Been catching a lot of fish cranking of late… catching as well as losing a lot of bass on them.
The vid above really emphasizes the focus you have to put on equipment and terminal tackle when you’re trying to closing the deal on crank bait fish. It’s been a learning experience and in the end there’s no 100% land-rate way around crankbait fishing especially deep cranking; but factors like changing out your hooks to Mustad KVD Short Shanks and going with a high quality, low stretch, low diameter flourocarbon like Sunline FC Sniper as well. On 6XD style baits I’ll go with straight 10lbs test however when going up to 10XD sized baits I’ll use 12-14lbs.
Another big key when deep cranking has been equipment. When throwing cranks like the Strike King 6XD, 10XD, and other so called “mag-diving” cranks the right rod is essential. Your standard 7′ composite stick just doesn’t cut it anymore on baits that can run, casted, to almost 27′.This kind of cranking takes a longer beefier rod. On 6XD’s and 8XD’s or baits that run down to 21-22ft up to 1.25oz I run a Powell Max 3D 804 CB. When going up to the gigantic stuff like a 10XD or greater I’ll turn to a Powell Max 3D 7115 CB. Both rods offer a bit more beef but still a moderate classic cranking style action to allow the fish to do the work when hooking up.
Reels are pretty simple. I like my Shimano Stuff such as the Casitas, Curado I, or Chronarch reels. Speeds are key; on 6XD style baits a standard 6:2:1 is what I opt for so I can get the bait down quick and retrieve the bait fairly quickly. On the 10XD however I do go for a slower reel – something like a 5:2:1. The added power helps crank that beast down and also keeps it down.
I’ve bee catching some stellar fish approaching bass with spoons. In Florida that’s not the most common thing but it’s all about approaching water with an open mind and the right setup.
I’m running my standard sized spoons on Powell Max 3d 795’s and a Lews Speed Spool with 20lbs Sunline. The setup gives enough tip to play the fish and at the same time get the right action out of the spoon when fishing it in 15 to 30ft of water. These fish are targeting large gizzard shad and the presentation really plays to those bigger bass when they’re staging in late winer to come up to spawn!
With fish schooled deep an a-rig has also come into play; specifically a Picasso School E Rig set up with Gambler Little EZ’s mixed with EZ Swimmers. The trick has been to slow roll and drop retrieve keeping the presentation near the bottom up to 5ft off the bottom as the fish are podded and relating to shell and small ledges down deep.
Florida is not usually the place to implement structure fishing however you can’t argue with the quality of fish that I’ve stumbled upon out deep. Definitely make you rethink the Florida situation and how big bass set up for the spawn in late winter.
Check out the vids and see what you think!