The deep diving crankbait is one of the most effective baits for targeting calicos and sand bass feeding on suspended bait schools in open water. In this video, Captain Jimmy Decker shows the tackle and presentations that he uses for this application.
While this video was filmed at the Newport Pipe, this technique will work around any type of structure as long as the bass are biting in the upper-half of the water column. Earlier in this trip we had big sand bass coming up out of 60-feet of water to bite crankbaits that were running at 10 to 12-feet; so don’t worry about making bottom contact with your bait.
While you can fish a crankbait on just about any rod and reel, if you’re going to get serious about it, you’ll want a dedicated combo designed to properly fish the bait.
Starting with the rod, you’ll want a parabolic rod with a soft tip. Historically, crankbait rods were mostly glass but newer graphite composite rods, like the Rainshadow Judge Series JDGCB710H, or all graphite, like the Rainshadow Revelation REVCB80H. These rods are matched with a low speed 5.4:1 casting reel like the Abu/Garcia Revo Winch or the Revo Toro Beast 40. While any deep running crankbait will work, the Evergreen CR16 is a proven winner as is the Berkley Dredger in the 17.5 and 25.5 sizes.