Angler Education

Crankbaits - Scott Rook's Search Party?

Fishing unfamiliar water during an unfamiliar time of the year is nothing new to BASS pro and Berkley ® Pro Staff member Scott Rook. With limited time during competition to locate and catch fish, this Arkansas pro turns to one of his strong suits crankbaits to help put him on a winning pattern.

But that doesn't mean every fish he weighs in is going to fall to one of his many Berkley Frenzy crankbaits. Rook uses his crankbaits as search baits to cover a lot of water in a small amount of time. This allows him to learn where the fish are in the water column, preferred structure and what colors are most effective.

Rook said crankbait color varies, but he always tries to match the water's color. For muddy water, he prefers to stay shallow and picks baits with bright colors like Chartreuse or Firetiger. If the water temperature is below 60 degrees, red and orange colors work well. Rook also likes to flip crankbaits like the Frenzy Rattl'r.

Rook likes to start his search with a normal seasonal pattern. In spring, that would be bays and coves where bass are going to be spawning; in the summer, he targets main-lake points. Rook only uses Berkley Vanish ® line on his Abu Garcia ® Revo STX reel for crankbaits. The fluorocarbon line allows him to feel strikes that he would otherwise miss with monofilament. His choice for an all-around line is 14-pound test, while 17-pound is used for areas with heavy cover or with lipless crankbaits.

Beyond that, I just choose an area that looks good and go cover some water. I'll try to find where the baitfish are holding and look for some structure around that area, Rook said. If I work an area that has rip rap and I catch a fish on it, then I run out of rip rap and don't catch anymore fish, I'm going to go looking for some more rock. The same goes with wood or docks. With docks you may find bass holding on the same side or corner of different docks.

Once Rook has caught or located fish using a crankbait, he'll follow up with a jig or a Carolina rig, baits that allow him to slow down and expand his coverage of the area.

The crankbait will allow you to cover a lot more ground and locate a lot more fish in a lot less time, Rook said. Always keep a couple of different crankbaits tied on and alternate them until you catch fish. Once you catch one, pay close attention to how you caught it and where you caught it. That will give you a good indication of how you can catch some more. The crankbait is a pretty key bait in my arsenal, especially as a search bait.

With time on the water limited for both pros and weekend warriors, using a crankbait as a search bait can help ensure that anglers spend more time catching fish and less time trying to locate them.