BassWestUSA - Summer, 2012, Page 55

first strike.” Combs commonly positions his Ranger boat so he can drag the lure from shallow to deep water; however, when the bite slows from a school of fish, he may also change his boat position to create a new angle into the cover in an attempt to get the school biting again.

in pre-spawn months; however, he’s found the fast retrieve is generally better for him – even after a cold front when bass can exhibit the worst of their finicky nature. Again, the fast retrieval often elicits a reaction bite even during these difficult post-front days.

Naturally, seasonal differences re- quire cranking in different locations of the reservoir, and Combs follows traditional seasonal patterns with his arsenal of crankbaits. “During winter and pre-spawn, I’m really focused on steep drops along creek channels – the steeper the better,” adds the Texas pro. “For whatever reason, bass really feed along these vertical drops in colder water.” During the summer, you don’t even need a drop off to be effective - just isolated cover will hold large bass on a deep main lake flat or along the


“In Texas, deep cranking is actually a year-round method,” adds Combs, “the only seasonal differences are location and speed of the retrieval. For example, I’m almost always burning a deep crankbait about as fast as I can crank it unless it’s winter and the water temperature is in the 50’s. Then I will slow down and actually pull the lure along the bottom with my rod – kind of like a Carolina rig.” Combs says that conventional wisdom is that an angler must slow the bait down

edge of a flat. Other summertime loca- tions include main lake points and river ledges; however, Combs is still seeking the isolated cover along these areas, be it rock or brush. For locating this isolated cover, Combs beams over the advancements in modern electronics during the past five years. “Side imaging has really opened up a lot of deep cranking locations for me,” says the two-time Classic qualifier. “In the past, I’d locate a likely area with my topo map, and then spend hours graphing over the location or feeling along the structure with my lure to find the isolated cover. I can now use the Side Imaging on my Humminbird 1198 and just scan down the ledge or point and see every piece of cov- er out there. It’s a tremendous time saver, and I highly recommend this technology for anyone fishing deep structure.” BWU

Summer 2012