Moving baits like crankbaits are an excellent way to cover water in a hurry, but sometimes a morsel is better than a meal. Pro bass angler Chris Zaldain shares the goods on what he considers finesse crankbait fishing. He applies the same finesse fishing concepts we use with soft plastics, that is, downsizing and opting for smaller and more subtle baits as a means to trigger more bites throughout a day. Here are Zaldain’s TOP 5 tips to improve cranking success (product links at the bottom):
- Downsize to smaller and more subtle baits (action and sound). No different from fishing little finesse worms or swimbaits, smaller forage appeals to a broader bass size and mood range. Whether the fish are in full-on eating mode or negative to neutral, a small crankbait catches them all and often outperforms bigger baits. It’s like going from a 10-inch worm to a little 3- to 4-inch stickbait (Senko, Ned worm, or otherwise).
- Target channel swing banks (bluff ends). These are high-percentage spots on any reservoir. Zaldain details how he uses mapping to find reservoir locations where the main river channel comes into close contact with steep breaking shorelines, then refines his casting angle using 360 Imaging. These are excellent bass feeding locations to make long casts adjacent to the break.
- Choose baits you can cast far. There’s nothing more unproductive than tying on a crankbait and hardly being able to scratch out a decent cast. Crankbait effectiveness and efficiency come through being able to launch a bait and cover a pile of water. Select baits that have a quality weight transfer system to achieve enviable casting distance. You, your casting reel, and livewell with be thankful you chose wisely.
- Use a light fluorocarbon line and a sensitive, moderate power/action rod. When coupled with a weight transfer system, a small diameter fluorocarbon line and rod that loads and quickly rebounds increases casting distance. Longer casts mean hitting the bait’s max running depth which increases deflections and bites.
- Megabass Super-Z2 Crankbait, color – PM Hot Gill 2
- Megabass Destroyer P5 7′ Z-Crank Elseil
- Shimano Curado 200K, 7.4:1
- Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon, 10lb:
- Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging
- Humminbird SOLIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G2
- Humminbird LakeMaster Midsouth States V3
BOAT & MOTOR
• Megabass Brush Trucker Hat: https://wired2.fish/MegabassBrushTruckerHat