Fishing Flat Sided Crankbaits in the Spring
Fluke Master Gene Jenson loves fishing flat sided crankbaits during the pre spawn when the bass are first moving up into the shallows. There is a difference between a square bill and a flat sided crank bait. Flat sided baits get through cover easier as the sides are straight up and down allowing them to squeeze through cover without getting caught up like a thicker rounded bait can do. Flat sided crank baits rarely travel past 7 to 8 feet deep but will typically swim close to the bottom as they rarely pop up.
What kind of rod to use?
Gene uses a moderate action 13 fishing Omen Black 7’3″ Casting Rod, 13 fishing Concept A 6:6:1 reel, with 12 pound fluorocarbon fishing line.
Where are the Fish?
Around this time of year fish are beginning to feed a little heavier but do not travel very far to eat. Typically bass will position themselves on the river where the channel runs into the shore which brings in food for bass. You can recognize this spot on the river where the bank usually is the steepest as years and years have caused erosion on the bank also known as an outside channel swing. Bass will sit right before the swing or in the channel swing letting the river bring in the food and also gives them access to safe deep water.
What colors should I use and how do I fish them?
Bass love to eat crawfish around this time of year, so of course Gene recommends a craw patterned bait with a narrow wiggle. Fishing this bait slow is key as bass will not chase baits very far. Bass will typically eat off a reaction strike so bouncing and hitting as many rocks and downed trees underneath is key to trigger a strike. Changing your retrieve will help you figure out what is triggering these bites. You will want to use a slow retrieve and adding in a drag or a few pops along the way. This will change the baits movement allowing you to figure out what works.
When moving on to other spots look for points that come off the creek channel and position yourself in the deep water and not on the point. This allows you to cover the point as much as you can.
Use a few of these tips next time you are out on the water and let us know how you did!
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