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The Best Deep Diving Crankbaits

Summer is almost here, and with it will come big schools of bass getting down into the depths. Ever since it was popularized in the 2000s, deep cranking has been a favorite way to catch these fish for countless anglers, me included. 

I’ve thrown a lot of different types of deep crankbaits during the hottest months of the year, and here are four that if you tie on, I can guarantee you that you’re throwing a bait that will catch fish. 

Strike King XD Series

The XD series from Strike King has kind of always been the standard for deep diving crankbaits. Since it came out back in 2009, it’s near the top of the list when it comes to tournament-winning baits in the summer. It just flat out catches fish in the summer. Personally, it’s been responsible for some of the best days of fishing I’ve ever had including putting 40 fish in the boat in one afternoon last June. 

Strike King makes a 5XD, a 6XD, an 8XD, and a 10XD. I throw the 8XD a lot because I can pretty comfortably get it down to the 16-18 foot range where I often fish this time of year. The 10XD will get even a little deeper but you’ll want to make sure you have a rod that can throw it, otherwise it won’t actually get deeper because you won’t be able to throw it as far as the 8 or 6. 

5XD

Promodel Crankbait S5XD Green Back Chartreuse
  • Unique curved bill and balance
  • Striking finishes
  • Free-floating rattle
  • Emit varying sound frequencies
  • Dives to 15'

6XD

Strike King HC6XD-535 ProModel Serie, Black Back Chartreuse
  • Unique curved bill and balance
  • Striking finishes
  • Free-floating rattle chambers
  • Emit varying sound frequencies
  • Dives 19'+

8XD

Sale
Strike King Pro-Model Series 8XD,Natural Shad, 0.115
  • Free floating rattle chambers
  • Emit varying sound frequencies
  • Superb lifelike finishes
  • Dives 20' Plus
  • 1.4oz

10XD

Sale
Strike King HC10XD-538 Pro Model10XD Extra Deep Dive Rattle, Chartreuse Sexy Shad
  • Free floating rattle chambers
  • Dives to 25ft
  • Emit varying sound frequencies on the retrieve
  • 2oz

6th Sense Cloud 9 C20

The Cloud 9 from 6th Sense is a great staple deep cranking bait. It maintains plenty of bulk but it’s a little bit shorter than baits that run a similar depth. It’s also only 10 bucks, which is on the cheaper end of the spectrum for deep diving crankbaits. The cloud 9 also comes with quality stock treble hooks, so you don’t have to spend extra money to change the hooks out. 

The C20 will run down around 20 feet. 6th Sense also makes a C25 that’s capable of getting a little bit deeper. I personally like the candy citrus shad color, which I think shows up great in the stained water color I’m often fishing in.

CLOUD 9

6th Sense Cloud 9 Deep Diving Series Crankbait - Dives 4-27 feet - Bass Fishing - Premium Paint Schemes
  • C6: Length: 2.56” Weight: 1/2oz Dives: 4-8ft
  • C10: Length:2.65” Weight: 5/8oz Dives: 8-12ft
  • C15: Length: 3.0” Weight: 1oz Dives: 12-19ft
  • C20: Length: 3.5” Weight: 1.4oz Dives: 18-22ft
  • C25: Length: 3.75” Weight: 1.9oz Dives: 18-26

Rapala DT20 

The Rapala DT series has been around forever but the DT20, the deepest running bait in the lineup, came out back in 2020 with much fanfare thanks to Jacob Wheeler’s Toyota Series win on Pickwick. The DT20 has a little smaller profile and a little tighter wiggle than the Cloud 9 or the XD series, so it offers a little bit more subtle presentation. 

I like a bait like the DT20 on pressured lakes because it doesn’t really resemble the huge, bulky deep divers that fish see 2000 of in the early parts of the summer. Those baits catch tons of fish, but if you see that bite starting to fade, this is a good place to go. 

DT20

Rapala Dives-to Series Custom Ink Lure, Freshwater, Size 20, 2 3/4" Depth, 2#2 Treble Hooks, Old School, Per 1
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Product type :FISHING HOOK
  • item package dimensions : 7.366 cm x 5.08 cm x 0.508 cm
  • Package weight : 0.01 lbs

Bomber Fat Free Shad

Deep cranking has always, at least to me, been synonymous with offshore cranking, meaning it doesn’t always have to happen down in the 20 foot range to be thought of as “deep cranking.” Some lakes have groups of fish in the summertime in the 8-10 range, and the Fat Free Shad has always been my favorite bait for fishing at this depth. 

I’ve messed around with a lot of mid-depth crankbaits trying to find one I really liked. This one just catches fish. It has a slightly smaller profile than some of the bulkier baits that are common this time of year, and for whatever reason, I’ve found that to be a component for catching those mid-depth schools that a lot of other people may miss. 

FAT FREE SHAD

Bomber Lures Fat Free Shad Jr Crankbait Bass Fishing Lure, Freshwater Fishing Accessories, 2 1/2", 1/2 oz, 8-12ft Depth, Citrus Shad, (BD6FDCS)
  • The Bomber Fat Free Shad Jr. is all-around crankbait for any time of year. Its different patterns, smaller body size & 8-12 ft depth works magic on bass.
  • It’s the design of the lip, or paddle, that allows the entire Fat Free Shad family to come through thick cover
  • Tough and durable components means you’ll get years of successful fishing with the Fat Free Shad Jr.
  • The Fat Free Shad Jr. is another all-around crankbait that works any time of year.
  • With 19 color patterns available, you’ll find several that will work at any time of year on your local waters

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