We recently sat down with Garmin and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Scanlon to talk crankbaits. Casey has so many great tips for crankbaits, we’re bringing it all to you in a two-part series. Part 1 is focused on how he determines the size of crankbait to use, and the speed at which he retrieves it. Be sure to be on the lookout next week for Part 2 that will cover color, depth and material.
Garmin: How do you decide the speed at which you retrieve your crankbaits?
Casey Scanlon: I determine the speed mostly based on the time of the year. In colder water, I will reel it a lot slower than I would if I were fishing warmer water. Also, around real heavy cover or grass I will reel it slower as well, but once we get past the spawn, I like to retrieve it as fast as I can. The thing I like most about Garmin Panoptix is that I can see if a fish is chasing my crankbait or if it swims away from it. That’s huge in helping me decide whether or not I need to change something up like the color, size, or speed at which I’m retrieving it.
I really think that speed is the best way to trigger a bite with a crankbait, so whether I’m fishing a squarebill or a deep diving crankbait, I really try to burn it back no matter what. Typically, I will use a faster 7.1:1 reel seated on a 7’0” MH Bass Pro Shops Crankin’ Stick when I’m fishing a squarebill, and a slower 6.4:1 reel on a Razr Rods 7’8” MH E-Glass Casey Scanlon Signature Series rod with a deep diving crankbait, just because of the pull of the bait itself. I never use a reel with an extremely slow gear ratio but with the deeper baits I use the 6.4:1 and just fish it until it feels like my arm falls off! Honestly, you are reeling it as fast as you can, but the slower gear ratio puts a little less strain on you cranking those bigger plugs.
Garmin: When it comes to the size of crankbait, why would you choose a smaller size over a larger one, or vice versa?
Casey: I’ll typically throw a bigger crankbait in dirty water with very little clarity or around bigger fish if you are seeing larger baitfish. I’m all about keeping it simple! I love throwing the Luck-E-Strike Series 3 squarebills. A lot of the time I’m throwing that over the Series 4, which is a bit bigger, because I can reel it faster and it still catches big fish. The Series 4 has a slower, wider action, so I like to throw that in the early spring and late fall when the baitfish are bigger because I can wind the bait slower. However, I’d say 75% of the time I’m throwing the Series 3.
Stay tuned for Part 2 when Casey talks about choosing the correct crankbait color, diving depth, and material.
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