I love to fish crankbaits for most warm-water, freshwater fish. I especially like fishing crankbaits around open-water weeds that are sometimes several hundred yards off-shore. These large weedbeds are often overlooked by many anglers thinking they are too tough to fish. My strategy is to fish crankbaits along the edges where we intercept feeding walleye, pike and largemouth bass.
On a recent TV shoot with Mike Borovic we did just that. It’s kind of like casting for musky, you know 1,000 casts of ripping weeds off your crankbait and covering lots of water, but it’s worth it.
My favorite crankbaits to fish are either the Rapala Tail Dancer #9 or the Dives To Thug.
Unfortunately Rapala is no longer producing the Thug, but you might just find some in a bulk bin at your favorite tackle shop. We don’t do anything fancy with our crankbaits, just cast them out and reel them in at a steady retrieve. Both lures above will dive down to about 10′ on a 80-100′ cast, but if you make shorter casts tight to weeds, they will only run down 5-7″. These running depths are ideal when you fish the edges of weedbeds in 12-13′ water. Fall is an excellent time to target largemouth bass that are heading away form shore and often feed big-time on baitfish and smaller panfish on the deep-side of very large weed flats.