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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any advice would be appreciated. I have been working on fishing crankbaits with no successes at all. I have a nice variety of cranks that range from shallow to deep, flat-sided to round, shad style to minnow style, etc. Anyone here know what they are doing in regards to cranks?

I've been trying them in every kind of water - (skinny, stumpy, rocky, ledges, sunken islands, humps) but can't catch a thing. I would have thought dumb luck would have intervened and given me at least one by now. Appreciate any guidance anyone on here can give.

Bobby
 

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Ohio Bassman
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I've just gotten into it this year, so I'm by no means a pro at it, but here's a few pointers that have helped me:

1.) Make sure there's fish there with your electronics... If they're not there you're gunna get skunked with any bait
2.) Bang that crankbait off of anything you can (rocks, logs, etc) and then give a good pause before you start reeling again
3.) Find a nice steady pace where you can feel the wobble through the rod tip. Too fast or too slow and there's not much action or vibration.
4.) Run the bait along drop offs parallel and perpendicular
5.) If there's current, the bass will expect the bait to be coming with the current, so throw so that it comes at them
6.) Forget what the package says as far as dive depth. Most of the listed depths are off by a few feet and are calculated for 8-10 lb test. If you use heavier line then subtract a few more feet (I will throw a 16' diver in 10' all day on 12 lb)
7.) Match baitfish patterns and use more natural colors in clear water and bright colors in dingy water

Hope this helps! Retrieve speed and picking the right spots are the biggest factors to me.
 

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That's some good pointers right their. Number 2 is a must, You need to try and make contact with something on each cast. Rather it be a weeed log or rocks. Don't get me wrong I have caught them in open water but most of the time they will come off of structure.Every once in a while after you cast let it sit their for about 5 seconds before you start your retrieve. The bigguns like like. Good Luck and stick with it. The water temps should still be in prime range for the crankbait bite.
 

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When picking out color selection, keep it simple. There are too many choices and I think alot of anglers outthink themselves.

If fishing around rocks or rocky bottom I pick something in a crawfish pattern. Then I allow water clarity to determine how subtle of a color to use.

All other structure I fish a shad pattern, bluegill pattern, or perch pattern depending on the forage in the lake. When in doubt, a shad pattern works best.

I also prefer a balsa type bait. They float and allow you to get free when hung up more often. Also fish much easier when fishing weed lines and grass IMO.
 

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You've got some good advice already, but I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. Start with a simple collection of colors: Shad or chrome when they are keying of baitfish, crayfish (brown) patterns for those times and chartreuse (especially fire tiger) when the water is murky. You can add to that as you gain confidence. mid-depth runners (600 series Bomber, 200 series Bandit, Middle N, etc., will cover most situations, but eventually you will want shallow and deep running models. Be warned that buying crankbaits is an addiction.) Bounce your lures off cover. You may get hung up, but that's where the bass usually are (also makes a lure retriever a good investment. Vary speeds - sometimes they want it slow, sometimes fast, and sometimes a stop-and-go triggers a hit. And don't give up -- they won't fill your limit every time out, but they'll become a valuable part of your arsenal.
 

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Tackle addict
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All good stuff. Certainly keep them running through cover or into rocks. The deflection is key.
 

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Some great advice, you will soon be hooking up.

The other thing to keep in mind once you do hook up, is that although there are a lot of hooks on a treble hook they won't actually penetrate the jaw often, so you can't put as much pressure on the fish as you would with a jig that actually has penetrated the jaw. So you may need to back off on the drag a little. I lost a PB earlier this year on a crank because I got excited once he made another run once I got him to the boat and pulled too hard, so on bigger fish especially.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the tips/advice. I may just need to be more patient and persistent. I do most of my cranking with 10 lb. line, wondering if I should beef it up in order to fish near or in cover.
 

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10 or 12 lb test mono or FC is fine. You want the line to stretch a bit with the treble hooks. A glass rod is better too, as it will not be a stiff as graphite. Not only do you hook up better, but you lose less fish when the line gets short.
 

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1. regarding bassin buckeye's point, I've actually lost some fish because I forgot to set the hook. since the fish are attacking the lure on the move (versus engulfing it and then getting the hook set) the hooks aren't always lodged in that well... that's why I give it a nice pull once i feel them on.
2. the point above doesn't work as well for me with smallies... they jump around so dang much that the hook starts tearing away at their mouth and eventually makes a gap big enough for the hook to get shaken out
3. some crankbaits come with cheap hooks that can actually bend when you get a big fish on... this has happened for me once with a big bass and once with a muskie. switch the back hook out with a reliable brand if you can
4. on ponds i use the drag and stop retrieve with a Mann's baby 1 lure, pulling it in 3 feet after it rises to the surface and then repeating.... lots of near-surface strikes
 

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Akron
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I replace the hooks on all my crankbaits out of the box with Mustad Triple Grips. They usually bite the front hook and the back hook is so sharp it catches in the gill plate and make the bait very hard to throw.
 

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Rat-l-trap hooks should definitely be replaced. i ended up catching a snook on one and the treble hooks were DESTROYED once i got it out of his mouth
 

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I change my hooks right away from the package. Every 10 or so outings, I will change hooks or sharpen them again.

In the day time I like to crank a little bit faster...where as night time...i crank that thing real slow but keep that tension on the line so u can feel the structure like everyone was saying. I've been a big fan of the FAT BOY...white and blue color. I've caught most of my bass of that 1 lure.

Good luck
 
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