Fishing crankbaits along shallow rocky shorelines can be a productive way to target calico bass year-round. While crankbaits can be fished on any saltwater bass combo, for best results you’ll want to throw them on a crankbait-specific rod and reel.
Crankbait rods, like the 9 1/2-foot Rainshadow Revelation REVCBT98XH-SB, maximize casting distance while having a soft and parabolic action that keeps big fish from pulling hooks. The best reel for this style of fishing is a 200 or 300 sized baitcasting reel with a gear ratio of 6:1 or lower, like the Abu Garcia Revo Beast 40 in 5.8:1. Whichever reel you choose, I recommend filling it with 30# spectra and tying on a 20# or 25# fluorocarbon leader.
If you’re interested in trying this method for the first time, please be very careful and considerate when positioning your boat in shallow water. Larger swells can pop up on even the calmest of days, so never put your boat in tight without having an escape route planned out if things go wrong. On that same note, never turn your back to the direction the swell is coming from for long.
A good rule of thumb is to check over your shoulder for swells every time you cast.
Also, if you’re going to fish with your trolling motor always have the main motor running and someone within reaching distance of the console at all times. If you’re unfamiliar with the area you’re going to be fishing, it pays to sit outside for at least five minutes to watch how the swells interact with the submerged structure.