Crankin' The Suspended Way
By Bill D. Roberts
I've always had a love for crankbait fishing since the first tournament I won in 1989. (5 smallmouth in 15 minutes 21.5 pounds) Even when I would find the perfect crankbait, it wouldn't be quite good enough. So I would modify it some how, whether by color, shape, size, or my favorite adding weight.
In 1995, I noticed a product by Storm, called Suspend Dots. These are little stick on weights that allow you to add any amount of buoyancy to a crankbait. In the past I've done just about everything to accomplish this, including using leaded fly line wrapped around the hooks. This works but it also takes a lot of time wrapping the hooks and testing the buoyancy in the bathtub. This usually made my wife quite unhappy.
With the Suspend Dots once you find the combination that you're looking for on your favorite crankbait, just remember how many dots you added. For example my number one crankbait is a Poe's 300. It takes approximately six Suspend Dots to make the Poe's 300 completely neutral, five will give you a slow rise four a little faster and so on. I love cedar wood crankbaits they just throw farter and are easier for most fisherman to make neutral.
Some people might ask why you want to make a crankbait suspend Anything you can do to keep the bait in the strike zone longer is why! In early April 1995, while fishing a tournament at Banks Lake located In Eastern Washington I caught eight small mouth bass, from 2 to 3 pounds in nine minutes. My partner caught one fish and the other boats around us caught none! Water temperature was 46 degrees and the fishing was rated as slow. I took my 300 Poe's weighted it with six suspend dots, making it completely neutral. I would then cast toward the shore crank it very fast till it hit a rock which it would, when it reached about eight feet. I then paused everything, for approximately five seconds. The crankbait would sit still right beside or on top of the rock. I would then start to turn the handle on the reel and wham! They would hammer it.
On another trip, to the same lake they wanted it rising slowly. Four dots worked the best. That's the beauty of these dots you can change the buoyancy whenever you want in seconds. And don't think it won't work in your lake! I went to Lake Shasta a couple of winters ago, without prefishing I entered a Tournament Won Bass was having (5 Spots for 15.5 pounds) I won using suspending Poe's and non-suspending TimberTigers! Water temp 48 degrees.
Just remember you don't always have to throw jigs in cold water, sometimes Crank-in the suspended way will get them!