Each and every season, the weather changes and so does the fishing. No year is the same, and every time you’ll need to adapt to the conditions in order to still catch fish. Last Winter was no exception. It was a strange season with high ups and downs regarding the overall temperature, and it certainly was anything but stable. Good periods divided by bad periods and really doing things different was the key in order to still find and catch the Esox I was after…
During yet another cold-front that was approaching, scaling down seemed to be the deal yet again. Post-frontal conditions with high skies and cold air from the North, North-East forced us to use smaller baits, crankbaits for this occasion. I always carry a large selection of lures, so that there’s always something that works and will catch fish. In this case, the 5” Joe Bucher Outdoors ShallowRaiders and Baby DepthRaiders were on fire. And that’s not a coincidence.
”Just a random selection of great cold-front killers”
Globally, these crankbaits are probably The best medicine for a tough bite. They always produce fish, but particularly good during cold fronts. For the last decade, they have been productive and still. There is no other little crankbait on the market that has saved us so many days as this has. The overall action, the high-frequency rattles inside, the presence and presentation, it simply drives any negative fish into positive feeding mode. They absolutely cannot resist it.
”The Shimer’n shad, another top producing color”
When the bite is this slow, it’s also time to slow things down. When it comes to fishing for Pike in these type of conditions, they are located near the bottom. If not on the bottom, and either stay in the deep or shallow water, regardless the water temperature. Often covered in leeches, they want a slow presentation, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to do, go slow. Long line trolling DepthRaiders at stationary speed of your outboard is extremely effective in the deeper waters, equally as fishing ShallowRaiders in shallower water. Though sometimes it can also help fishing deeper diving cranks into the prop wash, but that’s only the case when the fishing is really exceptionally slow and you want to use that style of bait as a ”search bait”.
”JBO DepthRaider Chrome Clown, a perfect example that puts off a lot of flash and vibration”
How does this work? Well, you need a few key ingredients for this. Shallow water, two rods in a rod holder, one ShallowRaider on a long line, one DepthRaider on a short line. Either left or right side of the boat, that doesn’t really matter. The more erratic type of action from the deeper diving crank will act as an attractor giving off a massive amount of vibration, while the other one comes after it a little bit later. This is a very simple technique which can be the last trick if things really slow down. You can catch fish on both, so double the chance. Isn’t that great?
Regarding colors; White belly lures are always good, but also colors that give off a little bit more flash and vibration, let’s say something silverish inside and on darker days darker colors like a black perch for example or a more natural look. You can vary as much as you want, but if you stick to the key elements I just guided you through, I’m sure they will be a day saver for you. Try it out and see for yourself how good it works!
”When the Pikes are stuck in shallow water covered in leeches, ShallowRaiders always pull off the trick”