Excerpted from fishsens.com, but not able to link to it…. Brandon Card talkin’ a few years ago, before he had his current sponsor roster. So sorry to out him about these baits since he’s probably using different ones now, but these are great starting points for crankin’ and he knows his stuff so here we go:
1. Lipless: Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe — “The shallowest option for me…start by fishing this bait right up on the bank on mud flats and in the backs of creeks and pockets. I use the 3/8-oz size most of the time and fish the bait at a really fast pace. The key for me is to find bass chasing baitfish…. I will use a chrome-colored bait when the sun is out and switch to a shad pattern if it is cloudy.”
2. Squarebill: Lucky Craft LC 1.5 — “Basically where I stop throwing the lipless, I’ll pick up the squarebill. I focus on channel swings, steeper banks with rocks and the edges of flats. The other thing that I look for this time of year is logs and laydowns. …copper green shad in clearer water and white/black back in muddier water.”
3. Mid-depth crank: Bandit 200 — “…dives 4-8′ and that range is a great place to catch all 3 species…. I back out farther towards the main lake compared to my squarebill spots and head closer to points. I like to find rocky points close to where I would use the squarebill, just closer to the main lake. My favorite color for clear water is rootbeer and blue splatter back for dingier water.”
4. Deeper crank: Bomber Fat Free Shad Jr. (BD6) — “…dives 8-14’…I key on main lake points and back out a little deeper than the places I use the Bandit 200. They are often the same locations — I just position the bait differently and cast to deeper water. Flat points and steep points both produce — I will hit them all and just point hop until I find the type of points fish are using that day.
> “…clear water I will use foxy shad and citrus shad…. Many brands make a color called citrus shad, but Bomber makes one that is different from the rest. It has a metallic, reflective hue to it and I really like that color this time of year.”
5. Deep crank: Strike King 6XD
— “I do not use a deep crankbait as much during this time of year, but there are times when you can find untapped schools of fish offshore…since most of the rest of the anglers are fishing shallow. …harder to find and fewer of them than in the summer, but it can be done.> “I look for ledges and humps and rely on my electronics to find the schools in 15-20+ feet of water. If the fish are less than 18′ deep, I will cast for them and if they are deeper, I will use the long-lining method to get the bait to dive down to the 20-22′ range.
> “The 6XD comes in rattling and silent versions and I will use both. I start with the rattling version to try for the most aggressive fish first and then start using the silent version once the bite slows down [many guys do that]. I use blue gizzard shad if the water is very clear and chartreuse sexy shad if it is slightly stained.”