How-To Jocumsen’s early spring/late fall crankbait tacklebox Posted on March 6, 2023 Photography by Craig Lamb Captions by Craig Lamb Carl Jocumsen is an 11-year B.A.S.S. pro, having won a 2019 Basssmaster Elite Series tournament. Jocumsen also performed at the highest level of Australian bass fishing competitions, winning a championship and angler of the year title. In early spring and late fall, when water temperatures are cooler, Jocumsen relies on shallow-running crankbaits offering more subtle actions to follow the slower metabolism of the bass. Primarily, he favors this lineup of four Rapala crankbaits, made of balsa and without rattles, to tempt strikes from cold water bass. Shallow-running crankbaits are preferred when the bass move into shallow water to feed on migrating shad and baitfish. Here is his proven lineup of lures. Rapala Shad Rap SR7Bait details: Designed to run at specific depths, the SR7 runs from 5-11 feet. The SR7 is 1 1/2 inches and weighs 1/8-ounce. Why he likes it: “The balsa is a big key for fishing in super cold water because of its subtle buoyancy for lethargic bass,” Jocumsen said. He fishes the SR7 on spinning tackle with light line, making downwind casts for greater distance. “Retrieve it really slow, allowing the bait to make contact with any tiny bit of bottom structure, like wood or rock.” Rapala OG Rooco 5Bait details: The balsa buoyancy makes it pause when deflected off cover with the circuit-board lip. The medium wobbling action and silent action make it ideal for pressured bass. Why he likes it: “To maximize all its buoyancy and deflective qualities, you need to wind it slowly, making every effort to make it contact wood or rock for a reaction bite,” said Jocumsen. Rapala OG Tiny 4Bait details: The downsized version of the OG Series (at left) features an ultra-thin, flat-sided balsa body, with a tight wobble and finesse-like action. The thin design and lightweight circuit board lip moves less water, providing a sensitive feel of bottom structure. It measures 2 1/4 inches and runs 4 feet. Why he likes it: “It’s an ultra-subtle, flat-sided crankbait that will work when nothing else will in cold water,” Jocumsen said. “Call it the extreme cold-water bait.” Jocumsen rigs the OG Tiny on ultralight line and spinning tackle, making casts to rocky shoreline transitions between boulders, pea-gravel and riprap. Rapala DT Series Bait details: Designed to dive faster to maximize time in the strike zone, the DT Series is made of premium balsa wood for the best buoyancy and action for any depth zone in the series. Why he likes it: “What makes the DT Series stand out are the models are designed for specific depths, so no matter the season you can dial into the bite like no other crankbait,” Jocumsen said. As you can see, the advantages of these baits are many, including the fact you can use the same baits from early winter into early spring.