Whitesburg KY
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Gabby’s Fishing Fever

Cranking up bass

There are a lot of good bass fishing baits that will catch bass. Different baits are made to be used in different situations and in different conditions.

Some baits are fished slow, like a worm or a jig. These type of baits are big fish baits and are usually fished by making shorttargeted casts into heavy cover in shallow or deep water.

And then there are topwater baits like buzzbaits, poppers, chuggers and walk-the dog-style baits. These baits work well in shallow weedy water and in overcast and cloudy weather conditions. Also, these type of baits work well at night.

Then there are baits that are made to cover large areas of water quickly and to find and catch active bass. These are what some bass anglers refer to as search baits, or baits with the ability to cover water and find bass quickly. Baits that fall into this category are spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Both of these baits have similar actions and are fished in the same way.

There are models of these bait made to be fished in deep or shallow water. There are spinnerbaits that have long slender blades called willow leaf blades that cut the water quickly and have very little water resistance. This type of spinnerbait can be fished with a quick to moderate fast retrieve in shallow water. And there is a style of crank bait that is made to be fished in shallow water.

Crankbaits are made with a bill connected to the front of the bait. This bill is designed to cause a drag from the water being forced against it by the pull of the angler reeling the bait in. The larger the bill the more drag the bait will have and the bait will dive deeper. The shallow diving crankbaits will have the smaller bills and the deeper divers will have a larger bill.

Deciding which style of crankbait to use comes down to the depth of the water or the depth that the fish are holding that you are trying to reach with your bait. If you see fish on a fish finder that are holding on a channel edge in 15 feet of water, try to use a bait that runs at least at depth or even a little deeper. The reason for this is because a bait that runs a little deeper than the bottom will dig into the bottom and kick up clouds of dirt and when it runs into something like a rock or wood cover it will cause the bait to dart or bounce off the cover with an erratic action. This type of bottom-digging and bouncing-off-cover action will most of the time excite a nearby bass into striking the bait.

A lot of bass anglers refer to a bait bouncing a piece of cover as bump the stump. A lot of the crankbaits that you buy will have on the box what depth the bait is designed to run at and some of the more expensive baits will have the running depth on the bait itself. Crankbaits are like most fishing equipment, you get what you pay for. You can spend anywhere from $5 on a small Strike King bait to $8 for a Excalibur bait to over $30 for a Lucky Craft brand crankbait.

Using the right style of equipment will make your crankbait fishing more productive. Use a long rod that has some backbone in the butt of the rod but has a good limber tip. By using a longer rod you can make longer casts and pick up more slack line quicker on the hook set. The limber tip will bend and hold pressure on a hooked fish on a crankbait, making it harder for the bass to throw the treble hooks.

When selecting your line to put on a reel you’re going to be fishing a crankbait on, try to use the lightest line you can get by with. The lighter the line the longer your cast can be and the deeper your bait will dive because of less water drag on the line than if you were using larger line. But the smaller the line the more stretch the line will have.

A lot of bass fisherman will tell you that a crankbait is one of their top bass producers. I have seen three casts in a row put three keeper bass in the boat. Give crankbait fishing a try and you just might start cranking up bass.

If you have a comment or a fishing question you can reach me at gabbysfishingfever@yahoo.com.

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