With water temps cooling, water clarity improving and plenty of forage around bass have once again begun to move shallow as we head into late summer, but with all the natural food on offer they need to be force fed with a reaction bait to get them to bite.
To start your search, the best shallow cranking spots usually include a combination of rock, hard bottom, weed / timber and most importantly a sharp transition for them to easily move between deep and shallow water. Areas such as dam walls, isolated boulders, cliffs and channels leading into the back of bays are hot spots although you’ll often find numbers of smaller fish right in the back of bays, while bigger bass will hold to isolated cover in that 4-6ft range.
Square bill crankbaits such as the Sensation Mega Crank in the SD4 and SD6 version enable you to cover water quickly without snagging as often thanks to the deflection a square bill offers, it is also a key strike trigger when your bait comes crashing over the rock and deflecting off it is often when they bite.
In ultra-clear water use natural colour patterns such as Olive Natural, Vlei Kurper, Blue Kurper or even baby bass to imitate fry in the shallows, alternatively if the water is still stained try Peacock or Pretty Shad as higher vis options.
One of the keys to triggering bites right now is burning it on a fast retrieve with a 7.3:1 or higher ratio reel, yes, it defies conventional wisdom, but you want to trigger a reaction bite from otherwise very full bass so giving them a chance to get too good a look at it often means less bites and smaller fish. Pair it up with a 12-16lb Gamma Edge fluorocarbon or if you’re fishing a 7ft or shorter Medium powered go for a copolymer like Cull-em Bass Line or mono for that added bit of stretch to set the hook while still having the abrasion resistance to bang the bait into the rocks. As for rods a dedicated crankbait rod like the 7’11 Medium power Okuma Serrano or Recon will enable you to stay off the bank and control these shallow water bass, as they tend to come to the surface fast and jump at this time of year. Also be sure to have a snagless net on hand to land them.