When bass are shallow and holding tight to shoreline cover, Oklahoma pro Eric Porterfield is a happy angler. Although knows the importance of versatility and will gladly fish however he needs to in order to catch bass, he especially likes to fish in shallow water with a crankbait rod in his hand.

If most bass are tight to cover, Porterfield is likely to be trading most casts between a couple of different Norman crankbaits: a Fat Boy and a Mad N. Both do well kicking off cover, but they fill distinctive niches. As a rule, he uses the Fat Boy for working wood cover and the Mad N for banging rocks.

He typically has a Deep Baby N rigged as well, and will mix in casts with it in a variety of places, but that’s another story for another time.

“The Fat Boy was designed specifically for fishing wood, and it deflects off stumps and brush really well,” Porterfield said.

As the name suggests, the Fat Boy is a plump crankbait with a fairly big profile that has a wide wobble and moves a lot of water. A wide square bill and buoyant body help this crankbait deflect off wood extremely well.

Porterfield will cast it across or into just about any wood cover he thinks might hold fish, and he tries to hit as much stuff as possible to prompt reaction strikes. When he feels the lure hit, he normally slows the presentation a bit and uses his rod and reel together to walk his crankbait through a trees branches or over other cover.

A Mad N provides a perfect complement to a Fat Boy because while it’s coffin bill won’t come through wood quite as easily, the same bill causes it to flare out when it bangs off riprap or boulders and to kick around erratically as it walks down a shallow rocky slope.

Porterfield also considers a Mad N, an excellent crankbait to throw between pieces of cover because it tends to hunt. “It will run off-center for a moment and then return to center, which triggers strikes,” he said.

For either crankbait, Porterfield generally favors shad-imitating color patterns, especially during the fall and early winter, when shallow bass relate very heavily to shad.