping and Pitching – Heavy Weight lines

Mono – 20 to 30 pound test
Braid – 20 to 65 pound test

Carolina Rig – Heavy Weight lines
MonoMain line – 17 to 25 pound test – Leader – 14 to 20 pound test
FlurocarbonMain line – 20 to 30 pound test – Leader – 15 to 20 pound test
BraidMain line – 30 pound test – Leader (Mono) – 14 to 20 pound test

I hope this has helped you understand fishing lines and their places in our tool box of tools we use in bass fishing. There are more lines out there that are not covered (Nano, lead-core, fly-lines, etc) but you should now get the ideal of what type lines and the types of lines to use in your fishing trips.

Tight lines……

Humminbird Side Image – School of Stripe

I had a chance to hit the lake Tuesday for a day of fishing. I was bass fishing on Pickwick lake and my fishing buddy and I caught around 25 bass. While we were fishing a school of Stripe came up and started chasing schools of bait fish. When I idled over to where they were this is the view from my Humminbird 1158C Down Image unit. This school of stripe was massive and as you can see from the following photos they were biting. We caught about 50 stripe in a very short time. Most of the stripe were caught on a Krocodile Spoon in 1/4 ounce and a multi-wire umbrella rig.

stripe_school

What a massive school of feeding Stripe looks like on my Down Image. As you can tell from the photo above the Stripe are chasing bait-fish in this case (Shad).

Stripe_non

What a school of non-feeding Stripe looks like on my Down Image. There are no schools of bait-fish (Shad) around this school of Stripe.

stripe_school1

This is the size of the fish were were both looking at on the Down Image and were catching.

stripe_school2

How about catching up to three fish at a time from the school!

Boat Security

Ever had your boat broken into while on an away from home fishing trip? If so then for around $20.00 you can eliminate this from happening again. Go to Harbor Freight or online to their online store and get a “Driveway Alert System” part#93068. I just picked up two at the local store for$17.99 each. this unit comes in two parts and runs on one 9 volt and three “C” size batteries.

Place the motion sensor in your boat under the cover in the floor of your boat and carry the receiver into your house or motel room. If anyone gets into your boat the sensor will send the signal to the receiver in your room and you will know there is someone in or near your boat.

This investment of around $20 could save you thousands in stolen tackle from your boat without one. I’ve seen one designed for boats that sell around $100 but this one will do the same thing.

security

Bass Fishing Basics 101 – Get To The Point

Fishing Points

In this article I’ll try to explain how to fish a favorite bass holding structure called points. There are three types of points I’ll cover in this article and they are, Main Lake Points, Secondary Points, and Ridge or Bar Points. So let’s get started on what these points are and how to fish them. Points are good structures because they allow the fish a quick access to safety with the sudden depth change into deep water.

Point Types:

Main Lake Points are points or pieces of land that jut out into the body of water. Some of these can run out a long distance into the lake before dropping off into deep water or the main channel. These are usually the best locations to find fish for most of the fishing season especially during the cold water periods of winter. Some can also be shallow and run a long way out into the lake before dropping off. Some can be covered with all different types of breaks or cover such as rocks, gravel, brush, trees, weeds or shellbeds. The better ones will have some sort of hard breaks such as rock or wood. A lot of fishermen add breaks to these points in the way of brush tops or some other type of man made structure. If there is some sort of breaks or man-made breaks (brush-tops, rock piles, piers pilings, etc.) then this type point will be much better.

Places to find these points are at the mouths of coves or feeder creeks. The better points are the ones that drop off fast into the creek channel or main lake channel.

MainLakePt

If you’ll notice in this image the depth lines run very close together, this indicates that the points drops off very fast into deep water. If there was some sort of man-made break on this point it would most likely hold fish almost all year long.

There are two ways to fish this point, first you could place your boat out in the deep water and make a cast up onto the point. By doing this you have a less likely chance of spooking the fish with your boat. But the drawback of casting up onto the point you will have less control with your lure. By working the lure out into deeper water with each movement of the rod or the reel you will lose contact with the lure. About the only way to stay in contact with the lure is to be a line watcher and let your line go slack as it hits the bottom. Now if you were throwing a deep diving crankbait you would not be able to keep the lure digging into the bottom as the lure goes into the deeper water and you would be wasting about your cast.

