Fishing Deep Diving Crankbaits
Deep diving crankbaits - what you need to know.
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Hey, what's up guys? Nick, the Informative Fisherman, here on behalf of Lucky Tackle Box. And today I'm gonna be breaking down the Jenko CD20 Deep Diving Crankbait. First big spot of the day. Let's get her off and send her on her merry.
Let's break down this rigging. Now, first things first with the Jenko CD20, when I first get a crankbait, I like to look at the lip, very wide, wider than the body, so I know that crankbait is gonna have a lot of movement and a lot of displacement. This is gonna help me in stained water. It's gonna help me in warmer water. It's putting off a lot of movement presenting a much bigger meal. When I'm fishing something like this, I'm looking for better bass. I'm not looking for meat by with 12-inchers. I'm looking for quality bass.
Now, a long lip, I can see this lip’s about maybe half the length of the body, a little bit longer, which is gonna help me get to those greater depths. Although Jenko already marked it, it's a CD20. This thing can dive at 20 feet deep.
Now, 99% of the companies on the market, when they rate a crankbait for its depth, that's with 12-pound diameter line. A long time ago, in the bass industry, apparently only one everybody ever fished with was 12-pound in diameter line. Well, now you have braids, you have fluorocarbons. Fluorocarbons all are about the same diameter as your copolymers, which are basically your monofilament lines. Now, so I have this on 15. And so now I know this bait's probably gonna get about 2 foot less than 20 feet for me. So I'm probably looking around 18 feet as my peak. So the targets I wanna look for are going to be about 14 feet to 18 feet.
This crankbait dives great. It gets down fast. It doesn't feel like it has a lot of drag for a big crankbait, and it deflects. I wanna get in there. I wanna defect that crankbait off of that structure in that cover. With that big rounder build like that, I'm gonna hit those boulders reel, and it's gonna scoot it's way around. If I feel like I'm dredging too deep into the bottom, I'm gonna back off, let it float, and start banging the bottom again. A lot of the time, if you’re bang, bang, bang and you feel like you're stuck on the bottom, bang, pause, bang, pause. A lot of the time, when it hits and comes up and pauses, a lot of time, it looks like it's wounded. A bait fish is gonna change direction, and those bass are gonna capitalize on it right at that key point.
Now, the equipment I like to throw it on, normally, I say if you're trying to get that full 20-foot of depth, you wanna use 12-pound line. If you wanna get beyond 20, like 21, 22, you could try fishing on a 10. It scares me a little bit, but you can. Just back off your drag a little bit, and it's gonna allow you to get down a little bit deeper. If you wanna fish it in shallower, let's say you wanna fish it in 12 and 14, go up with, like, 20-pound line, and it's gonna allow you to fish at those depths. A lot of people don't pay attention to those key things, but they are critical. Those are big stout treble hooks.
I'm gonna use a medium-heavy, okay, that’s the power class of the rod, in a moderate to a moderate fast taper. What that limber rod's gonna do, when I go to make a cast, it's gonna really load up and launch it for me. And I also want something long. I want something at least seven-four to seven-eleven. A longer rod for crankbaits is imperative. The farther your cast is, the deeper that crankbait's gonna go. And the basis of a crankbait is making long casts and searching for those fish. So a short cast doesn't do you as good. That longer rod is gonna help. That limber rod is gonna load it up and bomb it like a catapult out there for you at the same time.
And you do have those treble hooks. When the fish comes up and eats it, you do want that rod to load up and give that cushion. When that fish shakes its head, that rod is gonna suck up a lot of that loose leverage that that fish can use at heavier lure to shake it's head. This lure is one ounce. You can literally bomb this thing a country mile. That's really beneficial. I'm on a 100% fluorocarbon line. I'm wanna feel every rock I touch down there.
That being said, the reel I like to fish it on is deep spool reels. When you have a reel that has more yardage on it, the line's heavier. And the centrifugal force going around, the revolutions in your reel is gonna travel faster. It's like a higher RPM. So when you bomb it, it's gonna feed off more line at once.
On a fish in this Lew's BB1, the level wind is farther away from the spool. And what it does is it allows less friction when that lines coming off the spool, so I can get a much farther cast at the same time. So everything all together is beautiful for throwing a crankbait.
This is a six-three to one. Now, it’s safe to say, "Nick, why don't you want a fast reel?" Well if I'm cranking fast, it’s gonna wear me out all day. The drag’s stronger. And plus, if I do get impatient and wanna reel faster, at least I'm not going too fast. You can fish a seven speed and slow down, an eight-speed and slow down or a five-speed and go faster, whatever you wanna do. My preference happens to be a six to one gear ratio. That means one revolution that they handle, six revolutions of the spool. All that means that fluorocarbon line, that moderate to moderate fast taper of that rod is gonna suck it up, and a long rod is gonna launch it out there for me and be much more effective fishing this bad boy.
Good one. Get out of there. It's hung up on something. Get out of there.
Down in something here. There he is. That's a good fish. Geez! I don't know what's he in, must be in a tree. There he go. There he's up. He's up. Yeah! Yeah! Jenko CD20, baby! Yeah!
