Most bass anglers would shutter at the thought of throwing an expensive crankbait — one that might have cost as much as a fishing rod 20 years ago — into a shoreline laydown. If you want to fish a moving bait around such cover you use a spinnerbait, right?
Not so much anymore. Shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft's RTO 1.5 and Strike King's KVD 1.5 give anglers the option of showing brush-dwelling bass a crankbait with minimal chance of a hang-up. Savvy bass anglers like my friend Deron Eck, a highly successful tournament angler in western Pennsylvanian, know how to coax bass from shallow cover with a crankbait.
"Baits like these have a moderate wobble," Eck recently told me while on the drive home from a great largemouth outing. "They come through the cover as well as a spinnerbait. They are very buoyant and deflect off of cover well, providing an erratic action when coming through the brush. They also work well around weeds, where you make contact with the cover, and then rip the bait free, allowing it to float up away from the vegetation. That's when you'll get most of your strikes, after the baits clears the cover and floats up."
Eck said it's the square shape of the bill that keeps these types of baits from hanging up in brush. They fish well on heavy line. He typically uses 17-pound test.
"The square bill flares out," he said. "When it hits a piece of wood the bill kicks the bait away from the snag."
When fishing shallow wood cover, Eck often employs a Power Pole shallow water anchor system to quietly hold the boat in position for precise presentations.