John's Journal...

A Deadly Bassing System - Crank ‘Em Up with Cliff Craft

Treetops Fishing Treetops for Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note:  Cliff Craft of Suwanee, Georgia, a retired professional bass fisherman and guide, qualified for the prestigious Bassmaster Classic seven times and in the past won the Angler-of-the-Year title and numerous bass-fishing tournaments. Many of Craft’s wins came while fishing his favorite bait, the crankbait, and he was considered by many fishermen to be one of the top crankbaiters of his time. Here’s a visit with this crankbaiting fanatic.Click to enlarge

 Fallen trees are often thought to be a horror house for the crankbait fisherman. Many anglers visualize a $5-$8 bait stuck on a limb just out of reach. But trees in the water will hold bass, and they can be fished successfully with crankbait. I really enjoy fishing fallen trees, because I know there usually are bass in them. A crankbait will bring the bass out.Click to enlarge

Creep-up on a tree like you do a log. Start by casting 3 or 4 feet from the outermost branches, if the bass doesn’t come out. Work the bait closer and closer to the cover. The stop-and-go retrieve seems to work best in the trees and the bushes in the water. As you get into the tree with the bait, start to bump limbs with the tip of the bait. Being able to determine the difference between a light strike and a limb can be difficult. However, the best rule of thumb is to stop the bait after you get a bump. When that bait hits the limbs and stops and floats up, a bass may think the baitfish has been stunned and represents an easy meal. You will catch a lot of fish by stopping the bait when it bumps a limb.Click to enlarge

When you are ready to attack the center of the tree, use a floating bait with a big lip. When the bait dives and strikes a limb, stop the bait. The lure will back up and float over the limb. That big lip acts as a bumper. By stopping the bait when it hits the limb, and allowing it to float up, you can crank down hard and dive the bait over the limb and deeper into the top. You usually can walk the lure from limb to limb and make a bass bite. A crankbait won’t hang-up nearly as often with this technique as it does when you employ a steady retrieve.

Tomorrow: Old Creek Channels

Check back each day this week for more about "A Deadly Bassing System - Crank ‘Em Up with Cliff Craft"

Day 1: Stumps and Logs
Day 2: Deadly Retrieves Near Stumps, Logs and Boulders
Day 3: Treetops Fishing Treetops for Bass
Day 4: Old Creek Channels
Day 5: Boathouses


Entry 512, Day 3