Docks, Cranks and Largemouths

While many anglers focus their summertime crankin’ on the riprap structure that’s common in the lakes around Garland, Texas, Bandit brand ambassador Josh Jetter will choose to fish a boat dock — every time.

“Summertime bass on riprap seem to chase a crankbait more than eat it—for me, anyway,” he said. “I’d much rather spend my time around a dock. Those fish just bite better.”

And not all docks are equal, he added, saying that wooden docks are prime territory, out producing metal docks many times over. “If I’m working a line of docks, and see a wooden structure coming up, I know there will be bass there.”

When approaching any dock, Jetter sets up precisely — holding the boat 15-20 feet from the end, and in line with one side of the structure’s main run. “I make a long cast nearly to the shoreline and bring the lure back right alongside the pilings.

Rather than a straight swimming retrieve, Jetter says a quick stop-and-go retrieve is the key, adding that he took that queue from fishing surface lures. “I love to fish topwaters,” he said, “and figured that if they worked so well around the docks, there had to be other bass that would take a crankbait. lt’s 2 or 3 quick cranks, then a 2-second pause, then a couple more quick cranks and another 2-second pause — all the way back. And whenever the lure comes to a piling, I make sure to freeze the lure at that spot. That’s when it usually gets smashed.”

A speedy baitcasting reel with a 7:1 gear ratio helps give the lure some zip on the stuttering retrieve. He also prefers s12-pound Silver Thread fluorocarbon line because its lack of stretch means the crankbait reacts instantly to each crank of the reel handle.

A Bandit 200 Series crankbait in chartreuse fleck is his overall top bait because it produces under a variety of water conditions. “It’s my absolute favorite pattern, and I have one tied on a rod all the time.” In ultra-clear water, however, he’ll opt for the Casper pattern, and lately, heavy rainfall has caused his home lakes to become a bit stained and the chartreuse rootbeer pattern has emerged as a top producer. “I think it’s that chartreuse belly,” he said. “The fish can probably see it better in the dingy water.”

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