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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never caught anything on a crank bait or spinner bait. I cast them out and reel them in, sometimes faster than other times. I'll admit that it's possible I'm not fishing them correctly. So, how do you properly work each of these?
 

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The first way to look at them is as reaction baits. Pull them across places that are likely ambush points - over the edge of a drop off, along a weed edge, next to dock/bridge pilings. Make them change behavior to elicit attention - reel fast then stop near some interesting piece of cover and let it do what it does - fall, float, suspend for a second or two before picking the pace back up.

2nd rule is to throw them where the fish are, not where they're guaranteed to come back safely. Its pretty hard (but not totally impossible) to hang up a spinnerbait, so toss it in amongst the gnarly stuff. You have to be a little more selective with where you throw a crankbait, but the same rule applies. You can toss and toss and toss out in the channel but the bass are probably waiting in ambush up underneath a tree trunk, amid all the branches. Find pockets that you can throw it into and get the bait back with some chance of safe recovery. The shallower the crankbait, the nastier stuff you can throw it into (brush/sticks-wise. weeds are a problem for all those grabby hooks).

I'm doing a lot of trolling with cranks right now (whenever I move from spot to spot in the kayak). Mostly I'm just hoping to run across a school of suspended fish, using dumb luck instead of a fishfinder. A lot of my fish come when I pull across a point/sandbar and back into the deeper water.

The 3rd rule is to get them to bounce off things - get a crank to the depth that will tick the weeds or bounce off irregularities in the hard bottom. With a floating crank, let it float up a foot or two after banging into something. Get the spinner to bang off limbs & stumps, or slow roll it so that it is brushing the bottom on occasion during the retrieve.

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Here's your chance to help me. I have never caught a fish on a regular, silicon/rubber legged, brush guarded jig, jig&pig, jig&chunk, etc... Learned to bass fish on slider heads and finesse worms, have caught many on T-rigged tubes, but nothing on the jig. I have no confidence in them - the world's favorite bass lure and I never ever use them.
 

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For spinners I usually go with white skirt & chrome blades or white/chartreuse skirt with 1 chrome and 1 gold blade.

I've probably caught more fish on size 5 Shad Raps (2" - regular or RS) than anything else. But I like some of the super shallow cranks too - regular rapala minnows (3 hook series), manns baby 1-minus, shallow Bandits (flat maxx maybe), etc...

I used to do well at Falls fishing the big Poe's 400 series crankbaits. They land in the water like a softball and dig down to around 12 feet deep. I'd just pick a stretch of main lake bank and make cast after cast to the bank and bounce the bottom back to the boat. Came up with a lot of fish that way.

Once I got the tackle bug and started buying prettier and more specialized baits, I definitely throw a lot more money at the fish but I sure don't seem to catch as many. I've been blaming fishing pressure, but I may need to try those old Poe's again... (Once again, I'm gonna need a bigger boat - those things might pull the kayak under!)
 

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crankbait bites normally come after you contact some thing. from limbs and trees to bottom.. if your banging bottom keep at it sooner or later you will catch a bass.. points are my favorite targeted areas. but never let a brushy dock past..

trick with cranks is to loosen the drag. get it loose enough that it don't slip on hook set and no tighter..

zooker
 

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trick with cranks is to loosen the drag. get it loose enough that it don't slip on hook set and no tighter..
Ok, zook, a beginner's question for ya:
If you set your drag that loose, how do you get the bass out of the cover before he can tie you up? Or is that just one of the things that makes crankbaits so [-]challenging[/-] fun?
 

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lefty
once hooked most bass will head for deeper water. i have never been wrapped up in trees or brush piles-with a crank- as bass will mostly hole up on the out side edges...i probly throw a crank 75%of the time. a good limber medium action rod is a must. i use 7' lews speed sticks..

when fighting a fish watch how he is fighting if he heads for the surface i shove 2 feet of my rod in the water to keep them down. a fish that jumps is 95% more likly to come off. yes you will lose fish this is a FACT..

and lefty i fish cranks with 8 pound ande mono.on 30 year old quatum mag gear reels.

zooker
 

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Thanks zook
I've heard the tip about sinking the rod tip to help discourage 'em from jumping -- of course, from the kayak, it's easy to get more than just 2' of the rod down.

I haven't hooked one on a crank yet, only spinners. I'd read that crankbaits are easy for them to throw when they jump, so I'm hoping to hook into a few to get some practice... That seems to be the critical moments of the fight, from what I read.

Thanx - Lefty
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm going out on the boat for a few hours tomorrow at Falls. Not really to do any serious fishing, but to explore and get more familiar with the lake. Ofcourse I will have to make a few casts though.
 

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When fishing crankbaits, fan out your casts. You can cover alot of area. That is the key. Great baits for locating fish. Vary the depths and retrieves. Time of year will play into this. Spinnerbaits, I like to throw early in the day and late in the day.
 

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was watchin southern outdoors last night and the series they have just started is based in NC on our wonderful lakes and the guy is doing a basic fishing 101 course. IE this is a rattletrap and here ishow you use it and here is a buzz bait and here is how you use it. wish I could remember the exact name of the show and the host. maybe someone else saw it and could enlighten us.
 

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Fan my casts means to not keep throwing in the same spot over and over?
Right, work the spot over. There will be areas or structure you know may hold fish. Give several casts there and then throw around it. Points are always good. Changes in depth. Lip sizes on the crankbaits will vary depth. I like suspending lures. Reel and stop, reel and stop. Lots of patterns and presentations out there.
 
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