The second way to fish this point is to place your boat up on the point in shallow water very close to the bank and make your casts out into the deep end of the point and work your lure up the point. By doing this you can keep the lure in contact with the bottom all the way back to the boat. You could even cast a deep diving crankbait out that would dive to the depth of the point and it would dig into the bottom all the way to the point. In most cases this is how I like to fish main lake points. You can also fan cast the point to cover all angles and sides of the point. This gives you total control of your lure at all times.

Secondary Points

Secondary points are those located inside of creeks and coves, these point types are holding places for bass as they move back and forth from the main lake points to the back of the creeks and coves. These movements are usually in the early part of the year during the pre-spawn period and then again in the fall migration of shad to the backs of creeks.

These points will not be as long and are shallower than main lake points. These points are again always better if there is some sort of cover on them. You again fish these structures the same as the main lake point either casting into the shallow water or setting in close and casting out into the deeper ends of the points.

secondaryPts

Bar or Hump Points

These points run for long distances and drop off into the river channel underwater. These points are usually flat on top and have breaks such as stumps, tree tops and rocks or boulders. If you can find one that has shells on them then this could be great spots for both smallmouth and largemouth bass if both species exist in your lake. The upstream point will usually be the best especially if there is current running which pushes bait-bait up onto the point.

Bar Points

You again fish these structures the same as other type points either casting into the shallow water or setting in close and casting out into the deeper ends of the points. I prefer to either get up on top or cast out into the deeper water or to anchor off the sides and cast up towards the head of the points.

How Fish Setup on Points

Fish movements on points are usually related to two things, feeding on bait-fish of preparing for or after the spawn. During the colder parts of the year the bass will relate to the main lake points or the bar points as their winter homes or sanitary. During this time of the year everything slows down since the water temperature is cold. As the water temperature starts to increase the bass move up to the main lake points as staging areas. Once the temperature gets into the middle to upper fifties things kick into gear and more and more fish start to move up. As the water moves to the upper fifties and lower sixties the bass will migrate to the secondary points and stage there on their way to the back of the pockets, coves and creek flats to spawn.

Note: Points on the north side of the lake are better during the early part of the year since the sun will warm up faster than the southern exposed points or side of the lake.

Then as the spawn winds down they will reverse this movement and do the opposite stopping at the secondary points and then finally to the main lake points. After the spawn the bass fishing becomes very slow as the bass will usually move off the ends of the main lake points and suspend to recuperate from the spawning action. This usually lasts about two to three weeks. Then they will spend most of the rest of the year on the main lake points or move out to the bar points with some movements to the secondary points during ideal conditions to feed.

How to Fish Points

Usually early in the morning and late in the afternoon are the best times to fish points but can be good anytime bait fish are present. To check out good points find the ones that runs out to the main lake channel and drops off into deep water. You can look at a good lake map to find these pretty easy. Next idle your boat over the points from several different angles checking for cover or breaks such as stumps, brush piles, rocks or boulders, etc. With today’s new electronics like down imaging and side imaging things are much easier to check out the points.

Lures for points:

During the winter or cold water season use lures such as jigs, spoons, jerk-baits or The Alabama Rig® lure weights in jigs are 3/8 ounce up to ½ ounce. As the water warms up or during the middle part of the day the fish may move upon the points and crankbaits with a wide wobble can be good. Swimbaits fished slowly on a ½ to ¾ ounce lead-heads can be deadly during this time of the year.

During the hotter parts of the year use lures such as deep diving crankbaits like the Norman DD22, Spro Little John or Strike Kings 10XD or 6XD models. Also football jigs in weights up to ¾ ounce as well as 10 to 14” plastic worms. The Carolina rig becomes a very good lure this time of the year. Other lures to try can be drop-shotting, shaky heads and big casting spoons.

