Shallow Cranking Cold Water
Wintertime on lakes and rivers with good vegetation is prime time for shallow crankbaits. As the hydrilla and milfoil dies from the colder water temps, a well-placed shallow crankbait is one of the most deadly weapons in our fishing arsenal. The bigger bass tend to sit on the outside edges of the dying grass mats and although maneuvering a crankbait can be a little aggravating, it also can be more than productive in a day’s fishing trip.
The Lucky Craft Big Daddy Strike 4 fits the bill perfectly in water depths of 6-8 feet, while the LC 1.5 and 1.5 Spin take more than their limits in the 2-6 feet range. The only drawback to fishing these cranks in dying grass is also the reason they get hit the most. Hanging treble hooks on dying grass will sometimes make your blood boil but that’s what’s usually brings the most strikes. A quick whip of the rod tip more often than not clears a strand of grass from the hooks and that jerk also produces the majority of the strikes. Just as the bait clears the slight hang-up, a bass in close proximity will sometimes demolish the bait with a ferocious strike.
If you don’t frequent grass lakes during our colder months, these same squarebill cranks also come in handy during your winter time trips. Take these shallow water cranks and use them wisely. Make shallow cover your targets where the bigger bass call home. Downed trees with deep water access and boat docks in shallow water with heavy cover are your starting points for these baits. A well placed squarebill on a shallow dock with good brush on a sunny day is hard to beat sometimes. Largemouth will use this cover for both ambush points and for shade from bright light. Hit the cover and the docks from all directions until you find just where the bigger fish are staged on the cover.