Late Spring Crankbait Tactics for Bass
Post spawn bass can be difficult to catch at times, but crankbaits can coax bass to bite as they are moving from spawning flats to the structure where they will feed and hold until summer. Every crankbait can have a little different wobble or action by design, but one post spawn technique that enhances the action and increases strikes from bass that has been proven time and time again by top pro anglers is a fast retrieve and direction changes. A fast presentation will often get bass to strike during post spawn when many anglers believe the fish are not biting. Post spawn bass are somewhat lethargic as they recuperate from the stressful activities of the spawn. Often they will not chase bait, but when a crankbait bumps and bounces off structure as it is rapidly retrieved, bass cannot resist a reaction strike.
A reaction strike does not happen very often with a slow retrieve as if the fish are passive enough to ignore a slow moving lure. If you watch pro bass tournaments in the spring, one well-kept secret of pro anglers that fish crankbaits is that they will erratically change in speed and the direction the direction of the lure as they burn it over structure. The tactic is achieved by rapidly changing the position of the rod as the crankbait is being retrieved. By raising the rod tip the lure will climb, and by lowering it the lure will dive, then whipping it to the right to and to the left will cause the lure to react like it is maneuvering to avoid a predator, and this action, like a cat and a mouse, causes the bass to blow up on the crankbait. A long six and a half to seven foot rod and fluorocarbon line will help this technique greatly.
Although at times, post spawn bass can be difficult catch, a fast retrieve and random direction changes can be the trick for getting them to bite. A crankbait that runs deeper than the area that you are fishing will enhance the action when deflecting off the structure. Give this tactic a try on the days when someone says they just are not biting, you will be glad you did. Watch for the pro angler to manipulate the crankbait the next time you watch a televised tournament, once you see him raising, lowering and whipping side to side, when he feels changes in the bottom composition, that angler will soon be reeling one in.