So there you go, I hope this short article helps you understanding points and how to fish them.

Tight lines……..

Livewell Care of Fish

Here’s is some good information on how to keep your fish alive during the hot summer months.

Hot Water Livewell Management

The first number is the surface water temperature and the second list of numbers are the desired live well temperatures.

75* – 75*
77* – 76*
79* – 77*
81* – 78*
83* – 79*
85* – 80*
87* – 81*
89* – 82*
91* – 83*
93* – 84*
95* – 85*
97* – 86*

Run recirculation pump full time! If more than 10 lbs. of fish in Livewell change at lkeast ½ of water at least once.
Carry 4 to 5 – ½ gallon jugs of ice to cool down Livewell.
Fill Livewell early and add ½ gallon of ice to water before adding any fish. Tray to stay within 1* to 2* of desired Livewell temperature. You can also add 1/3 cup of salt to every 10 gallons of water to help reduce stress.

Basic Bass Fishing 101 – The Worm

Bass Basics 101 – Worm Fishing

In this article I’ll try to explain a few facts about how to fish plastic worms. There are a ton of different worm types on the market. There are lengths from 4” to 14” on the market as well as straight tail, paddle tail and U-shaped worms. There are stick worms (Senko’s), finesse (Zoom Trick Worms), Drop-shot worms (Robo) and a lot more out there.

When the beginning angler comes into the sporting goods retailer I worm for they are usually at a lost as to what to buy. I’ll start off with a simple setup that I’d start with and will be the 7” U-shaped or curly-tail worm rig. Most anglers will call this setup the Texas Rig worm. As always we will start out stocking our tool box (tackle box) with the items we will need to fish the Texas Rig worm.

Tools:

The Rod: I would suggest that you use a 6’ 6” to 7’ length rod for your worm fishing. Now if you are going to be floating or wading small creeks for example then you might want to use a 6’ length rod instead. The action and power of the rod should be a medium heavy with a slow tip. This rod combination will allow you to set the hook with out the rod bending too much and allow for good hook sets. Below is a good choice for a worm rod.

66rod

 

Gander Mountain – Guide Series Casting Rod

Key Features

  • 45 million modulus graphite
  • IM8 graphite blank construction
  • One Piece Rod
  • Fuji ECS/IPS Reel Seats
  • Fuji Concept Aluminum Oxide Guides

The Reel: I this case the reel gear ratio isn’t as critical as it would be in other fishing applications. A reel with a gear ratio of 6.4:1 for example will be fine as would a reel with a gear ratio of anywhere from 5.4:1 to 7.1:1. I prefer a ratio of 6.4:1 with the reel being a Shimano Currado 200G6 reel but any brand would be fine. After all the rell in this type of fishing is only used to make the cast and then to hold the line as we slowly worm the worm back in after the cast.

Curado

The Line: Depending on the type of breaks we will be fishing (stumps, trees, brush-tops, weeds, etc.) we need to choose the right size line poundage or breaking strength. With this size worm I would in most cases use either 12 to 14 pound test lines. There are a lot of types of line on the market from standard monofilament lines to the higher priced performance lines as fluorocarbon and braided lines. I use standard monofilament most of the time. This type line is not as sensitive as the others but they are also not as expensive. I’d suggest that you use a line such as Berkley’s XT or XL lines or Stren monofilament. Let’s spool up our reel with 12 pound test for this article.

Berkley XL Line

So far we have selected a rod that is 6’6” in medium heavy action, a 6.4:1 ration reel and spooled with 12 pound monofilament line.

Hooks, Weights and Worms

hook_rb hook_sprt

Now let’s choose our other tools we need for worm fishing. First we will need a hook that matches the length and worm we will be using (Zoom’s U-Tail or Berkly’s 7” Power Worm). The hook style I suggest is a standard 2/0 size medium wire diameter in the J-Style or standard worm hook. I prefer the round-bend instead of the Sproat style hook.

