When the bass bite starts to cool down in autumn's chilling waters, the answer is often right behind you. Fishing crankbaits from deep to shallow provides a different look, and one that keeps the bait in the strike zone.
Holding his boat shallow and firing casts out deep, crankbait expert Chad Templin targets bass relating to major points, as well as fish holding off of deep weed edges. It's a tactic that triggers bass not only during the summer but well into the fall.
"If you are cranking away from the cover, you may be pulling the bait up and away from them," Templin explains. "Fishing it the opposite way, not only are you triggering strikes from fish hiding in the deep weed edge, but you also catch fish that may be staging off of it in deeper water, since you are constantly working the bait toward all of the cover."
Templin says that in late fall's cold water, he significantly slows his retrieve, crawling the bait over and through weeds — or the rocky bottom of a weedless point. Deep divers like Norman's DD22 and Lucky Craft's RC 3.5 DD — baits that will consistently hit the 12 to 16 foot range — allow him to tailor his retrieve to maintain fairly consistent contact with the patchy stalks of remaining deep, green weeds. In the case of rocky ledges in deeper water he'll opt for a BasStar Dredger, which thanks to both an internal weight and one in the lip, makes the bait sink like a jig.
To facilitate his slow, accurate attack, Templin will often anchor his boat, either physically, or through the use of the I-Pilot feature on his Minn Kota. He's taken smallmouths in excess of 5 pounds, and largemouths topping six, climbing underwater cover and structure with deep divers during the late fall.