It’s been said that 75% of fish are caught by 25% of anglers. This is because that 25% knows the tricks, and their quarry.
Often times you’ll get out on the lake and it’s a still, calm day. No wind and the water looks like glass…
Whats does this typically mean?
Well it often means that those spinnerbaits and big baits may not work..
You might have to go to something smaller in size and/or something like a worm or jig.
So how can you use a diving crankbait to tempt those finicky finned bruisers into their feeding mode? Read on to find out.
Using Diving Crankbaits For Bass To Swallow
There are several different types of crankbaits. Some sink slowly, some drop like a rock. The ones we will be talking about are diving crankbaits. These are buoyant at rest, and float on the surface. They have a diving lip that will cause them to dive under the surface when retrieved.
How deep they dive depends on the angle of the lip, and how fast you retrieve them. The faster you reel, the deeper they dive. When you stop reeling, they float back to the surface. For more on this, check out our post on your crankbait’s bill.
One of the thinner minnow-shaped diving crankbaits work really well.
Some good choices that I like are the Rapala Scatter Rap and Berkley’s Floating Firestick. I’ve had great success with these in the past.
Rapala Scatter Rap
Berkley’s Floating Firestick.
Remember, the way we’ll be fishing these means the bass will be looking up at the lures from below, against the sky, so you may also want to take the sky color into consideration as well, i.e.; Lighter colors if it is cloudy and overcast, and darker if it is sunny and bright.
And as far as water color goes, the dirtier the water the brighter I want it to be so it stands out and is more visible, and the clearer the water the more realistic it needs to be to the prey they are feeding on at the time and less visible. So using translucent crankbait colors and ones that are not as flashy and bright are the way to go.
My Crankbait Rod Preference
Floating Minnow lures tend to be a little lighter, and somewhat more wind-resistant than suspending crankbaits. We need a long retrieve in order to give the bass plenty of time to catch the lure, so long casts are going to be necessary.
I’d recommend a medium-action rod, at least 7-foot long. You’ll want ceramic guides on it because you’ll be using braided line.
Braided line casts farther than monofilament, but it can be hard on metal guides. Any kind of reel will work as long as it holds plenty of line, and can handle braid.
My Crankbait Reel Preference
Most bass anglers opt for baitcasting reels because of their cranking power and very strong gears. I prefer spinning reels.
Whatever you feel most comfortable with will work. You’ll likely want to keep the line as light as possible to increase your casting distance. Using 15 lb. test braided line, like Spider-Wire, with an 18” 10-lb. test monofilament leader is a good way to go.
My Method: Floating Minnow Crankbait Tips For Catching Bass
Once you have found a place where bass are likely to be staging, you want to make a long cast, as far as possible, across the area. Make the baits action very erratic to trigger those bites. The warmer the water the faster you can retrieve the bait. Keep in mind:
1. You can fish these baits off of the bottom, over brush piles in deep water
2. You can also fish this bait on the bank next to stumps, logs and docks
3. You can twitch and jerk these baits like jerkbaits
4. Or you can fish them like crankbaits, just reeling steadily and adding some pauses, or the occasional twitch
Often times the biggest bass will be around cover like docks, rocks, logs and laydowns, but these minnow baits have exceptional drawing power. They can be great at targeting suspended bass that other anglers are missing!
Strikes will not be as violent as they will be in the warmer months of the year. Watch your lure closely, and set the hook if you lose the feel of your bait.
Most strikes will still be pretty obvious, but every so often, a bass will come up from directly underneath, and gently suck the lure into it’s mouth without creating much of a disturbance.
If the bass are still a bit reluctant, you can sometimes entice them further by retrieving for 20-30 feet, then stop and let the lure sit for a bit. Then begin the retrieve again. This stop-and-go action is almost irresistible to any predator fish.
This technique has worked wonders for me out on the water, especially when the water is cold and the fish need a slower presentation.
Let’s recap. Here’s what we covered in this article:
• Floating minnow baits can be effective for catching even suspended bass
• Get your minnow baits around cover for the larger bass
• You can simply reel the bait and catch fish or fish them like jerkbaits.
• One of the best lures to use in spring and fall is a floating-diving crankbait
• You need to make long casts and have the right equipment
• You can use braided line for the crankbaits for more feel and casting distance.
• Stop-and-Go retrieves can trigger strikes when bass are not cooperating.
When the fishing is tough in your neck of the woods, don’t shy away from go fishing….
Tie on one of these floating minnow baits and catch more bass like this!
Now go out there and catch some fish!