Option No. 1: Deep-diving crankbait

bass fisherman casting crankbait

Typically for Palaniuk however, there’s a clear starting point with each school. Usually, he likes to start with a deep-diving crankbait.

He chooses a crankbait first because it’s the bait he can cover the most water with the fastest and it’s a bait he can usually fire up the school with. But there are all sorts of crankbaits that dive to a variety of depths; choosing which crankbait for that particular school of fish is very important.

“Most places that we fish offshore, a Rapala DT-16 gets the nod. That’s probably the one that gets thrown the most.”

As the name might imply, the Rapala DT-16 crankbait dives to approximately 16 feet. On many lakes and fisheries around the country where Palaniuk is targeting fish offshore, the fish will set up on holes that are 12 to 16 feet deep. So a 16-foot diver like the DT-16 gives Palaniuk the ability to get down to that depth and maintain contact with the bottom, which is a crucial part of cranking.

“You just have to adjust your crankbait selection to whatever you need to make sure you keep that contact with the bottom.”