John Crews is a deep thinker, but toward the end of the year, the Bassmaster Elite from Virginia can become extremely shallow minded. No worries, Crews isn’t becoming petty; rather, fall has him dialed in on trackable bass movement.
“In the fall, a lot of the baitfish go shallower — little short pockets, long pockets, ends of creeks — and fish follow them,” Crews notes. “A lot of times, in the fall, the fish are roaming and I feel crankbaits offer an excellent way to cover lot of water and intercept those fish.
“A crankbait is my primary fall bait. I’ve probably caught more fish in the fall on a crankbait than any other bait.”
Crews points out that “shallow” may include isolated cover, as well as flats, points, etc. In his experience, any fall pausing is a temporary thing. Nevertheless, crankbaits are equally enticing in search and targeting mode.
“Fish may roam and set up by cover to ambush, but I don’t think they sit there very long — it’s not like spring, where they’re territorial,” Crews said. “They’re just temporarily using that as a place to hang out and they’re just going to wander around a little more until they run into the baitfish again.”
For Crews, ideal fall cranking conditions are stained water with visibility of about 4 inches to 2 feet. Sky conditions don’t seem to limit the cranking bite; they simply reposition the game.
“I’ve had really good days when it’s sunny and I’ve had really good days when it’s cloudy,” Crews said. “In the sunny periods, it seems the baitfish go shallower and then in the cloudier conditions, the baitfish relate more to the edges of the flats or the deeper banks.”