As you can see the rear of the hook has a larger, deeper bend to it that I think gives me better hook sets while fishing worms. The hook I prefer is the Gamakatsu Offset Shank Round Bend in 2/0 size number 54412.

gamo_hook

Worm Weights

The next thing we need for our setup is a series of worm weights. On the market place there are lead, brass, tungsten, painted and unpainted worm weights. We are going to start off with the cheapest and one used by most anglers which is an unpainted lead weight. If you are looking for more sensitivity then you want to go to a metal which is more dense (harder) than a lead weight. The tungsten weight will cost two to four times more than the lead but for some aspects is worth the extra expense. You will need different weights for different applications so I’d suggest that you get sizes from 1/6 up to ½ ounce weights.

lead tungsten

Now that we have all our tools for worm fishing let’s put it all together so we can get to catching fish with the setup. We are first going to putting our rod reel and line together so let’s match them together. We have chosen a 6’6” medium action rod and a good quality bait-casting rod for this article. You can use a spinning rod setup just as easy as the bait-casting and I do use them for lighter or more finesse worm fishing applications. (I’ll try and do an article later on this setup.)

Let’s spool up with 12 pound monofilament line on the reel and first thing we do is slip on the worm weight onto the line. Now we will tie on our 2/0 size round bend hook. I suggest that you learn to tie the Double Improved Clinch knot for tying on the hook.

doubleknot

Now let’s rig the worm for fishing, we will be using the Texas Rig for our article. Below is an image of how to rig the worm using the Texas Rig. When rigging the worm on the hook try to get the worm as straight as possible in the hook, by doing this the worm will not twist the line as you retrieve it back in for the next casts. Now that we have the setup for worm fishing now let’s go use it to catch some bass.

texasrig

How to Fish Worms

There are a lot of ways to fish worms and unlimited places to fish them around different types of structure and cover or breaks. All these will depend if you will be standing on the shoreline, wading a small creek or fishing from a boat. If you are on a shore line then I would be looking for anything that is lying in the water that you can see such as tree limbs, rock piles, pier posts, weeds etc..

Make a cast a little past the cover let’s assume it will be a tree limb lying in the water. Let the worm go all the way to the bottom and let your line go completely slack so that there is a slight bow in the line. Before moving the worm allows the worm to set there on the bottom for about 5 seconds or so. What we are looking for here is to see if a fish has taken or bitten the worm on the fall. If the line does starts to get tight then we want to drop our rod about a foot and jerk the rod back straight upwards pretty hard. This will drive the hook point into the fish’s mouth. If the line does not get tight then let’s start our retrieve of the worm. Now slowly raise the rod tip so that we can move the worm forward about 6 to 10 inches do not use the reel just the rod. Let the worm fall back to the bottom  and watch the slack line again for a bite. Keep doing this until we fish the worm completely over the tree limb. When we get to the limb try to ease the worm slowly over the limb and let it fall straight down if you can you can drop the rod tip towards the tree limb as it comes over it to let it fall straight down. If you feel a tap, a tap tap, a tug or feel the worm move off then drop the rod a foot or so and jerk hard to set the hook. If you do not get a bite on that cast then make a couple more cast to a different part of the tree limb, pier, weeds, etc.

Conclusion

Worm fishing to me is one of the most rewarding types of fishing that I like to do. It does take a little skill to learn to feel the different types of bites. Some of the bites will feel like you picked a leaf on the hook for example. But once you catch a few fish on the worm you will start to get the feel for the worm fishing technique. Good luck and I hope yopulearned a little about how to setup and fish the worm.

Tight lines…….

