How To Fish Crankbaits for Monster Bass! | Bass Fishing Techniques

Hey, folks, Glenn May here of BassResource. com,
and today I wanna talk to you about the essentialsthat you’re gonna need for crankbaiting. Now, if you’re new to crankbaiting or if you’ve
been doing it for a while, you’re gonna pickup a few tips hopefully more than just a couple,
but these are the things that you absolutelyneed to know for crankbaiting. I’m gonna talk about the rod reeling equipment. Some of the modifications I do to my crank
base before I even use them and then I’m gonnago through the different techniques and retrieves
we use for most crankbaits. First, let’s start with the equipment starting
with the rod. The rod you want is a medium power moderate-
to fast-action tip, something that looks likethis, see this, see how it bends like that,
that’s kind of what you want, you want thatnice, long bend, parabolic bend not like right
up to the tip like some rods, nice long rod,that’s what you want. You want that kind of give, it’s for two reasons. Number one, yeah, it makes it easier to cast
lighter crankbaits, but also it has that give,these crankbaits have little treble hooks
on them and if you use a rod that’s prettystout, that gives the leverage for the fish
when it’s fighting back to be able to pullfree of those hooks. So you want a rod that’s kind of a spring,
gives a little bit when he does those surges,to be able to keep that fish locked up and
get that lunker to the boat. This combination here is an Okuma Helios Rod
with a. . . paired with an Okuma Helios AirReel, great combination even though on this
rod sometimes with rods you got to, it sayson the side, “Hey, this is a crankbait rod,
this is a jig rod,” this doesn’t say thatexactly, but it has those characteristics
of a great crankbait rod. The other thing I have on if you noticed this
is a mini-guide system, little tiny guideson it. And the reason I have these on here is because
they’re much more sensitive than other guides,they’re closer to the blank, there’s less
of a lag there so there’s less distance forthe vibration to transfer to the blank so
I can feel everything and you might thinkwell, if you’re crankbait fishing, the fish
when it hits it, he just wallops it, he’sabout to rip the rod right out of your hand. Well, that’s true in some instances, but a
lot of times, those fish will come right up,they’ll swim behind the bait and they’ll mouth
it, they’ll just grab it and immediately feelthat it’s not natural and blow it right back
out. And you might not even feel that. Sometimes the vibration of the crankbait will
go from a tick, tick, tick, tick, tick toa thud, thud, thud, thud, thud and they’ll
change back to a tick, tick, tick, tick that’sit, that’s all you feel, or sometimes it’s
just the cadence of the vibration might changea little bit. And so a real sensitive rod is essential to
pick up on those things. So when you’re selecting a bay casting reel,
you want one that has like a six to threeor six to one gear ratio or higher. This one, in particular, this is the Okuma
Helios Air Reel, it has a 7. 3:1 one gear ratio. I like that for two reasons. Number one, when I make that long cast the
first thing I wanna do is crank it down reallyfast and get that crankbait down to a running
depth and then slow it down, so I can getit down faster with a higher gear ratio. Also, what I like is sometimes I like to burn
back the crankbait like a vibrating crankbait,burn it back really fast so a higher crank
gear ratio helps me do that. The other thing is I use for the line I use
fluorocarbon line. I like to use Tatsu Seaguar Line because fluorocarbon
has a lot of different advantages for crankbaiting. First of all, like I mentioned with the sensitivity,
fluorocarbon is really sensitive, and so you’regonna feel all those vibrations that I just
told you about. Also, fluorocarbon is more abrasion-resistant. Now, I mentioned or I haven’t mentioned yet,
but I’m going to is the different areas youwanna fish you’re going to be throwing in
stumpy fields, you’re going to be throwingin logs, pilings, rock piles, you’re going
