Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shallow and mid-depth crankbaits are a killer tool in the fall.

If the conditions line up well, you can certainly catch big fall bass by deep cranking creek ledges throughout the fall. A more consistent pattern, however, comes from utilizing shallow squarebills and mid-depth crankbaits.

    Target shallow flats—You should primarily target the 3 to 6-foot range and focus on shallow flats very close to creek channels. These flats are natural stopping
    Quick Tip: A straight retrieve will certainly catch crankbait fish, but an erratic retrieve will result in more bites. Try a stop-and-go approach and try to collide your crankbait into any available cover. Small irregularities in its swimming action will create a lot of reaction strikes.
    Water clarity matters—In dirty water, bass will get dirt-shallow and hold close to stumps and laydowns. For moderately clear water, I have more success on the Chikara 200 Series, which targets the 4 to 6-foot depth range.   
Cover water quickly—A good trick for fall fishing is putting the trolling motor on high and keep moving until you find something worth making multiple casts to fish are going to be in groups, so it’s important to move quickly until you find a school of active fish. The quicker you eliminate dead water, the faster you can get on a big sack of fish.   
Magic water temperature—You can catch hundreds of bass on these crankbaits throughout the fall, but your biggest fish will move shallow when the water temperature gets into the 50-degree range.
    Keep changing it up— Shad patterns kick ass in the fall, but the bass can get very peculiar when they school. If you’re getting short strikes, it’s probably not a color issue. More than likely, they want a different action. Make sure you keep switching between wide wobbling and flat-sided crankbaits for the best results because every school you find will be different.