Slow rolling Crankbaits on your favorite lake....By Jigs
Slow rolling Crankbaits on your favorite lake
You have often heard about slow rolling a spinnerbait, but have you tried the tactic to a crankbait. If not I suggest you try it in the spring on Lake Flats just after the Bass spawn. I am talking about water from 5 to 15ft deep in clear water conditions or shallower if dirty conditions using shallow running crankbaits.
This is the time of year when most bass have spawned and have moved off of the spawning beds, recuperating and looking for an easy meal to rejuvenate them after the long stress of the spawn.
The time is mid May, water temperature is in the mid to high 60’s, weather is partly cloudy and light breeze to light windy days.
The two crankbaits for this that I prefer is, one KVD 2.5 in Shad colors, and two is Rapala DTSS 3 or 7 in Shad colors for clear to stained water. On murky water or high windy days I will choose more darker colors or florescent colors to slow crank.
I start by looking for shallow spawning flats with gravel shorelines where I know bass have been spawning or should have spawned. These flats do not tend to drop off into deep-water channels, yet run gradually into deeper water, maybe a foot deeper or so for every 10ft farther out into the lake.
This seems to be the time of year when Bass love to feed, but are not aggressive or very energetic about it. You almost have to coax them into striking the crankbait. This is why the so-called slow rolling of the crankbait. It is like finessing the Bass with a crankbait.
The main idea is to cast your lure as far as possible in say the 3 to 10ft depth of water and slowly, very slowly, pausing time to time reeling it back to the boat. These Bass are out there and plenty of them, just very slowly swimming around recovering and gaining strength and looking for an easy meal to eat after the stress of spawning. It may take one cast or 20 casts to finally get a bite, but they are there and need to be coaxed into taking the bait. Most fishermen will cast and reel, cast and reel and cast and reel; most in a hurry looking for that fast strike. I have found and like to cast, reel, pause, twitch, pause, reel, pause and so on and so on. I like to use a 6:1 retrieve reel and mostly turn the handle once every second or so, also when close to the end of my cast I can reel in fast to cast again and start the method of the slow roll again.
For me I like the new KVD 2.5 because it has a large wide wobble and rides shallow in the water, it will bounce off most rocks and stumps that may be in the area also, which in turn could trigger a strike. This lure really wobbles with the slightest turn of your reel handle and has some of the sharpest largest hooks of any crankbait. I also use quite a lot the Rapala DTSS series (3 or 7) shallow crankbait. This is a crankbait that has a very tight wiggle/wobble, but it suspends when you pause. I feel this has contributed a lot to my success of hooking and catching these suspending bass at this time of year. You can cast and reel it very slow and stop, pause; it will stay where you stopped reeling. Twitch it very lightly, pause, start to reel again slowly and you most likely will feel something heavy at the other end of your line (your rod will load up) (start to bend); that feels like a (twig, tree branch, grass or something different). More likely than not, it is a Bass that has come up or swam by and engulfed your bait in no hurry, because it was an easy meal he did not have to waste energy to chase after.
Try this slow rolling/cranking a crankbait this time of year. The Bass are hungry, but have no energy to chase down bait and want to eat something that is easy to catch. Other than bed fishing for large spawning Bass, this can be one of the most productive Bass catching methods this time of year to catch a Bass of your lifetime, but you can not get in a hurry. Bass are very aware of what is swimming in their water and what they want to eat. I have found that a Shad looking, Crawdad looking or Bluegill/Perch looking crankbait lolly gagging slowly swimming in their water just looks like an easy meal that they do not have to waste energy to chase to eat. Try it on your favorite lake. Just find the spawning shallows or areas close to them. You’ll like it, it works for me. I use KVD 1.5 or 2.5, Rapala DTSS suspend series, 7ft or 7 ½ft cranking rod, a 6.3:1 retrieve reel with 10lb or 12lb fluorocarbon line.