UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Chickamauga

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Cecil’s Shallow Cranking Menu

Cecil’s Shallow Cranking Menu

Russell Cecil is good at a lot of things, but one of his mainstays is a shallow crankbait. He’s won money cranking shallow all across the Southwestern Division of the Costa FLW Series, and he’s pretty much always got a shallow crankbait or three tied up when he heads to new water.

You can get by with a favorite crankbait or two for a lot of situations, but expanding your arsenal might not be a bad thing either. For cranking less than 6 feet deep, Cecil has six main baits he relies on, with a slightly different application for each.

 

The rundown

Working deep to shallow, these are the baits Cecil likes best.

1. 6th Sense Cloud 9 C10 

The 6th Sense Cloud 9 C10  is the deepest-diving bait that Cecil throws in the mix as a shallow diver. Part of the Cloud 9 series, the C10 is 2.65 inches long and can dive to more than 8 feet.

“I feel like it’s an efficient bait. It has a middle-size body, but it has a little bit larger bill than most baits that size,” says Cecil. “It really helps you when you’re cranking brush piles or stumps. It comes through brush and those big root systems really good.

“I’ll crank it on the outside of grass some, but I really like it on brush,” he adds. “There are tons and tons of brush piles on Lake Conroe. This time of year, in the early fall particularly, they’ll get on the little ledges and bends of the river channel that are only in 6 or 10 feet of water, and it can be killer.”

Essentially, if the fish are in 8 to 10 feet of water and susceptible to a crank, you can bet that Cecil is slinging a C10.

 

2. 6th Sense Movement L7 Square Bill

Working shallower, the 6th Sense Movement L7 Square Bill is a uniquely shaped and sized bait. 6th Sense bills it as a bait that hunts well, and Cecil likes to use it like a deep-diving square-bill.

“It’ll go down about 6 or 8 feet. It works really good on rock as well, especially on deeper riprap around bridges and places like that,” says Cecil. “It’ll get down deeper than a regular square-bill, and, honestly, they aren’t getting fished for as hard down there.”

 

3. 6th Sense Quake

Though lipless crankbaits defy classification by depth to an extent, they’re still an important part of any cranking arsenal. Cecil likes the 6th Sense Quake, which is a standard rattling model, and the 6th Sense Quake THUD, which is a one-knocker version.

“You can’t talk about shallow cranking without a lipless,” says Cecil. “Those baits have been really good to me over the years. I finished second at a Costa on Rayburn one time, and I think I caught every one of them trappin’ in that.”

Fishing a lipless in grass is an obvious play, but it’s far from Cecil’s only game. He especially likes to apply it around shallow rock or when bass are chasing shad.

“It catches them everywhere,” says Cecil. “Brady Winans was fishing a lipless just this fall at Fort Gibson [he finished third], fishing those shallow points with bait. It’s something that catches a lot of fish, particularly in the fall when they’re chasing shad.”

If there is about 3 feet between the top of the grass and the surface Cecil likes the 70 size. He also uses the 70 size for most of his non-grass trapping. The 80 size gets the call for grass with about 5 feet of water on it or when he needs to reach out a long way to schoolers.

 

4. 6th Sense Crush Flat 75X

Getting into true shallow-crankbait territory, one of Cecil’s mainstays is the 6th Sense Crush Flat 75X. It’s a shallow-running flat-side, and when the water is colder it’s one of his favorite baits.

“Tennessee is probably where the flat-side gets the most attention, but the flat-side seems to be really good anywhere when the water is cold,” says Cecil. “I haven’t dialed in on the water temperature exactly. My experience on Rayburn has shown me that 49-degree water can be good or bad. To me, it’s more about the activity level of the fish. If I catch one and make four or five cranks and I don’t really know if I have one [because it’s not fighting hard], those fish aren’t very active and then the flat-side is important then.

“I did really good at Grand Lake in a Costa FLW Series throwing a 75X, and Zack Birge won and he was throwing that bait and the 6th Sense Crush 50X,” relays Cecil. “The water was cool, and they were just starting to get up on their prespawn deal there. I was cranking shallow rock, just like I would in the spring or the fall on Conroe.”

 

5. 6th Sense Crush 100X

Cecil’s favorite traditional square-bill is the 6th Sense Crush 100X.

“I’ve had a lot of luck with it,” says the Texas pro. “It’s really about the same size as the Lucky Craft 2.0. It doesn’t matter the brand, but that size has been good for me. I like it a little better than the 1.5 and the 2.5. It fits right in between there. I catch big ones on it, and I don’t feel like I’m limiting myself on places where I need to catch a lot of fish.”

