CrankBaiting Through Cover
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CrankBaiting Through Cover
Many Bass anglers avoid throwing a crankbait in the middle of heavy cover, simply because they think they will lose their crankbait.
I can personally tell you that if you fish it properly, you can fish the most heavy cover with a crankbait. All you have to do is take your time getting it through the vastness of the cover.
If you feel your bait crawling through the wood but then
suddenly it gets hung up, just stop your bait and give it some slack, most of the time the bait will surface on its own right up out of the cover.
Most important is that you will be able to sink your hook on plenty of lunkers that are not used to seeing much action, simply because most anglers refuse to fish there.
Square lipped crankbaits work best. The bigger the bait the better. I use the old Balsa Bagley series 2-3. they are big baits but will catch various sizes of bass. You can crawl these baits thru timber you'd have a hard time getting a spinnerbait thru.
Try to avoid the suspending crankbaits. You need a bait to float back over the snags and the suspending ones will sink slowly or suspend making it harder to clear possible snags. I prefer balsa crankbaits over plastic, they tend to be more buoyant and therefor less prone to snags. Use heavier than normal test line. I use 17# test and wouldn't go any lighter in most cases.
Watch your bait closely. Most of your strikes will come after your bait crosses over a limb so be ready. Plus there's nothing cooler than a fatty smacking the tar out of a crankbait right before your eyes.
Fish the outside first. Always fish the outside of the blow down first. If you take a fish from the outside of the blow down you may not have disturbed the fish on the inside. Also fish them deep to shallow for the same reason. You will be able to catch more than one fish from each tree then. If you catch the inside fish first you'll most likely drag him over the outter branches and spook the outside fish.
Always remember what side of the tree the Bass are coming off of. If they are coming off the sunny side or shady side. You maybe able to eliminate a lot of unproductive water, by fishing only one side of a tree. If you do get a bite try to remember the angle in which you were running your crankbait down the tree. Then try to duplicate this angle at the next blow down.
In stained water a lot of the fish will be FACING the shore. So don't be afraid to work your bait thru the cover that is only a foot deep. If your running your crankbait a few feet away from shore your bait is behind the fish and they'll never see it.
As far as colors go use what you feel the water clarity dictates. I will use a brighter color that normal most off the time. 99% of your bites will be reaction bites in the wood anyway. I want the bass to be able to see my bait clearly so fire tiger or white is a good choice in any water color. Now, if you are more than ten foot in the water, the bass can not see color so it does not matter =)
If you do get hung up use the "snap" your line technique. Take your line slack that is between the first eye of the rod and the reel and pull it like your going to shoot a bow and arrow. Then let the line go quickly and it'll snap back. A lot of times this will free a snagged crankbait from wood or rock without to much disturbance to the cover. you many have to repeat this a few times but it does work.