to be fishing rip-rap, things like that andthis line is gonna be draping across all that
and it’s gonna get nicked, it’s gonna havesome fraying and abrasion, you can’t get away
from that, but Seaguar Fluorocarbon Line ismuch more resistant to that than other lines. And you might think, “Why don’t I just use
the braid?”Well, for crankbaiting, really what you wanna
use is fluorocarbon because fluorocarbon isnot as buoyant as other baits or other lines. As a matter of fact it kind of sinks whereas,
monofilament, copolymer, braid, it has buoyancyto it and those lines are gonna prevent the
lure from reaching its maximum advertiseddepth. Fluorocarbon on the other hand, it sinks,
it’s not as weighted line per se, but it doessink, it’s gonna allow that bait to get to
its maximum depth. So we’ve talked about the line, we’ve talked
about the rod, we’ll talk a little bit aboutthe reel. This is a baitcasting reel, I’m using 12-pound
test line, freshwater spinning reels are greatfor 10-pound test and lighter. I like to use 12-pound test and heavier and
that’s what baitcasting gear is are designedfor. It’s also like a winch and when you’re cranking
all day long, that power winch it makes iteasier to crank and you’re not going to get
as fatigued. I’m using 12-pound line because thicker diameter
line it has a heavier diameter line, 15-pound,17-pound or higher has a thicker diameter,
it has more resistance in the water and thatagain is gonna prevent the bait from reaching
its maximum depth. 12 pounds is what I wanna go with so you might
think well, that logic, “Hey Glenn, why don’tyou use 8-pound test?6-pound test?”Well, as I’ve mentioned before, you’re going
to bringing it across rocks, stumps, logs,those types of things and that lighter line
isn’t gonna hold up to that kind of abuse. 12-pound is about the minimum that you wanna
go with. So that’s a good all-around, all-purpose line,
12-pound fluorocarbon again straight fluorocarbon,I don’t use any leaders on it that’s why I
can get away with using the mini-guide systemhere. I don’t have to worry about any knots or anything
trying to get through the guides. All right, so that’s the equipment. Let’s talk a little bit about the baits themselves
and what I do here. First off, when you get a bait, you want to
check the hooks, you want to check the hooksfor two things strength and sharpness. Take the hook point, and drape it across your
fingernail. If it scratches it, great, if it tries to
dig into your fingernail while you’re scratchingit, even better. You want ultra-sharp hooks. If they feel really dull, that’s not a very
good quality hook now, of course, you cansharpen it and I know how to sharpen them,
I can do that but if it’s dull right out ofthe box, that tells me it’s made out of a
soft material and that hook is gonna dullup a lot faster. Also, what you might wanna do is take a pair
of pliers and see if you can’t bend the hookpoint out a little bit. Don’t wrench on it because every hook will
be able to bend at some point, but if it takesrelatively ease for you to bend that hook
point out, the hook out, that’s not a goodsign because if you got a nice lunker tied
onto that crankbait, if he makes a lunge,she’s apt to straighten that hook out, it
can get loose. So for those type of hooks, I replace them,
I just get some number four’s, number six,round bend treble hooks and you can get them,
Gamakatsu makes them and Mustad makes themand they’re all good quality hooks, but I
replace them again not all hooks need to bereplaced, but check them just to make sure
and those that need to be replaced I’lldefinitely do. The other thing I do is I remove the split
ring. I take them right off, I don’t like split
rings for a couple of reasons. Number one, the knot tends to find itself
right where those wires connect, and it rubsagainst the line and it can break the line. The other thing is I don’t think split rings
give the bait enough movement, they don’tallow it to move as freely. So what I do is I replace it with the snap
just like that, I put a snap on here and Iuse it for two reasons. That snap is a little bit bigger than a snap. . .
