An Idaho outdoorsman had plenty of time to talk about some keys to his success this year as an Elite Series angler as part of a four-year career that has earned him $517,632.
Brandon Palaniuk spoke highly the last week of September about techniques and patterns that have been working consistently. The season-ending Elite Series AOY in Michigan was behind him, and Palaniuk was driving to another event on Kentucky Lake before going home for the off-season in the Great Northwest.
During the call, Palaniuk eventually mentioned a recently released artificial lure that he helped design. That lure was a key to catching bass in clutch situations across the country.
The Storm Arashi Wake Crank has become one of his go-to baits.
The lure has a single-ball cadence rattle that creates a different sound and seductive vibration as it runs hard with a rolling action just under the surface.
That’s just one of the features Palaniuk likes about the new lure that was introduced to the public in July at the ICAST.
Palainuk said he has heard a lot about it since then and seen many photos of anglers displaying their catches on the new artificial lure.
“I’ve heard everyone who tries it loves the bait,” he said.
From gleam-in-the-eye to the finished product, the making of the Arashi Wake Crank took almost a year, according to Palaniuk. Ideas among the Storm team went back and forth with each prototype until all were satisfied with the action and the sound, he said.
The 26-year-old pro bass angler who finished 17th in 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year standings had plenty of input, he said.
“My biggest thing was (that) I wanted to fish that bait at various speeds where you keep it on top of the water,” he said. “The body, size and shape — every part of that bait — plays a key role in the action of it.
“It has a big wobble. That’s a key to it. It has a wide profile, and it catches numbers and also catches big bass.”
Palaniuk and the artificial lure manufacturer label it a “great search bait — perfect for calling fish in.” Arashi’s Wake Crank can be irresistible around active, shallow bass. It’s a cross between a topwater and a shallow-diving crankbait, which gives the fish a different look.
“It’s designed to run just under the surface with a hard, rolling action,” Palaniuk said. “It creates a pronounced tail kick that makes a wake that really gets their attention.
“I’m able to cover a lot of water, and with the sound it can attract fish from far away. It’s a good search bait.”
Another key to its early success is the fact that the lure runs true whether fished fast or slow thanks to a patent-pending self-tuning line tie.
“Once these baits are in tune, they’ll never come out of tune,” Palaniuk said.
Other features include a thin, circuit-board lip; rotating hook hangers; holographic 3D eyes; and premium VMC Black Nickel Hooks.
Watch the attached video showing this lure in action. As Palaniuk pulls it through the water, there is a distinctive V behind the Arashi Wake Crank.
It’s seductive, especially over grass beds, around deadfalls, stumps and the edge of lily pad fields.
“There are times I will throw that bait all day long,” Palaniuk said, especially when bass are up and cruising on shallow flats in the fall and spring.
The Storm pro staffer fish it all day a few weeks before our discussion while filming a commercial, and he caught bass all day long.
He advised anglers to “throw it on correct line.” He uses 15-pound Berkely Trilene XL monofilament line, clear or green.
Of Arashi Wake Crank’s 16 colors, Palaniuk said he doesn’t have a favorite.
“The biggest thing is to match it to the baitfish,” he explained. “But, really, I would say my three favorite colors are hot blue shad, bluegill and parrot.
“I carry all the other colors so I can match the baitfish.”
Other colors are baby bass; crappie, blue back herring, wakasagi, ghost hitch, pro blue, rusty craw, mossy chartreuse craw, hot chartreuse shad, black silver shad, sreen gold shad and black chartreuse shad.
Call 612-375-8558 for more information on the Storm Arashi Wake Crank and other Storm products.