Product Review – Storms Live Kickin’ Shad

I had a chance to try out Storms Live Kickin’ Shad this morning. I have been around these lures for over a year now selling them at a local box store sporting goods outlet. I had not bought one of these lures since I had thought of them as cheap gimmick baits. I had actually bought this lure by mistake while buying some other Storm lures to try out on The Alabama Rig (R). While on the lake fishing I saw the Kickin’ Shad in the bag and thought I’d throw it to see if it worked was a odd ball lure. I was surprised at the action this little lure has. The line tie is on the top of the head which I assumed would cause the lure to run nose down which it does but not no where near as bad as I thought it would. The lure body is a very soft plastic and has a great swimming action. I did not catch any fish on it as I was not fishing an area where this lure should work. You can bet that I’ll be buying a few more of these lures. the Kickin’ Shad comes in 14 colors and in sizes from 3″ to 6″ The lure comes with one VMC treble hook. I’d recommend that you add a split ring to the line tie to give the lure a little more action. The Kickin’ Shad I tested was the 4″ model that weighted 1/2 oz.

kickinshad

On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the best I’d give this lure 8 stars.

  • Runs straight and true.
  • Casts easy.
  • Great Colors.
  • Paint very durable.
  • Outstanding action.

Tim Creasy – Pickwick Hawg

Check out this photo of a nice largemouth caught this past Sunday night with a jig out of the Waterloo area by Tim Creasy. Thanks for the photo Tim, we;ll hook up and go fishing soon when it cools down a little.

TimCreasy

Bass Fishing – Basics 101 – Crankbaits

 In this article I’ll try to explain the basics of how to fish crankbaits for the beginning bass fisherman. The crankbait is probably the easiest lure to fish in the bass fisherman’s tackle box. With this lure you only have to make the cast and reel it back in. I will not be going into the advanced stages of fishing this lure in this article but will in a later article.  There are a lot of different sizes, types and styles of crankbaits out there and each has its place in our tool box (tackle box). We all need to remember that fishing tackle, rods, reels, line types, line weights, lure types and styles are tools used to try and catch bass.

The Tools (Rods, Reels, Lines, Snaps, lures)

The Rod: We will start off with a basic rod used for fishing crankbaits. For most purposes and most basic crankbaits we’ll start off with a rod length of 6’6” to a 7’ rod in either a fiberglass rod or an IM6 graphite rod. I actually prefer a fiberglass rod in 7’ to 7’11” length. But for the beginner we will stick with the shorter lengths. In this article I will be using or talking about a bait casting setup only no a spinning setup or a spincast setup.

The action of the rod should be a “medium or moderate” action which will allow the rod to give a little before the angler feels the fish bite or inhale the lure and have time to swallow the crankbait before he feels it hit and jerks the crankbait away from the bass. Look for a rod in the $35 to $50 dollar range; I actually like one from a major fish outlet that only cost $14.99. This rod comes in either a 7’ or a 7’6” model and is entirely made of fiberglass and is a medium action rod at the most.

When I talk of “medium or moderate” action I am talking about a rod that bends from the middle of the rod all the way to the tip. This action rod will Not be as sensitivity as a graphite IM8, IM10, HM or a 40 ton rod but we are not after sensitivity at this point.

Rod Actions

The Reel:

As for reels we need a slow rate of retrieve not a high speed reel such as a 6.4:1 or a 7.1:1 but instead are recommending a 5.4:1 gear ratio. This gear ratio will not tire us out after fishing the crankbait all day. Later on we will talk about a high speed reel for a crankbait type such as a lipless lure like a Rat-L-trap or Redeye Shad. With this reel gear ratio we can keep the crankbait moving a slow to fast rate of speed that will catch fish on a crankbait. I fish this gear ratio about 95 percent of the time and catch a lot of bass on this setup. Most combo setups that you will find at the larger sporting goods stores will have high speed reels and medium heavy action rods. So you will probably have to put together a rod and reel combo yourself. If you want a good reel but will have to sped around $125 to $160 dollars then I recommend either a Shimano Citica CI200G5 or a Shimano Currado CU200G5 reel.

Reels Curado

The Line:

There are a lot of line types and weights on the market for fishing but for the beginner I’d recommend that you use a good quality of monofilament line such as Berkley’s XL or any good monofilament line. I use 10 pound test in this line for most of my crankbait fishing. I also use a monofilament line made by Mr. Crappie in 10 pound test that is very strong. I recommend that you use either “clear” or “green” colored line for most crankbait fishing conditions.

