Cranking timber with Marty Stone

A deep diving crankbait for timber

 In winning the 1990 Bassmaster Classic, Rick Clunn dispelled a myth that lipped baits and their trailing, sharp set of treble hooks aren't effective when fished through heavy timber.

Clunn put his crankbait into play where no other diving bait had ever dared to go, sending it into the midst of tangled root systems of cypress trees lining Virginia's James River. As the lure's big lip collided with the hard wood surface, the noisy contact resulted in arm jolting strikes from bass alarmed from the commotion created by the lure.

Clunn's technique was unheard of at the time, since open water and relatively snag-free bottoms were considered textbook crankbait territories. Ever since then, crankbaits have found a niche in heavy cover when a reaction strike from their wobbling, vibrating bodies beats the effectiveness of other reaction baits.

Fishing big lipped crankbaits in heavy cover has been a mainstream technique ever since. But leave it to the pros to never be satisfied with a good thing, including the likes of Bassmaster Elite Series pro Marty Stone.

With the advent of superlines, Stone and other pros discovered that small crankbaits added a new dimension to the technique. But he sought a crankbait that retained its snag-free qualities while diving into deeper depths where no other crankbait could penetrate. As a result, he could expand the strike zone to bass holding deeper in the water column of standing timber.

Stone, a Lucky Craft U.S.A. pro, took his wish list to the drawing table. "We all realized that small crankbaits had limited availability, but at the same time they said 'why not?'"

Until then, Stone had been using a crankbait designed for crappie fishing. The bait ran deep until it was burned through the timber, causing it to roll and lose its action. After testing prototypes, Stone was satisfied that Lucky Craft had hit the mark with his wishes.

The end result became the BDS Marty 1.2. It's co-designer claims his lure has a slightly longer and narrower body style, similar to the BDS 3. At 2.2 inches, it is a perfect fit between the BDS 1 and BDS 2. The professionally tuned, square-billed, shallow-running crankbait is an ideal compliment to Lucky Craft's Fat CB BDS series.

"I've never seen anything like this bait's tail kick," observes Stone, of the BDS Marty 1.2. "I'm getting more reaction strikes in wood than I've ever had before."

"What's really neat about this bait is its size matches the smaller baitfish you typically find in timber," he continues. "And the shape of the lip keeps it snag-less while retaining the contact features you want with a crankbait retrieved into wood."

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