Whether he’s caught a few fish from a school and fired them up, or his electronics shows the bass are extremely active Lee will employ a plethora of different deep-diving crankbaits. He begins rotating through different plugs based on their diving depth, color, size and sound they emit.
“Typically I’ll start out with something loud like a Strike King XD series or a Bomber Fat Free Shad,” Lee offered. “If there is less current or the fish are acting shy I’ll lean on a Rapala DT series or a SPRO Little John DD 70. Try to read the fishes’ mood and keep swapping plugs until you find what they want to eat.”
Varying retrieve speed and cadence remains a great way to trigger a bite with deep-diving crankbaits and is something Lee practices religiously. The Quantum Fishing pro uses a mid-speed 6:1:1 Smoke S3 Reel so he can alternate between a blistering fast and slower retrieve.
“Burning a deep crankbait and dredging the bottom is a big deal in the summertime,” Lee said. “The fishing industry has seen a big shift to folks liking super fast, 8:1:1 reels and personally I think these high speed reels overwork a deep crankbait. I still like a mid-speed reel so I can still move the bait as fast I was want to, but allow the action of the lure to still work at depth.”
Change is the name of the game for Matt Lee when it comes to sneaking up on and tricking lure-shy offshore bass into biting. As more anglers take to the water to chase fish and our methods cause these fish to adapt to increased pressure, be sure to give Lee’s tips and tactics a try and continue to change right along with the fish.