than a split ring so it allows the bait tomove a lot more freer, plus with the snap
here, I can swap out baits really easily. While I’m out there fishing, I don’t have
to bother with re-tying, I just unhook it,drop the bait, put another one on there, I’m
ready to go. It’s real fast and easy, pretty effective
way to crankbait fish. All right, so we’ve talked about the equipment,
talked about some of the modifications, nowlet’s talk about the different retrieves that
are most productive for crankbaits. Now, obviously the first thing you can do
when you get a crankbait is just chunk andwind. Just throw it out there and bring it right
around straight back and that can be very,very effective, a very effective way of catching
fish. But a quick couple of variations on it, if
you’re fishing and you haven’t got a bite,then you can do two things, you can just speed
up the retrieve or slow it down, simple asthat. Sometimes they just want it faster, sometimes
they just want it slower and that’s a greatway to catch a lot of fish. Another thing if you wanna do with this is
you can dig it in the ground, if you’re fishingsay, for example, six feet of water, grab
a crankbait that dives 10 feet or deeper andyou wanna dig that bell into the ground, even
if there isn’t anything there, it’s just straightflat muddy bottom, dig it into it and you
want that bait to deflect and deflect offthings and go off in different directions. Especially if you’ve got rocks, if you’ve
got rocks, it’s banging on those rocks andbouncing off and going in different directions
that often triggers a bite, even if the fisharen’t biting. This is the cool thing about it, bass are
instinctively programmed by nature to attack,injured and disoriented bait fish. And that’s exactly what you’re mimicking here. The bill of the crankbait will hit a rock,
it’ll stop for a minute and then it’ll gooff in a different direction and you keep
doing it bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, itlooks injured, it looks confused and that’s
what triggers a bite. Often, when the fish aren’t even in a feeding
mood, they’ll hit it anyway, that’s what Icall force-feeding the fish to bite. So that. . . if you’re doing that and say for
example you’re in deeper water and you don’thave those things to bang into, you can’t
get it deep enough into the ground, you canmimic that just by a stop and go, retrieve,
watch my hand, you go around here and thenyou stop, crank it, stop, crank it, stop,
that’s all you’re doing, very simple. And do it erratically, don’t like crank, crank,
crack, stop, crank, crank, crank, stop, justsometimes you make five cranks, sometimes
you make two and then you stop and the longeryou pause, changes, you want that erratic
behavior, don’t make it a methodical retrieve,just erratic behavior and that can be really
good, the fish is following it, follow, follow,follow it, suddenly you stop it. It’s right in his face and it has to react
to it and a lot of times you get a bite rightwhen you pause it. Another effective retrieve is the sweep retrieve. This works the same sort of principle as stopping
that bait, but this time you’re using therod to do it, cast it out there, crank it
down a few feet and then just pull it backwith the rod as it pauses you’ll want to reel
at the slack, pull back with the rod, if itpauses, reel up the slack. You can do it at different speeds, you can
do it really fast really hard, but practicewith it, try different types of retrieves
and figure out what the fish want. It’s funny because they’ll hit it on a pause,
you often set the hook right when you sweepthe hook, sweep the rod that’s kind of a cool
way of doing it. Now, the next retrieve that involves a different
kind of bait. And that is a vibrating or lipless bait. I like to throw Savage Gear Soft Vibes, those
work really well, but any type of vibratingbait works, what I’m talking about are these
little guys. Let me put this on real quick. Like I said, it’s really easy to change them
out with this, I love these soft vibes, lookat this, it doesn’t have rattles in it, so
it doesn’t give away any unnatural sounds,but look at that, it’s very soft, so it looks
really soft and natural in the water. But with these, these types of baits when
they fall, they fall straight down and theyvibrate as they fall, use that to your advantage. What I like to use is what I call the yo-yo
retrieve, throw it out there, let the baitsink, let it sink for a little while and then
what you’re gonna do is bring it up and letit fall just like that and then bring it up
and as it falls, just reel in the slack andthey’ll fall and then bring it back up and
let it fall and bring in the slack line. A lot of times, the fish will hit it as its
falling and when you’ve reeled back on itto bring it back up you actually automatically
set the hook, it’s kind of a cool way of fishing. It can be very, very effective especially
in the fall when the shad are dying, that’sa great retrieve because the fish are keying
on those dying shad and that’s what it lookslike, it looks like a dying shad, so excellent
retrieve. All right, so some of the different techniques
you can use, again, this isn’t super comprehensive,I’m not gonna get into all the more advanced
techniques, that’s another video that’s coming,but these basic retrieves and all this stuff
I just told you are essential to successfulcrankbait fishing. If you have any questions, be sure to leave
them down on the comments section down belowand as I always say, for more tips and tricks
visit BassResource. com for the answers toall your questions, visit BassResource. com.

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