Late Summer Cranking

By: Steve Pennaz

By late summer, most lakes have strong populations of fish holding on deep, off-shore structure. It’s safe to assume that soaring water temps are one reason species like bass move out.

But it’s not that simple.

Bait availability is another factor. Oxygen levels are another, and there’s probably more that we’ll learn once fish learn how to talk.

There is one thing you can rely on this time of year. Crankbaits. Especially those big-lipped deep-divers that are capable of grinding bottom at 20-25 feet on a long cast. They root out deep fish more effectively than just about any other bait.

Tips for Fishing Crankbaits

Working cranks is not as simple as chuck and wind. Factors like line and rod choice influence success, as does the retrieve ratio of your reel.

  • Mono is still a favored line with many top crankbait artists. It’s thin, casts well, and offers superb knot strength. It also stretches – and anglers look for that big of give to reduce the number of fish lost between hook-up and boat.
  • Braids often get the nod when fishing cranks in heavy cover. Their strength and lack of stretch make it easier to pull big fish from bad places more often.
  • Retrieve ratio is also important. Fishing fast is typically a good thing, but some cranks may blow out when fished at speeds generated by today’s hyper-speed reels that are gears 9.0:1 and gather 40 inches of line or more per turn.

Crankbait Storage

There is good news: I’ve learned storing cranks is now simple since Plano unveiled its line of Elite Series Crankbait Stowaways. All models in the 3600 and 3700 Series feature a patented V-groove in each lure compartment, which keeps hooks tucked away so they don’t poke you or tangle with other baits. The boxes are also clear so I can easily see what cranks are inside and their colors.

Models for large, medium and small cranks are offered, and I use ’em all because there never was any truth to the old saying that big fish only want big baits.

Plano Crankbait Storage Box is See Through for Convenience.Plano Crankbait Storage Box Prevents Hook Tangles









I like the fact that not only do all Crankbait Stowaways in the Elite Series protect my cranks, but finishes stay perfect until they meet a few giant bass! And there are never any of those nasty crankbait tangles that take precious time in the boat to work out. Baits slide in and out easily – every time.

So, where am I going with this? Simple: If you fish cranks, you should be storing them in Plano Elite Series Crankbait Stowaways.