Throughout my fishing career I’ve spent A LOT of time fishing shallow ponds. That’s probably because I grew up on one. But regardless, these skinny-water fisheries were my practice fields. And above anything else, they taught me how deadly a shallow crankbait can be.
Now when I say shallow, I’m not talking a crankbait that runs 5-7 feet. I’m talking SHALLOW. As in a foot under the surface. Look, as most of you know, when you’re fishing a pond you’re fishing from the bank, which means the last thing you want to do is get snagged up. And shallow cranks, like my all-time favorite Mann’s Baby 1-Minus, excel at letting you cast and crank without worry of snagging up. Plus, they’re phenomenal over weeds and let you quickly bombard the water with casts.
But, as great as the Baby 1-Minus is in my eyes, there’s one major area it simply wasn’t meant for: heavy cover. That little lip bounces off longs and stumps about as well as I sing (I’m not good. Trust me on this one). That meant there were always those areas I simply couldn’t fish. Well, I could. But the odds of me getting my crankbait back were iffy at best. In fact, I lost my most productive crankbait tempting fate like that. I still carry around the psychological damage from that day.
Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that with the Rapala DT Fat 01. The square lip deflects off cover with ease. Plus, it gives the lure an awesome wobble. It may not be the best choice early season, but come summer, when I’m trying to get a fish’s attention, this sucker is going to get the job done.
While this baby will probably become my new favorite for heavy-cover ponds, I have a few other places I have a good feeling it will work, like shallow flats or massive weedbeds. Many anglers use spinnerbaits or topwaters to fish those areas, but let me tell you how effective a bright chartreuse crankbait can be over weeds. Especially ticking and ripping the weed tips. It’s a great reaction bite, plus the two trebles mean better hooking percentage than a spinnerbait. And I’m never turning down a better hooking percentage.
Rapala makes a whole line of DT cranks that are quickly becoming favorites for us here at the office and pros on the FLW Tour. Not just because the number/running depth in the title makes it easy to determine which lure to throw (it really does though), but also because the fish love them. And isn’t that the best factor?
Slam the hooks!