Complete Guide to Deep Diving Crankbaits

Deep diving crankbaits are one of the best lures for catching bass during the summer months. They are my favorite lures to use and what I caught my personal best bass on. After reading this guide you will have a better understanding of deep diving crankbaits including when to use them, how to fish them, specific color and lure recommendations, and what gear you need.

When to Fish Deep Diving Crankbaits

When fishing deep diving crankbaits temperature is key. I have found when the water hits 70 degrees is when deep diving crankbaits start really producing. For most of the country, this starts happening in early June.

When your water starts getting in the mid-70s bass start moving into their post-spawn patterns. The largest bass tend to move and school up first so recognizing this pattern early will be your best bet for catching a big bag. I have found that deep-diving crankbaits are the best way for targeting bass during this transition. This transition window tends to last about 3 weeks before it starts die-down a bit in July and August.

Along with temperature, deep crankbaits tend to work best in the mornings. If you get on the lake early morning and the water temperature is in the 70s then you need to tie on a deep-diving crankbait. These conditions are tried and true for catching big bass.

Where to Fish Deep Diving Crankbaits

The best places to fish deep diving crankbaits are along dropoffs and irregular features. The best dropoffs will be near large flats. My favorite spots to target with deep cranks are the longest points that end with drop-offs. Big bass doesn’t tend to like steep banks, instead, they like flat to break.

In water with visibility under 3ft then breaks in the 5-10ft range are good. In clearer water with visibility greater than 3ft then the 10-15ft depths are better.

If you can find them as they first move out to deeper water then you are in for a great day on the water. On these spots, you can quite literally catch a big bass cast after cast. Bass group up in sizes and most of the time the bigger bass will be the first ones.

Deep Cranks in shallow water

It can seem counter-intuitive to throw a bait designed to dive 15ft+ deep in shallow water but it is an excellent way to catch bass in June. The extra diving depth of deep cranks ensures your bait isn’t just ticking bottom but instead dive-bombing the bottom. The hard force makes the bait deflect super hard off the bottom and gives an action that bass aren’t used to seeing. Additionally, deep cranks are much larger than their shallow diving counterparts so you really up the size of your catches by using deep divers up shallow.

Retrieval Tips for Deep Diving Crankbaits

  1. Keep your rod tip pointing at your lure during the retrieve. With deep diving crankbaits, you will be casting further than your typical lures. With the extra casting distance line stretch becomes a factor. If you retrieve with your rod tip at an angle you won’t have enough room to be able to properly set the hook. Keeping your rod tip pointing directly at the bait will ensure you have enough room to generate the force required to drive the thicker hooks in and get a good hookset.
  2. Use a medium-fast stop and go retrieve. A stop-and-go retrieve is hands down the best way to generate bites with a deep-diving crankbait. Every 3-4 reel turns add a short pause before starting again. Do this the entire length of your retrieve. Most bites will come as the bait is starting back up. This stop-and-go motion is great for firing up entire schools which can lead to catching back-to-back fish.

Combing these two simple tips can go a long way in catching more bass. Keeping your rod tip pointing at the bait also helps improve the stop-and-go action by making it much more reactionary. With your rod tip pointing at the bait, there is no delay from your rod stopping its flex. As soon as you pause the retrieve your bait will pause too.