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Trickerie

Jerkbaits And Cranks. Why Cant I Catch Fish?

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Hey all,

Been practicing different fishing techniques these past few weeks, and my two biggest problem areas seem to be jerkbaits and lipped cranks. I seem to have decent ability at fishing traps, but slap a lip on the crank and I can't seem to get a bite. I have gone through several color patterns (home lake is muddy, btw), diving depths, etc, and nothing seems to work! Same goes for jerkbaits. I have countless jerkbaits but have NEVER caught a fish on one! I vary my twitching, reeling and pausing from a slow crawl to fast and furious vandam style. Still can't seem to get em to hit. Any helpful insight you guys can offer me?

Thanks as always!

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Which cranks are you using? Ive had great luck with kvd 1.5 and 2.5 in sexy shad color. Ive caught them on all types of line also and we're both in the same area. Have had good luck in development lakes catching bass and turtles unfortunately

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bass might just be looking to eat something else right now. If you've only been fishing them for a few weeks then keep trying, you'll get one then some more eventually.

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I live in a different neighborhood than you live in, but for me, I've never had much luck throwing jerkbaits in muddy water. I think jerkbaits work better in water that has at least a few feet of visibility. I think spinnerbaits or if you've gotto go deeper some kind of rattling crankbait is a better option in muddy water.

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x2 on jerkbaits not being very effective in muddy water. it is predominately a clear water bait, where the fish can chase it down from a ways away. What colours are you throwing for crankbaits, forget about matching the hatch and just make sure you use something bright like firetiger or really dark so the fish can find it. A crankbait with a rattle will help also. They also will probably be sluggish this time of year, so try and find some cover to bang it off to get a reaction strike. Brush, stumps, any remaining grass you can find. Good luck!

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x2 on not having success with crank baits, the occasional strike i will get once or twice a summer but i rarely use them anymore because i haven't had luck with them, spinnerbaits however on the other hand have worked quiet well :respect-059:

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maybe just not the right tool for the job, at this time.

For me the crank bite comes alive at certain times of the year...other times I just go pitch my jig haha.

My point is don't lose confidence, it will work when the bass want it!

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Usually it doesn't take too much to get bit on either. I'd rethink location, and timing - maybe you're in the wrong spot or the fish are there, just not chasing. Also, most new guys see KVD burning up the gears on TV, and try to emulate that style. Try slowing down, way down. Picture you crankbait as a distracted, feeding baitfish.

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X3 for not using jerkbaits in muddy water. As for the cranks I don't know which ones you are using but try something that has a wide wobble and displaces a lot a water. Also try something that makes a lot of noise.

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As long as there is 2 to 3 feet of visibility, and the water isn't below 50°, it's fine. That's what the rattles are for. Jerkbaits actually excel in those conditions. But the fish have to be at least moving around, as opposed to neutral or nearly inactive fish in ice cold, crystal clear water, where a loooooong pause can actually ignite a bite. Just two different philosophies applied to one bait.

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As long as there is 2 to 3 feet of visibility, and the water isn't below 50°, it's fine. That's what the rattles are for. Jerkbaits actually excel in those conditions. But the fish have to be at least moving around, as opposed to neutral or nearly inactive fish in ice cold, crystal clear water, where a loooooong pause can actually ignite a bite. Just two different philosophies applied to one bait.

X2, but I will still use them in water colder than 50, it just gets a whole lot slower.

Hey all,

Been practicing different fishing techniques these past few weeks, and my two biggest problem areas seem to be jerkbaits and lipped cranks. I seem to have decent ability at fishing traps, but slap a lip on the crank and I can't seem to get a bite. I have gone through several color patterns (home lake is muddy, btw), diving depths, etc, and nothing seems to work! Same goes for jerkbaits. I have countless jerkbaits but have NEVER caught a fish on one! I vary my twitching, reeling and pausing from a slow crawl to fast and furious vandam style. Still can't seem to get em to hit. Any helpful insight you guys can offer me?

Thanks as always!