 

 

6. 6th Sense Movement 80X

The shallowest-running crankbait that Cecil regularly throws is the 6th Sense Movement 80X, which is the same bait that Nick Lebrun used to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American at Cross Lake.

“Its effective range is about 2 1/2 feet of water,” says Cecil. “So it’s a deal where they have to be looking up or you’re fishing that shallow. It’s really unique. It thumps like a ChatterBait, it’s got a lot of movement to it and it hunts a lot. Its path is 18 inches wide when it’s coming back. It’s searching the whole way.”

Cecil has caught plenty of fish on the 80X on really shallow rock, but he says it shines around targets and grass.

“If you’re fishing a lake like Livingston that has a lot of shallow stumps and laydowns, that bait is really hard to get hung,” says Cecil. “You don’t waste many casts. On Livingston you’re fishing a lot of targets that are in 18 inches or 2 1/2 feet of water, and a lot of baits can dive and get hung in the bottom of that cover. This one will kind of come at it and hit it and search around it.”

For shallow grass, the high-floating nature of the 80X allows Cecil to float the bait up over shallow spots quickly without fouling. Then, he can get right back to burning it to trigger strikes.

 

Stay sharp 

One thing that Cecil does more than the average cranker is change hooks.

“I almost always replace my hooks, and if I throw the same bait a lot I’ll change hooks throughout the day,” says Cecil. “Getting hung or rubbing the hooks on the side can wear them down, and you want to make sure that you’ve got absolutely the sharpest hooks”

For a long time, Cecil’s standard replacement treble was the Owner ST-36, which is simply a quality round-bend treble. Now, he’s shifting over to the Owner STX-38. The STX-38 is made with ZO-WIRE, which undergoes a different tempering process to make it stiffer and stronger than usual. The STX-38 also has a unique bend, which is somewhere between a wide gap and a round bend.

“I think thin wire is good, but I think it needs to be stiff, too,” says Cecil. “A lot of flex in your crankbait hook isn’t good. If it flexes it tends to scrape instead of poke through in their mouth. That’s why I’m really digging the STX-38. I’ve liked it a whole lot on deep-driving crankbaits, too. That’s what I get to do the most at home, and my landing ratio has been really high on that hook.”

Tags: pro-tips-weekly  crankbait  square-bill  bass-fishing  bass  jody-white  article 

Seminole on YouTube

Seminole on YouTube

The third stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Seminole was a roaring success. Many pros documented their practice and tournament days to give viewers an inside look at how their event unfolded. READ MORE »

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

Review: Lew’s Speed Spool LFS

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is a re-design of the Speed Spool, and it’s a very affordable casting reel that works quite well. It hit the market in the fall of 2018, and though it doesn’t visually stand out and it’s lacking in nonessential bells and whistles, the reel is more than capable of getting the job done for under $100. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Crankbaits were the deal on Kentucky Lake during the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Springtime on the Tennessee River impoundment usually means traditional prespawn tactics, and we saw a bunch of that during the tournament. Anglers in the top 10 relied heavily on lipless and diving crankbaits, as well as umbrella rigs, jigs and jerkbaits.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Like the winning team, many others in the top 10 targeted main-lake points and rock-to-gravel transitions – and pretty much anything that served as a current break. With the wind whipping and the water being drawn down at a rapid pace, there were a couple predominant patterns that developed throughout the event. READ MORE »

FLW, Abu and Boy Scouts Launch Youth Contingency

FLW, Abu and Boy Scouts Launch Youth Contingency

FLW, along with Abu Garcia and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), recently announced a new contingency program for youth bass anglers who fish the YETI FLW College Fishing and Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing tournament circuits. READ MORE »

McCarty, Pennington Win College Open

McCarty, Pennington Win College Open

University of North Alabama anglers Hunter McCarty and Sloan Pennington weighed in the second-largest bag of the tournament on day two of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake and finished with 45 pounds, 14 ounces total to edge out Tristan McCormick and Dakota Pierce of Bethel University by just 1 pound, 10 ounces. McCarty and Pennington also managed to upgrade their day one total of 22-2 with the 23-12 day-two bag – something few other teams were able to do on a day shortened by heavy winds. READ MORE »

President Signs S. 47, Expands Fishing Access

President Signs S. 47, Expands Fishing Access

President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, signed into law S. 47, a package of bills that “sets forth provisions regarding various programs, projects, activities, and studies for the management and conservation of natural resources on federal lands.” READ MORE »

