The Art Of Long-Lining
I spent some time in my last article talking about fishing the ledges, and mentioned the fact that deep-cranking can be a very effective presentation along the drops and points of the ledges. There is, however, a way to enhance your deep-cranking skills and drive your crankbaits to the very deepest depths of the ledges.
As you may recall, I mentioned that it was imperative to make long casts when deep-cranking: The longer the cast, the deeper the crankbait will go. Plus, bass are generally followers, and long casts give bass the ability to follow and wait until your bait deflects or moves, which can cause a strike.
Long-lining is a very simple, and at the same time imaginative approach to cranking that creates a super-super-long cast.
Simply put, the long-lining technique is accomplished with your trolling motor. You position your boat to make a long cast over the area, then enhance the distance by frespooling as you move further out with the trolling motor. Just keep moving and letting line out. When you've reached a desirable distance, kill the trolling motor and start to crank the bait back in. If you're competing in a tournament, be sure not to move your crankbait while moving the boat. That would be considered trolling.
The long-lining technique isn't without a few key issues. The first is the time it takes to do it. You may substantially reduce your number of casts. Next is boat position: You need to move your boat exactly at the angle you want to retrieve the bait, which can be difficult with wind.
Jeremy Starks proved how effective this technique can be when he used itto win the Douglas Bassmaster Elite Series a few weeks ago. It's a simple, effective and creative way to get more distance out of a cast and catch more fish.
Capt. Mike Gerry has lived in north Alabama since the 1970s and has been fishing Lake Guntersville for over 35 years. He owns and operates Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service and books individual, group and corporate trips. He also offers pre-tournament trips for competitive anglers. Visit FishLakeGuntersvilleGuideService.com, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (256) 759-2270. He'd love to hear from you!