Sounds like your trying too hard, slow down, find yourself some cover in about 10' of water, pay close attention to the water temp, the colder the slower you want to go, let the bait swim into a brush pile and bang off of the brush, or even make it bounce off of the structure on the bottom.

Crank baits of all kinds take time...a lot of time...first things first, find the fish, match the forage in size and color, and experiment from there,

for example, a jerkbait, throw it in and crank it down to your desired water depth, lets say the water is 50, I like to start with roughly 15 seconds before I move the bait, twitch it once then wait another 15 seconds and twitch it two more times and repeat all the way out of the strike zone, then reel it back slow, fan cast the whole area with that and start over with even longer pauses of 20 seconds and keep repeating until you find what they want.

Good luck and be safe!!!

If I may add one more thing, cadence is the most important thing, in my opinion, when fishing all kinds of crank baits, it's finding that correct cadence that takes most all of your time once you locate the fish.

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X2, but I will still use them in water colder than 50, it just gets a whole lot slower.

I only meant for off color water. Other baits work better in cold, dirty water than jerks. For me at least.

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I only meant for off color water. Other baits work better in cold, dirty water than jerks. For me at least.

LOL...I ment nothing by that J. and I totally agree with your point, but 2-3 feet of vision "for me" is good enough to try one in colder water than 50, thats all I was saying.

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OK, I just didn't want someone standing there in chocolate milk using 90 second pauses wondering why they listened to jerks like us, LMAO.

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OK, I just didn't want someone standing there in chocolate milk using 90 second pauses wondering why they listened to jerks like us, LMAO.

LMAO 2 !!!!

Who would do such a thing anyway...lol

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My lips are sealed.

For anyone else having difficulty, there is a message in there.....

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Hey all. Thanks for all of the advice. I'll try to answer as many questions as possible. To start, the water has only about 1-3 feet of visibility depending on the area. There's is very little structure to the lake (read: none) except the occasional small log I'll pull up thinking its a turtle I nicked with a hook lol. The only crank bait I've ever gotten bites on is my medium diving black with red flecks one. I can't recall the brand. However. I do have 2 square bill bombers. Shallow diving. One in a brown and chartreuse craw and the other in a shad color. I also have a jointed Rapala in a greenish color. My tackle isn't with me so I'm doing this by memory. I have a few more. I have noticed, though, the lack of fish other than bass and catfish in the lake. I began to use baits that matched baby bass and noticed an extreme increase in bites, though this is on plastics and lipless cranks.

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Hey all. Thanks for all of the advice. I'll try to answer as many questions as possible. To start, the water has only about 1-3 feet of visibility depending on the area. There's is very little structure to the lake (read: none) except the occasional small log I'll pull up thinking its a turtle I nicked with a hook lol. The only crank bait I've ever gotten bites on is my medium diving black with red flecks one. I can't recall the brand. However. I do have 2 square bill bombers. Shallow diving. One in a brown and chartreuse craw and the other in a shad color. I also have a jointed Rapala in a greenish color. My tackle isn't with me so I'm doing this by memory. I have a few more. I have noticed, though, the lack of fish other than bass and catfish in the lake. I began to use baits that matched baby bass and noticed an extreme increase in bites, though this is on plastics and lipless cranks.

That is not structure that is cover, structure is the lake bottom itself, cover is anything on top of the structure.

If your medium diving crank is working you are doing something right, if 1-3 feet is all you have then baits that make a little noise and give off shadows like dark colored baits or flash like spinners will be best.

If you are getting bites and missing them then slow the bait down or change the color a little, or if you feel it hit a bait, pause the bait for a second or two and start yo-yoing it back to you.

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Thanks for the correction nitro. The lake is man made so it is pretty consistent ground wise. I ony know of one area that has a few foot incline. I was thinking of investing in a vision 110 to see if I increase my jerkbait chances. Good idea or another brand I should try before I bite the $25 bullet?