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

College Open Midday Update — Day 1

Kentucky Lake is showing out in a big way on day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open. Cool but fairly calm conditions have paved the way for a lot of quality fish and some impressive stringers so far. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from College Open – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from College Open – Day 1

Blake Jackson and Trevor McKinney of McKendree University edged out 20 other bags over 20 pounds with their 23-pound, 11-ounce stringer on day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open. They did it primarily with mid-diving crankbaits on one special current break that held a bunch of smallmouths cycling through the area. That wasn’t necessarily a pattern that dominated for the rest of the top 5, though. Current certainly played its part, but versatility was key on day one. Here’s a look at how the rest of the top 5 teams caught their fish on Tuesday. READ MORE »

Jackson, McKinney Lead College Open

Jackson, McKinney Lead College Open

Blake Jackson and Trevor McKinney of McKendree University outpaced an incredibly productive field on day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open to lock up the day one lead on Kentucky Lake. The duo weighed in a bag that primarily consisted of smallmouth weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces. They hold a two-ounce lead over Bethel University's Cole Floyd and Carter McNeil. The top 10 of this event is absolutely stacked, and even the top 20 required a bag of 20-1 to crack. That's some seriously good fishing on Kentucky Lake, and Jackson and McKinney were the best of the best on day one. READ MORE »

KHSAA Region 2 Tournament Moved

KHSAA Region 2 Tournament Moved

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Region 2 bass tournament originally scheduled on Lake Cumberland out of General Burnside Island State Park has been moved to Halcomb’s Landing. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

AOY Update: Lake Seminole

Bryan Thrift’s bomb at the third stop of the FLW Tour on Seminole may ripple through the minds of fans for a while, but the other contenders for Angler of the Year pretty much stayed on fire. In the lead, Terry Bolton banked his second top 10 of the year and padded his lead. Behind him, Scott Martin earned his second top 10 in a row to push him into the runner-up spot as he pursues his second AOY title on Tour. READ MORE »

FLW and Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces to Propel Professional Kayak Fishing into the National Spotlight

FLW and Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces to Propel Professional Kayak Fishing into the National Spotlight

MINNEAPOLIS (March 11, 2019) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that it has partnered with Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC, (KBF) the nation's foremost organization supporting kayak bass anglers, to hold two kayak bass fishing tournaments in 2019. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed... READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Top 10 Baits from Lake Seminole

Vibrating jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastic creature baits, along with a few finesse baits, were the primary tools used to catch prespawn bass from hydrilla beds on Lake Seminole in March. Learn how to put more early spring fish in the boat with the lures used by the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

FLW, Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces

FLW, Kayak Bass Fishing Join Forces

FLW announced today that it has partnered with Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF), LLC, the nation's foremost organization supporting kayak bass anglers, to hold two kayak bass-fishing tournaments in 2019. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The two events will be held in conjunction with FLW Tour events – the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga and the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton – on nearby fisheries to offer kayak anglers and Tour pros separate fisheries for competition. KBF will manage operation of the two events, and the winners will be recognized on the FLW Tour stage and featured in FLW’s media outlets. READ MORE »

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

The YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes returns to FLW’s home waters this morning, as a full field of anglers prepare to take off for the fifth iteration of the two-day event, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Seminole Day 4 Coverage

Seminole Day 4 Coverage

The top 10 anglers have taken off, and it’s officially time to start catching some fish.  The morning bite has been so critical this week, especially for a large portion of the pros fishing today. There’s a good chance someone is going to make a massive move on the leaderboard within the first hour of this session. READ MORE »

Seminole Day 3 Coverage

Seminole Day 3 Coverage

Bites were hard to come by on day two of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole presented by Costa, but the field is cut to 30 anglers on day three, moving day. With less boat pressure on Seminole, the top 30 should have more water – and more fish – all to themselves. READ MORE »

Polaris Named Title Sponsor of ROY Award

Polaris Named Title Sponsor of ROY Award

FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today that Polaris, the leading global powersports manufacturer, has been named the presenting sponsor for the coveted Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year (ROY) award. The award is given to the highest-ranked first-year angler on the prestigious Tour, which features some of the top anglers in professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Seminole Day 2 Coverage

Seminole Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole, presented by Costa, was a mixed bag for much of the field. At the top, Braxton Setzer, Joseph Webster and Bradford Beavers all topped the 25-pound mark and are in great shape heading into day two. Likewise, Sheldon Collings, Rob Kilby and Kurt Dove sit above the 20-pound threshold, ready to knock on the door with a solid showing today. READ MORE »