By Tommy Martin
There are many different ways to work a crankbait and using the right presentation can improve your day's catch. Here are three of the very best techniques for crankbait fishing.
This is by far the most popular method, a fast steady retrieve covering a lot of water. Many professional fishermen use this method and they call it "locating. It will allow you to make a lot of casts in a short period of time, thus improving your chance of finding an area where fish are holding.
This is an early spring favorite for covering shorelines were bass are spawning. Once you catch a fish, stay in that area and really give it a good work over. You most likely will pick up a couple of more fish in a short period of time.
A high-speed reel is highly recommended when burning a crankbait. Most reels today come with 5.3 to 1 ratios and are sufficient for this method. However a 6 to 1 ratio is better on your arm.
Stop & Go:
When you reel in a crankbait, slow or fast, stop the reel every 3 or 4 cranks of the reel handle. This will cause the lure to fall for a second simulating an injured baitfish. You can experiment with this technique by changing up the rhythm of your pause.
This is a perfect technique to use where there is a target to throw at. If there is a laying log or a dock, run the lure up to the log and pause the bait before and after the structure. You don't need much of a pause; just a split second will allow the bait to fall a little. Be ready at that point, that's usually when the strike will occur.
Up and down, a very effective technique for deeper water presentations. Using your rod tip to make the lure rise and fall over structure. Keep in mind some crankbaits will fall at the rate of 1 1/2 ft per second. This will help you count the lure down to a certain depth. A good example is suspended fish at 15 feet on a graph. You could count to 10 and the bait will most likely be right in the zone for a strike.
If a school is holding in deep water of a major point, try the technique and cover both sides of the point. It really helps if you know the depth of water on each side. If you're in 20 foot of water, you may want to Yo-Yo the lure from 5 to 15 feet. Remember, the size of your line will effect how fast a lure sinks. Heavy line will slow the fall rate down and small diameter will speed it up.
Tommy Martin won his first tournament at the age of 32 on Ross Barnett Lake in 1972. He has now been a Pro for 30 years and loves teaching and motivating others to fish for bass, and teach others to respect other pros and anglers during tournaments. He is the winner of 19 national tournaments, has had 54 top 10 finishes, was a Bassmasters Classic winner in 1974, and has fished in 19 Classics. He is one of the pioneers in professional bass fishing.