I first learned of the Storm Arashi square billed crankbaits from watching B.A.S.S. coverage of Brandon Palaniuk on the Mississippi Rumble. Arashi, meaning “storm” in Japanese, helped Palaniuk earn a 6-pound lead within the first two days of the tournament.
Since Fall has taken over from Summer with wind and cooling water temperatures, I hit a local lake in search of rocky shorelines and offshore weedlines. Weapons of choice included swimbaits, soft plastics and two Storm Arashi crankbaits – the Arashi Square 3 and Arashi Square 5 (the numbers indicating each lure’s diving depth). With the constant imparted darting action of the lure, fishing the Arashi crank adds one very effective characteristic – a nervous, searching action.
Targeting cover, such as fallen trees or by knocking the bait off rocks are traditional strike methods, but I noticed that adding random pauses can turn a neutral fish into a committed fish, especially when fishing around the tops of weedlines. If the fish are ripping the rod out of your hand and inhaling the bait, then you have found the perfect combination of color, action and diving depth. For short strikes, size down to the Arashi 3.
A few of the distinguishing features of the Storm Arashi series include a self-tuning line tie, circuit board lip and rotated hook hangers. A line tie that eliminates the need to be tuned and constantly monitored means more time fishing. If I had to choose my favorite characteristic, this has to be numero uno. While most power anglers are used to tuning crankbaits, many beginner or intermediate anglers often ignore minor subtleties that are important with square billed crankbaits. The Arashi crankbaits eliminate the hassle altogether.
The circuit board lip, while thinner than the competition, allows greater feel when it comes to bumping the crankbait off of rocks and through patches of weeds. To make the entire technique a positive experience, a strong backbone on your rod will help clear weed-hitchhikers. Instead of having to negate the entire cast when the crankbait fails to swim properly, simply clear the Arashi with a couple of strong snaps of your rod and continue the retrieve – this is when this largemouth slammed the Storm Arashi 5.