Crankbaits are among the top-producing baits across the bass circuit. Their ability to deflect off cover and get a reaction strike from largemouth bass makes them a tournament-winning weapon.
Not only are they an effective lure for bass, but Metairie’s Arthur Borchgrevink has found them to be a deadly redfish bait as well.
Although Borchgrevink fishes primarily the Delacroix marsh, he said the technique of casting shallow-running crankbaits for redfish will work across the entire coast.
“I have a buddy of mine who fishes in Chef Pass for bass, and he caught a lot of redfish (in July) on crankbaits,” he said.
Borchgrevink finds the crankbaits work best in ponds on a high tide.
“I like the water to be up because it brings in more bait,” he said. “That way, if it’s grassy, my bait will go on top of the grass without getting hung up.
“If the water is low and the grasss is at the surface, you have to fish the edges of the grass more.”
There are many shallow-diving crankbaits on the market, but most of them run too deep for shallow ponds. Borchgrevink is partial to the H20 Xpress SCSFW Wake Bait because it only dives 0 to 6 inches, making it an ideal fit for shallow, grassy ponds.
Although he sometimes uses monofilament, Borchgrevink primarily uses braided line for this technique, and when he does, he spools up with FINS 40G.
“I absolutely love that line,” he said. “It casts far, it’s smooth, and it doesn’t knot up in the wind. It helps you cut through the grass, too.”
Many anglers tie directly to the braid, but Borchgrevink says they’re making a big mistake.
“I believe a leader makes a difference,” he said. “The fish can’t see it; I get more bites with the leader.”
Borchgrevink ties a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader to his braided line.
Not only does the leader stop the fish from seeing the line, it also prevents the treble hooks from getting twisted around the limp braid.
The pace at which you retrieve the crankbait is key to drawing strikes from redfish, according to Borchgrevink.
“I steady reel it in,” he said. “You’ve got to find that sweet spot between too fast and too slow.”
To achieve the correct depth, Borchgrevink reels the bait with his rod tip parallel to the water.
And when the redfish hit the crankbait, Borchgrevink advises you have a strong grip on the pole.
“You usually feel a thump, and when you set the hook, all hell breaks loose,” he said with a chuckle.