Crank baits happen to be one of my favorite ways to fish. Cranks baits are like a Rhino smashing through cover and rocks to create chaos and get that fish to bite. I like them because they are a great way to cover water and locate fish. Crank baits will dive any where from 1 - 20 feet. I personally like to fish the shallow ones and up to 10 feet deep. Here are a few...
1.5 & 2.5" Squarebills: Squarebill cranks are great for shallow water up to 5' deep. They get used with a variety of retrieves. You can burn them and get them to look like they are hunting through the rocks or give them a little reel, pause, reel technique. They will cover a lot of water and are a great fish locator.
Deep Divers: Deep Diving baits will range anywhere from 10 to 20 feet deep. I use these at the drop offs when the fish are suspended in deeper water and want to chase these off the ledges. Use these on them hot summer days when the bass are bidding down deep. You can also run them along or above the deep weeds.
Lipless: These lipless have a wide variety of ways you can use them. You can slow roll them, burn them fast, the yo-yo technique or pop them on and off the bottom. These baits produce many strikes on the move. These are another great bait to cover a bunch of water real fast. Be creative!
A few tips on tossing the jig
Flipping Jigs: You would use these baits to fish inside or outside of cover like trees, wood and laydowns. These jigs usually have a stream lined head to cut through the dense cover. You want to take short precise casts with these. Let it fall to the bottom and give it 2 bumps and burn it back to the boat. The repeat. Remember to get that precision and precise cast as to where you think the fish may be in the cover.
Football Jigs: The football jig is made for wide open fishing. If you can picture how a football would wobble from side to side then that is how this jig performs. It is great for wobbling along rocks and chunks just like a craw fish.Take long bomb casts and retrieve over 1 rock at a time. You want to feel the bottom while you are counting the rocks and such. A slow roll.
Finesse Jigs: The finesse jig has a smaller profile and bullet or round head. This bait is great for light cover, small rocks. Good for fishing small ponds ands smaller situations. It does the same job as the others with more of a softer approach.
One day I was studying the Delaware for some spots to drop the kayak and do a float trip. I posted up for some spots and a gentleman by the name of Paul (another fishing fiend) was kind enough to send me some pins to check out. After taking a couple trips and some more back and forth on Facebook with pics and trips. I come to find out there are a few more of Paul’s family members that are also fishing fiends. I come to find out that Paul’s dad Tim makes custom rods for close friends and family. After bugging Paul enough, he finally asked his Dad to make me a rod. I was lucky enough to get my first hand made river smallmouth rod from someone who has been fishing the Delaware river a long time! A seasoned veteran of river fishing and rod builder. The rod was GREAT. I gave Tim some custom painted 1.5” square bills to fish and he has been using them ever since. Then one day I closed my custom rod in my tailgate. I was heartbroken. I had to reach back out to Tim and see if he would make me another rod. He agreed to make me a new stick in exchange for some custom painted baits. He made me this exceptional stick with a Philadelphia Flyers theme with some custom lettering also. I asked Tim if he would gimme a little background along with this new stick so you can see what type of passion goes into these rods and the LOVE of fishing. I have a saying I like to use “By a fisherman, for a fisherman” and this little read is exactly that. There is a great shot of Tim with a true GET HOOKED moment below.
From Tim himself….
I started fishing in earnest when we moved to Allentown NJ one street away from Conies Mill Pond or the "Lake" as it was known. Started taking my two sons fishing when Paul was almost 5 years old and Daniel was not quite 3 and he would sit in his stroller. We had 10' jonboat and would spent hours on the lake and go out to Assunpink or Stone Tavern lake and fish also. One day I was walking home from hardware store and the guy who did taxidermy in town stopped me and said here's the fish you wanted mounted, turned out the boys had taken a 15" large mouth bass there and said I wanted it mounted! They fished that lake so much my wife and I ran the towns 4th of July fishing contest for a number of years. My two boys continue to be avid fresh water fishermen to this day, Daniel has a nice SeaArk he designed for the river and takes me, Paul, my brother David fishing as much as we can. Two and a half years ago I decided I wanted to try and make my own fishing rod and dove into it. I have made close to three dozen rods - mostly spinning rods and a few bait casters, have only made a few surf rods and two saltwater boat rods. Every rod I've made is for someone's enjoyment and not for profit, the majority of them have gone to family members and close friends. I only ask for cost of materials as I'm not a true professional but an avid hobbiest.