Shallow vs. Deep: The Best Summertime Lures

We surveyed top Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to find out which summertime baits they don't leave home without. Here is what they had to say:

Deep-Diving Crankbait


"In the summertime, the kind of fishing I like to do is offshore. The deep-diving crankbait is one of the best summertime baits there is. It's a great search bait — you can cover a lot of water with it from points and humps to any other offshore structure you can find." — Edwin Evers

Big Worm


"There are so many different brands, you just have to let the fish tell you which one to throw. Just make sure it is at least 10 inches in length. You are fishing deep and a big worm like that rigged with a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce sinker is easy to cast and gets down to cover. You can fish it so many ways, dragging it or hopping it and as deep as you want. It comes through brush piles and other cover easily. That time of year, the size of the forage is large, so the fish are feeding on those bigger profiles."
David Walker

Carolina Rig


"The advantage of a Carolina rig is, you can catch a lot of fish with it and cover more water than a lot of other baits. Put a big weight on (3/4-ounce) and really probe those points. That's what I use when I'm fishing water I don't know, because I can find the better rock and brushpiles. It's a really good locater and you can fish it real deep with a big weight. A Carolina rig would be my first choice to get out there and cover lots of water." — Jeff Kriet



"I like to flip a jig around a lot of the same stuff that I throw a crankbait because there are times they will hit a jig and not a crankbait. I am going to flip it in there, hop it a few times and put it somewhere else. I use a 5/8-ounce jig, which is pretty heavy, but I will use different trailers to control the fall rate. If you want it to fall fast, use a Zoom Chunk, a little slower, a Zoom Speed Craw, and the slowest, a Zoom Super Speed Craw."
Kevin Short

Square-Billed Crankbait


"If a square-bill is good, you don't need to be throwing anything else. From April through mid-June on impoundments, if you have any off-color water, it's square-bill time. On a river, a square bill is good year round. The biggest key is to find the off-color water, which will hold resident, shallow fish. You can cover more water and multiple depths and I generally fish it faster than most guys do. As for size, you can catch numbers on the smaller sizes, but every tournament you are going to win, you are going to be fishing the big one." — Rick Clunn



"The frog would be my top choice. The key is that it floats and is highly visible. Those shallow fish are looking up and they are not afraid to go and get it. You can put a frog places easier than a jig or worm like under docks and overhanging trees — anything that provides an ambush point for the bass. Killer Gill has a shad pattern with a frog profile, so you kind of have the best of both worlds with that one. I recommend throwing it on anywhere from 60- to 80-pound Sunline braid to get the job done." — Dean Rojas  End of story hook

— Published: Summer 2012

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