Berkley XL Line

Terminal Tackle:

You can either tie directly to the split ring on the crankbait or use a “snap” for fast changing of lures without having to retie every time you want to try a different lure.

duo-lock

The Crankbait:

There are a huge number of crankbaits on the market in different sizes, depth ranges, colors and actions. Some float then dive, some are deep divers, medium depth divers, shallow divers and some are designed to suspend at what ever depth to decide you want it to stay at. We must consider the crankbaits as tools again and they are designed to fish at a certain depth. Let’s assume you are fishing from the bank and are throwing out into water that is only 6 feet deep. In this cast you would not want to throw a crankbait that is a deep diver that runs down to 12 feet deep. You would want a crankbait that runs at either 6 feet deep to at the most one that would run 8 feet deep. For a crankbait to be most effective you want it running on the bottom or digging in as you reel it back in. A crankbait that runs on the bottom is causing two things to happen, it is stirring up the bottom creating a sound or it is deflecting off when it hits something such as a rock, stump or some other object connected to the bottom. These deflections will cause a bass that is following the lure to strike the lure as it changes direction or action. The bass in most cases a opportunistic feeder and will try to eat anything it can get into its mouth if it thinks it is a food source.

Crankbait Types:

Floaters: These lure are designed to run either on the surface of the water or just under the surface. The bass consider the top of the water an edge and will push baitfish up to be able to catch and eat them when they can. Sometimes you will see fish busting bait fish on the surface and I recommend you throw one of these types of crankbaits into the middle of the busting fish.

rapala

Squarebill Crankbaits.

sb15_hdnaturalbream

The squarebill designed to fish at a shallow depth usually to about 4 to 5 feet deep and usually has a wide wobble as it is retrieved. If you’ll notice the lip or bill of these lures are short and squared designed, the squarebill allows the lure to deflect up and or off to the side of things like stumps or limbs without hanging the hooks. You can fish these lures slow or fast depending on the mood the fish want the retrieve speed. This style of crankbait is usually used in shallow water and around cover such as stumps, fallen trees and shallow weed beds.

Medium Diver Crankbaits.

397_citrus

This is probably the most popular style crankbait on the market, these usually run about 6 feet to 10 feet deep. These are usually retrieved at a little faster speed and are excellent choices around the deeper points and rock structure such as rip-rap breaks the bill is a little longer and more rounded to get the lure deeper on the retrieve. One of the most popular lures is the Bomber Model A #6 crankbait. There are others such as Bandits 200 series, Strike Kings #4 to #5 sizes to name a few.

Deep Divers:

Deep Diver

These crankbaits are designed to be used when the bass is at deeper depths down to 15 feet or so since the lips or bills are longer and more rounded. The larger types that have the longer and wider bills will usually require a different setup on rods, reels and lines types. The deeper divers we will be talking about will be the Bomber Model A #7’s, Bandit’s 300 series, the Norman Deep Little N and Strike Kings #6 and 6XD models. I usually start out with a medium to slow retrieve first and speed up or slow down the retrieve depending on what the fish want at the time. Speeds will vary from day to day, season to season and even hour to hours so try different speeds before starting to swap out lures.

Colors:

Man this is one area where most fishermen will differ on. I personally think and use natural colors most of the time. If the water is stained or colored then I’ll usually go to either bright color such as the chartreuses, reds, bright greens or even black. Consider color as tweaking after you determine the speed, depth and action the bass want. When you have everything dialed in the lure will usually be inhaled or entirely in the bass mouth. If the water is clear (visibility down to 3 feet or more) I’ll use a shad colored or natural pattern. If I have no luck on this pattern after about fifteen minutes I’ll usually go to a lure with a blue or green hue to it and try for another fifteen minutes or so. If I’m around heavy cover, weeds, trees or stumps for example I’ll switch up to a bluegill pattern. Again, color is a tweak after you establish the other things first.

Conclusion:

I hope this helps you out as a beginner to the basics of crankbait fishing. So get out there and try a few of these great fish catching lures. Send me a few photos of the fish you catch on them and I’ll post them on my blog.

Tight lines……