Fishing a Crankbait Through Cover for Spring Bass

Apr 02, 2022 Fishing Tips

You can catch a lot of bass in the Spring by fishing where you're "not supposed to." Purposely worming a crankbait through the branches of a brush pile may sound intimidating at first, but with this approach detailed by Chad Hoover in this video, it can be quite effective.

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Video transcipt:

Chad Hoover:
Hey guys, I'm Chad Hoover. Welcome to MONSTERBASS, where today we're going to talk about grinding a crankbait through cover. All right. So, grinding a crankbait through cover is not a foreign concept to anybody that's ever picked up a bass rod. What I see a lot of people not doing though, is grinding it through stuff like lily pads and vegetation. Now, it's not as easy to do it, but it's definitely something that you can get away with. The way that you really want to do it is you want to do it with a round bill, a spade bill, and a lot of times, even a coffin bill. But when you get into square bills, they tend to hit the grass and turn and hang up.

Chad Hoover:
One other adjustment that you need to make when fishing a crankbait around less than hard cover, something that's going to have a little bit give to it, and I do this on tree limbs out at the end of treetops as well is to go to a little bit faster action rod. Not a fast action rod, just one that's a little faster than your standard crankbait rod. And the reason for that is you don't want it to hit and deflect at a 90-degree angle, you want it to hit and back up a little bit, but then go straight ahead. You don't want that thing to have a really wide swipe to it, because it's going to catch on all the other vegetation around it. So, I like to fish with an actual swimbait rod, or a chatterbait rod, in a lot of cases because I do a lot better with those kinds of rods when fishing around soft cover stuff like lily pad stalks, Kissimmee grass, outer edges, fishing the outer edges, and ticking it along hydrilla, fishing it around salvinia and things like that.

Chad Hoover:
So, if you're going to fish around cover that's not hard, I strongly suggest getting away from a true crankbait rod that's got that really deep parabolic bend to it, that deflects that bait way back and has that swipe, pretty wide and go to a little bit faster action rod. Again, not a fast action rod, just a rod that's a little faster than your standard crankbait rod. By and large, most companies make a chatterbait rod. They make a swimbait rod or something like that, that's going to be that perfect combination for fishing a crankbait through softer cover. The cool thing about it too is if you're a kayak angler, like I am, it actually works really well anytime you're fishing a crankbait around cover, shallow rock, shallow docks, posts, stumps, things like that you hang up a lot less than you do with a standard crankbait style rod.

Chad Hoover:
A couple of adjustments that I like to make is I like to make the bait run shallower than it was intended and the way that I accomplish that is I tie a heavier leader than normal. So, most crankbaits depth is based on using 12-pound line, whether that's 12-pound fluorocarbon, 12-pound monofilament. And so, for me, because I fish braid primarily as my main line, or even if I'm going to throw a crankbait on straight fluorocarbon, I like to upsize my line when fishing an intermediate diver, something that's supposed to go five to seven feet to get it to go four and a half to five feet so I'm hitting that target depth, but it's running a little bit shallower. And one of the cool things that you can do is hold your rod tip up and reel it a little faster and it'll almost wake or seek the surface and get even higher than that.

Chad Hoover:
So, guys, if you're not fishing a crankbait around soft cover and especially not around hard cover, pre-spawn, through the spawn, and post-spawn, you're probably leaving a lot of fish on the table, especially a lot of big females that are staging, getting ready to spawn, and ones that have moved out after the spawn. Now, something to keep in mind that I don't think a lot of people understand about how the spawn works is, once people find fish on the beds, they stop fishing for them in other places. But odds are, if you find fish staging, and then you find some fish on the beds, there's another wave of fish that are moved into those staging areas. So, don't put the crankbait down just because you're sight casting to some fish on the bed, keep this thing in your arsenal pretty much anytime that water temperature gets in the high forties into the fifties and especially post-spawn in the 65 to almost 80-degree water temperature timeframe, just going to have to go a little deeper and a little deeper and a little deeper following those fish into the summer pattern.

Chad Hoover:
All right. So, if you're not hanging up, you're probably not fishing it close enough to cover. If you're not giving the bill a run for its money and putting gouges and nicks in into it, you're not giving a run for its money. If your main running line is not needed to be retied about every 30 or 40 casts, you're definitely not fishing it close enough to cover. I know it's got treble hooks on it and a lot of people are intimidated throwing crankbaits around cover but if you learn the nuances of worming that thing through cover, sneaking it through there, running it into pad stalks, you'll put a lot more fish in the boat, especially early in the season and all the way up until they commit to their summer pattern.

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