Part 1 Crankbait Tips with Garmin Pro Casey Scanlon: Size and Speed
We recently sat down with Garmin and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Scanlon to talk crankbaits. Casey has so many great tips for crankbaits, we’re bringing it all to you in a two-part series. Part 1 is focused on how he determines the size of crankbait to use, and the speed at which he retrieves it. Be sure to be on the lookout next week for Part 2 that will cover color, depth and material.
Garmin: How do you decide the speed at which you retrieve your crankbaits?
Casey Scanlon: I determine the speed mostly based on the time of the year. In colder water, I will reel it a lot slower than I would if I were fishing warmer water. Also, around real heavy cover or grass I will reel it slower as well, but once we get past the spawn, I like to retrieve it as fast as I can. The thing I like most about Garmin Panoptix is that I can see if a fish is chasing my crankbait or if it swims away from it. That’s huge in helping me decide whether or not I need to change something up like the color, size, or speed at which I’m retrieving it.
I really think that speed is the best way to trigger a bite with a crankbait, so whether I’m fishing a squarebill or a deep diving crankbait, I really try to burn it back no matter what. Typically, I will use a faster 7.1:1 reel seated on a 7’0” MH Bass Pro Shops Crankin’ Stick when I’m fishing a squarebill, and a slower 6.4:1 reel on a Razr Rods 7’8” MH E-Glass Casey Scanlon Signature Series rod with a deep diving crankbait, just because of the pull of the bait itself. I never use a reel with an extremely slow gear ratio but with the deeper baits I use the 6.4:1 and just fish it until it feels like my arm falls off! Honestly, you are reeling it as fast as you can, but the slower gear ratio puts a little less strain on you cranking those bigger plugs.
Garmin: When it comes to the size of crankbait, why would you choose a smaller size over a larger one, or vice versa?
Casey: I’ll typically throw a bigger crankbait in dirty water with very little clarity or around bigger fish if you are seeing larger baitfish. I’m all about keeping it simple! I love throwing the Luck-E-Strike Series 3 squarebills. A lot of the time I’m throwing that over the Series 4, which is a bit bigger, because I can reel it faster and it still catches big fish. The Series 4 has a slower, wider action, so I like to throw that in the early spring and late fall when the baitfish are bigger because I can wind the bait slower. However, I’d say 75% of the time I’m throwing the Series 3.
Stay tuned for Part 2 when Casey talks about choosing the correct crankbait color, diving depth, and material.
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