Fishing deep-diving crankbaits for redfish

In some parts of the country, redfish are called “channel bass.” Reds and largemouth bass hail from different fish families, of course, but these two species share more than a common nomenclature — they share an interest in crankbaits.

Venice guide Capt. Anthony Randazzo has been an active inshore tournament angler for many years, and he terms the extreme crankbaits as one of the more clandestine of redfish strategies.

“Many anglers use shallow-diving crankbaits over oyster beds and around roseau canes to persuade redfish into striking; however, (deep cranking) is one of the lesser-discussed tricks in the bag of tournament redfishermen,” Randazzo said. “Any deep-diving crankbait will work. We use different models depending on depth. Twenty-five feet is probably the maximum depth that we would probe.

“Eight to 12 feet is the preferred depth for efficiency on the angler’s part and is a common depth around most rock jetties. However being dedicated to making the scales tip in our favor, we will go as deep as the fish are lurking. “

Randazzo points out that the key to attracting redfish attention is to keep the crankbait in contact with the rocks. The idea is to make as much commotion as possible — a strategy that will create some impulsive strikes from sluggish redfish.

“I’m not really sure if they think it’s a pogy or a crab or a mullet, but they will crush it,” Randazzo said. “Hence, we change the treble hooks from the lighter hooks that the manufacturers install on those bass baits to something with more muscle and super sharp points.”

About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications