How to Fish Flat-Sided Crankbaits on Grass Lakes

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Fishing flat-sided crankbaits along grass edges is an excellent tactic for bass during late fall into winter. Pro bass angler Randall Tharp explains the draw of these spots and provides a detailed lesson on finding the best spots and working a flat-sided crankbait down the edge with minimal fowling.

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The best fall bass fishing tactics on grass lakes change as the season progresses, with late fall and winter pushing bass deeper on the same structures. Sure, some chase baitfish into creek arms, but prime summer and fall structures, such as hydrilla flats, continue holding large populations of fish—Tharp ops for the subtler action of a squarebill that comfortably reaches that 4- to 6-foot zone.

He explains that cover, like grass, is constantly in flux as the weather changes. Finding healthy clumps around the outer edges is key in the late fall. Tharp shows where to find healthy grass clumps on Tennessee River reservoirs and what to look for on your sonar. Making long casts parallel to the ledge improves success by keeping the bait in the strike zone longer and helps locate productive cover. Current is also key, as bass that live in current areas seem less impacted by cold fronts.

Like great crankbaits for fall bass fishing, Cold water crankbait fishing is best accomplished using a specialized rod setup. Tharp prefers a light and responsive 7-foot composite casting rod with plenty of measured flex for slinging the bait far, feeling the cover and subtle bites, and hooking and keeping lethargic cold water bass hooked.

Don’t leave an area just because the big grass mats go away. These areas still hold bass. Just focus your efforts on the outer edge next to the river channel.