Admittedly, I am a crankbait junky. I love them, all of them. I have boxes and boxes of assorted cranks, and most get used. But, one group of baits that will always have a place on the deck of my boat: Rapala’s DT Series.
“DT” stands for Dives-To. In other words, if you want to fish the 6-foot range, there’s a DT for that. If you want to bang shallow rocks without getting hung up, there’s a DT for that. How about working a wake bait along the surface? There’s a DT for that. Looking to dive deep into abyss? There’s a DT for that, too.
I’m not telling you about these lures for any other reason other than I flat out believe in them. They are ultra-realistic, cast a mile and work right out of the box without any tuning required. Half of catching fish consistently is mental, meaning if you aren’t stressed with the guesswork that comes with assorted crankbaits, these things will get your presentation to the desired depth and in front of more fish.
The Thug may look like a deep-diving crank, and it does reach down to 8 feet, but it’s real strength is dredging. The bait’s longer bill is designed to deflect wood and rock without getting the hooks hung, thus loosing the bait. This lure captures the attention of bass from a long distance because of the noise and commotion it creates. Personally, I like to bang this sucker on subsurface riprap. Hang on if you do!
The DT Flat has a very unique action due in part to the slim body, and also the coffin-style bill contributes to how it dances in and around structure. This lure is the right call for fishing wood or rock that bass are holding tight to. I’ve also had good luck in open water when other standard round-bill baits aren’t as productive.
These are my bread-and-butter search lures. I do my best to match the lure to the depth of water, but I like to run them 3-6 feet off the bottom in most cases. I’ve also had fun running the deeper divers into shallow structure such as wood or rocks, but also rip-cranking the weeds. I won’t go fishing without a healthy supply of DTs.
I’ve found these lures are great for young anglers learning the art of cranking. My young son has caught his biggest fish with a Bluegill-color DT 6. I love that lure, but he won’t share it when it’s hot! I’ve taught him well! Be sure to watch the video of him hammering bass with that very crankbait on one of my top-secret lakes in Northern Minnesota.