Last time we chatted with Garmin pro Casey Scanlon, he talked about selecting the body size of crankbait to throw in certain situations, and the speed at which he retrieves them. This week, we are talking about depth, color, and material.
Garmin: How do you select which bill to use for the depth range you are targeting?
Casey: A squarebill is my favorite style of bill to throw, but you just have to look at a crankbait like any other tool. There are hundreds of different crankbaits out there and I usually have 4 or 5 of them tied on at any given time. It all depends on the cover and the depth that you want to target the fish at.
If I have places all over the lake where I’m targeting different depth ranges or multiple spots that I’ve marked waypoints on with my Garmin 1040xs, I’ll pick up a crankbait for each job. If I’m targeting fish in 10’ of water, I’m going to pick up a crankbait that dives 10-12’ so it hits the bottom and deflects off cover. Deflection is key, especially on a deep diving crankbait, as it helps incite a reaction strike. A shallow running crankbait like a squarebill doesn’t always have to touch something to get a strike; you are bringing it past them with a lot of speed on the bait. It’s nice to hit something or bang it off of a log or on the rocks, but with a deeper diving plug like the Luck-E-Strike Freak, it seems key to get that bait to hit the bottom. You want to choose whatever size gets you that deflection.
Garmin: What is your process for selecting the right color for the situation you are fishing?
Casey: I like to keep it real simple. I typically stick with shad, crawdad and bluegill imitating patterns. I use white and black shad patterns quite a bit, like Luck-E-Strike’s Spotted Shad. My favorite and go-to color is Black Chartreuse; I guess it imitates a bluegill, but whatever it is, the fish really seem to like it! In the springtime, I’ll throw a lot of red and brown crawdad patterns. When it comes to water clarity, I usually use Black Chartreuse, and in clearer water, I use more natural colors and shad patterns. Spotted shad is one of my favorites for clear water and there’s a bluegill pattern that I really like too.
Garmin: How often do you throw a balsa crankbait over plastic crankbaits, and in what situations do you use them?
Casey: I usually have both balsa and plastic crankbaits tied on. Sometimes I find that the fish prefer the action of a balsa crankbait, which tends to be more wandering and erratic, and tends to hunt more than a plastic crankbait. There are times that the fish prefer that hunting action, and there are times when they don’t really want that erratic action, so that’s when I will use a plastic crankbait. I do throw a lot of balsa baits. However, I tend to throw them mostly around wood cover because they have more buoyancy and I don’t like to get them banged up on the rocks because I like them so much!
Thank you Casey for taking the time to speak with us. These are all great tips! Best of luck on the rest of your season!
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