Crankbaits work best to bring home the bass

OUTDOORS

January 23, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

One of the best lures to call on when you want to collect a string of southern Maryland pond, river and tidal bass is the crankbait.

"It's always one of my top lures, regardless of the time of year or location of the water," bass pro Paul Elias said.

Elias recommends carrying at least three.

"I want lures that dive to about 5 feet, then one that works at around 10 feet and finally, a deep diver that digs down to 15 feet or more," he said.

Nearly all manufacturers put depth information on their crankbait packages, but keep in mind that running depth can vary as much as 2 feet, depending on line size and the length of the cast.

"It's important to be able to cover different depth ranges so that you can hit bottom. Most experienced crankbaiters think that the lure is not effective unless it is banging into something," Elias said. "I go along with this line of thought and believe that if my lure isn't doing that then I need to snap on a deeper diver.

"Deep-running crankbaits imitate bait fish, so it's important to have several sizes in the tackle box. Also, one of the most popular techniques found on the pro tour these days is using deep and medium running lures along shallow shorelines and points. In these instances, the lure really digs up the bottom and imitates a crawfish more so than, say, a shad."

In crankbait design, the lure's lip controls the depth the lure reaches. The longer the lip, the deeper it runs. The lip design also determines the lure's wobble-like action. The more the lip slants, the wider the wobble. Also, narrow, flat-sided crankbaits tend to produce more vibration than designs with more rounded bodies.

"Another thing to remember is that while light line allows crankbaits to run deeper, heavier line helps keep them shallow," Elias said. "That's why when I'm working around shallow cover or over grass [typical of tidal Potomac], I usually change from 12-pound test to 20- or even 25-pound test. The added resistance helps keep the bait from digging too deeply."

Generally, wood crankbaits produce better side wobble, but plastic produces better sound. I've been switching to cedar these past few years and Elias endorses that decision.

"Cedar crankbaits have an almost neutral buoyancy. They stay pretty much at the same depth when the retrieve is stopped, which makes them a better choice for stop and go fishing around brush," he said.

"On the other hand, plastic gets the nod when I'm fishing around points, along riprap rocks or over fairly clear knolls and underwater bars."

Muzzleloader numbers up

Anne Arundel muzzleloader deer hunters bagged 102 whitetails during the Dec. 18 to Jan. 1 hunt. In 1992, local buck-skinners collected 81 deer.

The statewide total was a record-breaking 5,096 compared to the previous year's 4,725.

Successful county hunters included John Walters and Carroll Anderson, both of Glen Burnie, Pasadena's Jim Lewis and Gary Hill of Annapolis.

Saltwater fishing seminar set

The Salt Water Sportsman's national seminar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 at the Adele H. Stamp Union Building at the University of Maryland in College Park.

This all-day seminar is about as good as it gets and includes world-renowned anglers Mark Sosin, George Poveromo and Rip Cunningham. Joining this impressive lineup will be locals Captain Rick Novotony, Butch Tawes, Annapolis' Captain Glen James, Captain George McCullough and Dr. Mitch Roffer.

Seminar topics include chunking and chumming for bluefish, light-tackle techniques for blues, secrets of the Choptank, Mid-Atlantic makos, tips on catching yellowfins and bluefins plus marlin off Ocean City and lots more.

Cost of the session, including textbook and magazine subscription, is $35. Tickets can be ordered by calling 1-800-448-7360 or bought at the door.

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