Crankbaits aren’t most angler’s first choice when it comes to bass fishing grass but they can be very effective if fished with the right gear and proper methods. Wired2fish’s McKeon Roberts sets out on a learning expedition to find and catch grass bass using crankbaits out of his fishing kayak. He shares some of his lessons learned regarding tactics and gear so you too can put this effective lure category to work out of kayaks, canoes, and small boats.
- KAYAK – Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3N
- CRANKBAIT – Yo-Zuri 3DB Crankbait, color – Sexy Prism Shad
- ROD – ARK Reinforcer Casting Rod, 6’8″ Medium
- REEL – Shimano SLX Casting Reel, 7.2:1
- LINE – Yo-Zuri Top Knot 100% Fluorocarbon, 12-pound
Crankbaits are erratic lures that can be fished on a long cast at specific depths. Depending on where the fish are, you can use crankbaits that dive to different depths to dial in the strike zone and stay in it longer. One issue with crankbaits is that they are not known to fish well in weeds. Where coincidentally summer bass spend much of their time. This takes crankbaits off the radar for many fishermen who frequent grass-heavy lakes. With the right retrieve and feel, however, crankbaits can be fished effectively in and around weeds.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to cranking grass. One is that you rip the crankbait from the grass to sever the weed stems as you retrieve, The other is to let the buoyancy of the bait float itself out from being hung. On one hand, ripping the grass can cause reaction strikes but can also spook bass that are closely tracking the bait. Floating the crankbait out is a more subtle way to free yourself from grass and this method requires paying close attention to the feel of your rod and bait to know exactly when you’re hung and when you’re out.
For both of these techniques what you choose for a rod becomes critical. Crankbaits are commonly fished on long glass rods to aid in casting and to keep from tearing hooks from fish but when it comes to grass, some stiffness is crucial but a blend is best. A shorter more limber rod such as a 6’8″ medium action casting rod gives you the sensitivity to quickly detect when your bait is hung but the stiffness of graphite helps when ripping through the grass becomes necessary.