Fall cranking is exciting for those who understand that a reaction bite attracts the most aggressive fish from October through November. Washington State does not have a ‘shad’ population like we hear about in other parts of the country, but we have several other key species of prey – bluegill, perch and crayfish. From medium to deep divers, here are a few of my favorites from 2012:
First up is the Strike King 6XD. A true deep diver in every sense of the word, and effective at that. This 1-ounce bad boy runs true out of the package the majority of instances, and effectively runs 16 feet. Fishing this crank on the bottom is the key. Hitting rocks, scraping logs and leaving a trail of dust are a few surefire ways to attract more attention. The greatest characteristic about the 6XD is that the crank gets to the bottom fast. Make long casts and crank at a slow even pace. You’ll get bit sooner or later.
The ABT X2 Crankbait weighs in at 1-ounce and is designed to run 12 feet on a straight retrieve, but if you let it sink, it can reach depths of 25+ feet. I have fished this lure on two trips thus far and have caught numerous smallmouth on the Chartreuse model. The coolest characteristic about this Allen Borden lure is that it is much easier to fish than traditional deep divers. The body design and bill work together to dive without as much resistance. It casts like a bullet, weighs enough to cast in any environment and is most effective with 10-pound fluorocarbon. Trust me, I’ve done a lot of work with this particular model.
Spro’s Little John Baby Deep Diver is a must-have. This flat-sided deep diver has a couple advantages over other baits that I feel are important. First, the body is flat-sided, which gives this crank a very tight wobble. Second, the internal weight transfer system entails a rubber coated tungsten ball that is much quieter. Together, both characteristics work together to help you avoid spooking fish. At 5/8 of an ounce, this bait should run around 14 feet with 10-pound fluorocarbon.