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Tackle Talk | Medium-Runners for Pulled Schools

When the bass move to the points, big worms, jigs and big crankbaits are proven fish catchers. In recent years, companies have added deep divers to their arsenals and anglers have clamored to them. Strike King started the XD Series, Spro added the Little John DD and several other well know lipped-diver manufacturers added suit with offerings of their own.

The evolution of these deep divers has rendered the medium diver a thing of the past. Those baits that dive from 12 to 14 feet are often not thrown, but rest assured, they have a place on points and channel swings that can be an advantage when the school is pulled off the area they were initially holding.

Many anglers do not understand that crankbait fish are easily influenced. How many times have you caught a bass to see several others running to the boat with it? That is moving the school. Even though the chasers may move back they may not move all the way back as most crankbait casts are normally very long.

After two or three fish on a given spot with the deep diver, we like to pick up a medium diver like the Bandit Series 400 to pick off those fish heading back or suspending after one of their buddies got a boat ride.

We like to use off the wall colors, not necessarily matching the hatch, for this approach. For example, if we are throwing a sexy shad or shad color for the deep runner, we may switch to a fire tiger or silver blue back on the medium diver. Varying the retrieve cadence on the medium diver can be the key. Grinding the deep diver then stop and go with the medium one can mean more fish.

This past spring, I had the day of all days with a five-fish limit weighing more than 28 pounds by doing this very thing. While fishing a creek channel swing off a flat, I caught an 8-pounder and a 7-pounder on consecutive casts with a Spro Little John DD. I made several more casts without a bite and switched to a fire tiger colored Bandit Series 400 and picked up three more fish out off the 14-foot ledge. Moving the school wasn’t bad, it just took a different technique to catch the other fish in the area. With that knowledge it was easy to replicate that pattern on like spots on other places on the lake. That night I caught 22 fish 4 pounds or heavier. This all happened in a three-hour window.

The beauty of the Bandit Series 400 is multi-fold. It’s a true runner right out of the box, and it has a very unique wobble when run at slower speeds. Combined with exceptional colors and a built in rattle chamber, the Series 400 compliments the silent running Spro Little John DD.  The rattles were a variable that made this combination different and seemed to fire the school up after a cast or two. The combination of baits was the ticket.

Give the medium divers their due and don’t forget about running two types of divers the next time you find a mega-school. It can definitely take a great day to the best day when the conditions get right.

To read more about mid-range depth fishing, check out our article from March about Finding your Mid-Range Game.