So when you're throwing a crankbait out there, that's just a lob right there with this setup. It 110, 120 feet. If I'm starting off shallow and I feel it bumping the bottom really hard, sometimes, I'll raise my rod position a little higher. If I don't feel it touching, I'll raise my rod position lower. Strictly, with a longer rod, you can control that bait's depth by an additional five feet. A lot of guys on tour, when they're not touching, will literally stick their rod tip under the water and reel and feel it bumping off of that structure and cover to impact to cause those reaction strikes at that point.
Now, along with that tip, when do I like to fish crankbaits? Well, when fish are deep. When I find fish deep in the summer or fish deep in the fall or in those funk periods, those post-spawn periods, I don't care if the water temperature is 50 to 50, a crankbait will work. I like a little semi-stained water. If I could see farther than 10 feet deep, I really don't like to fish a crankbait. But if I can't see deeper than 10 feet, a crankbait's more than likely gonna work. I like rocky structures, boulders, something I can deflect off down there. In the summer time, when those fish school up, in the early winter when those fish school up and a little bit stained water, that Jenko CD20 can be absolutely money at that point.
Now, targets that I'm looking for. What targets am I looking for? Main lake points. See this out in front of me? See this big point feathering out there? Now, even without a graph on your boat or if you're fishing from the bank, look how far up the bank it is for 20 feet out of the water. So I look over there, I say, okay, it's 30 feet up the bank is roughly 20 feet of water. So, now, I know I need to be within a casting distance of 25 feet off that point or 30 feet off that point to more than likely impact the bottom around that point. Bass love points.
And the same thing with ledges. If I pull up…and you could see right here. This isn't really a much of a point. That's part of the point, but there's ledges right there. And you can look down that, and you can say, just by a simple guesstimate, okay, there's ledge every five or six feet. So now you can go up to the bank, and you can parallel guessing that that ledge is gonna be there, or you can use your fishfinder. I'm gonna show you on Navionics, which is just a simple mapping program you can get for your cell phone or you can get a Navionics chip for your fishfinder, and show how to target some offshore humps and how to, like, shade areas of the map that fit the depth for this bait.
All right, guys, so the two apps I like to use. First, I like to use Google Earth. I like to look for, like, the main points on the lake. Here’s a launch ramp over here. This is a main point sticking out. I'll zoom out. Here's a main point on the lake right here too. I can zoom in on it. And look at these main lake points. And the benefit of looking at things on Google Earth, first, is I can zoom in, and I can look right away. Is it grass? Is it a featureless bank? Is there boulders? Is it a rocky bank? It's gonna give me the clues that I need. And Google Earth is a free app.
Then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna jump over to my Navionics app. And Navionics is about 15 bucks. But is very, very beneficial. You can zoom in on the same lake points, and it'll show the contours. It'll show you the depth of that area.
In regards to the deep diving crankbait, the Jenko CD20 here, you can click on the map, okay, and it's gonna give you map options. From those map options I'm gonna scroll up. I can adjust my water level. But what I wanna look for is depth shading. And you'll see I already have it at 20 feet deep, because the Jenko dives to 20 feet deep. If I wanna make it 18, let’s say I know I'm fishing around that 15-pound line, I can now select 18, click the map. And now, look what it's showing me right here. Everything that is blue is 18 feet deep or less. I can zoom out, I can look around on the main lake here. And I see, oh, here's blue. And guess what, this is a submerged island right here. And now I can look at it, and I know everything on this island is 18 feet deep or shallower to where I know I can fish this whole entire thing with that crankbait. I can also get right around those ledges, those faster contours ledges, and right around those main lake points too. I can zoom in right on them. And I can see, oh, here's a longer main lake point. And I can fish the majority of this because it's in blue.
So it's using these apps to your advantage and looking at those contour lines, shading that depth. These are two apps that are gonna give you a huge advantage for fishing, all that contour and those main lake points, and really being able to figure what there even before approaching the water.
Now, a side tip along with those conditions is I usually like a little bit of wind chop. It breaks up that light penetration. It allows those fish to move a little bit closer into those rocks near the bank that I can deflect and get more bites with the crankbait. If it's slick calm like this, it's usually not the prime conditions. But today, these fish happen to be feeding on shad, which look remarkably similar to the CD20 right here. So it's working.
All right, guys, I'm gonna throw you in a little side tip. Let's say you're out there cranking, and I see guys get crankbaits hung up all the time, but they don't know how to get them off. Let say, hypothetically, I'm hung up right now. I wanna hold a tight line. I wanna hold tight, go down, tight line, lower my rod, and I wanna snap that line. What happens is your crankbait naturally wants to float. And as you pop it like that, it's gonna deflect like that, and it's gonna bounce into the structure that it's hung up on. And it's gonna come back, which is gonna pull those hooks forward, pull them back, pull them forward. And it’s gonna work them back and forth. And whatever your hook point’s stuck into, it's progressively going to work a larger hole and work its way out.
That's not 100% fail proof. But if you pop it, pop it, pop it, move around, pop it, pop it, a lot of the time, that's gonna get your crankbait back. If that doesn't work, what you can do is find like a two-ounce weight and take a snap. The snap off like a snap swivel, hook that two-ounce weight, hold a tight line, snap that snap-on, send it down your line, get over the top of your bait and do that same snap, and it adds weight to push that crankbait back. And you're more than likely gonna get it back, probably 75% more of the time.
Well, guys, I'm Nick, the Informative Fisherman, and that's the Jenko CD20. If you're not out throwing this bait yet, get out there and throw it. It's gonna put some big girls in the box for you. I can promise you that.
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