Reaction baits like crankbaits remain excellent tools to find and trigger bass during the late fall and winter months but fishing them around grass requires some know-how. Pro bass angler Brandon Cobb shares 5 tips that’ll improve your cranking performance when targeting bass relating to grass edges.
- CRANKBAIT – Yo-Zuri 3DS Series Crankbait, color – Sexy Shad
- ROD – ARK Brandon Cobb Series Casting Rod, 6′ 11″ Medium
- LINE – Yo-Zuri T-7 Premium Fluorocarbon Line, 12- or 14-pound
- REEL – Abu Garcia REVO MGX Casting Reel, 6.4:1
Cobb’s 5 tips to better crankbait fishing around grass:
- Slow down and thoroughly fish the area when you get bit. Bass relating to grass tend to concentrate around prime spots. A single bite can be an indicator of a school in the area. Dial back and methodically fish the area instead of keeping your trolling motor on high.
- Focus on grass edges adjacent to wintering areas. Dead or dying grass flats usually aren’t productive in late fall and winter. Target bass around deeper grass edges adjacent to where they winter. Additionally, the grass is sparser in these areas, making it easier to crank.
- Choose small crankbait that barely tick the grass. Cobb advises against using crankbaits that run too deep, as they require aggressive rod jerks to clear the grass. Incessant grass-clearing rod snaps aren’t effective at generating bites in cold water.
- Use line size to adjust running depth. A good crankbait gets bit. If your preferred bait is running too deep, consider upsizing your line (diameter) to reduce running depth. Doing so keeps a good bait in play while reducing the running depth by 2- to 3-feet. While 12-pound fluorocarbon is Cobb’s go-to, he regularly upsizes to 14 or even 16-pound fluorocarbon when a shallower running depth is desired.
- Fish small crankbaits on a medium power rod and a slower reel. It’s easy to tear small treble hooks free from skin-hooked bass. Prevent this by selecting a rod medium power rod with a softer tip, more moderate taper (action), yet a powerful mid-section for clearing your crankbait free from the grass. Along these lines, Cobb opts for a moderate-speed reel in the 6.4:1 range, as it allows him to slow down. Cold water bass prefer moving baits fished at slow to moderate speeds.