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Thanks for the correction nitro. The lake is man made so it is pretty consistent ground wise. I ony know of one area that has a few foot incline. I was thinking of investing in a vision 110 to see if I increase my jerkbait chances. Good idea or another brand I should try before I bite the $25 bullet?

Without really knowing your water in great detail, there are cheaper options you should look at first.

Me personally I would try spinners with three blades, mix two silver with one gold, or even spoons, you get a lot more bang for the buck, at least from the info I have seen about your lake, I would save the jerk bait for a little clearer and warmer water.

Confidence is everything when you choose a bait to work with, make sure the right bait meets the right condition before you just throw one out there otherwise you will feel you have waisted your time and money and most of all your confidence will be lost in a particular bait.

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Thanks for the correction nitro. The lake is man made so it is pretty consistent ground wise. I ony know of one area that has a few foot incline. I was thinking of investing in a vision 110 to see if I increase my jerkbait chances. Good idea or another brand I should try before I bite the $25 bullet?

Jerkbaits are really good fish catchers but as others have said, they are a clear water bait and happen to be one of my favorites but in dirty water forget it. In order to catch fish on cranks you first need confidence in the lure itself, and the only way to do that is by catching a fish or 2 so I have some suggestion to help you. The nex time you go fishing, use your plastics like normal and once you get a bite or catch a fish remember the spot and how deep it was. For example, if you were fishing a piece of cover and caught the fish close to it in say 3 feet of water, look to fish a shallow area with a shallow diving crank. Parallel the shore line at that depth and you will get bit. Most anglers who haven't caught fish on crankbaits either have been fishing them in areas with no fish or they just haven't fished with them very much. Learn the crankbait by focusing on shallow cranks first and then move to mid depth ones and finally deep divers, by the time you begin to fish with deep diving baits you will have caught enough fish on shallow and medium divers to have confidence in them. out of all the crankbaits on the market there is one you need to get and that is the Rapala shad rap, a shad rap #5 is good on spinning gear fished in water 5 to 7 feet deep, it runs about 5 or 6 feet on a decent cast and more importantly it is probably the most effective cool or cold water crankbait ever made and while it does work in all water temps it seems to be one of if not the best crank for colder water, good luck.

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Id be using a single or double colorado blade spinnerbait in that dirty water and forget the jerkbait. Keep using the crankbaits though.

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Are you fishing "suspending" jerkbaits? Don't know the water temp you are fishing, but if they are floating when you stop the bait, rather than suspending, you may be fishing too fast. Just a thought.

Mike

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Jerkbaits are really good fish catchers but as others have said, they are a clear water bait and happen to be one of my favorites but in dirty water forget it. In order to catch fish on cranks you first need confidence in the lure itself, and the only way to do that is by catching a fish or 2 so I have some suggestion to help you. The nex time you go fishing, use your plastics like normal and once you get a bite or catch a fish remember the spot and how deep it was. For example, if you were fishing a piece of cover and caught the fish close to it in say 3 feet of water, look to fish a shallow area with a shallow diving crank. Parallel the shore line at that depth and you will get bit. Most anglers who haven't caught fish on crankbaits either have been fishing them in areas with no fish or they just haven't fished with them very much. Learn the crankbait by focusing on shallow cranks first and then move to mid depth ones and finally deep divers, by the time you begin to fish with deep diving baits you will have caught enough fish on shallow and medium divers to have confidence in them. out of all the crankbaits on the market there is one you need to get and that is the Rapala shad rap, a shad rap #5 is good on spinning gear fished in water 5 to 7 feet deep, it runs about 5 or 6 feet on a decent cast and more importantly it is probably the most effective cool or cold water crankbait ever made and while it does work in all water temps it seems to be one of if not the best crank for colder water, good luck.

Thanks for the info. I'll have to give that a try. My most confident bait at the moment is without a doubt a bad shad colored skinny dipper on a gamakatsu weighted swimbait hook. Ive caught more fish with that than anything. So, next time im ripping them out, ill switch to a crank right away.

I checked out the shad rap. Loving what I see. I think both the bluegill and baby bass, and maybe even the silver would work well in my lakes.

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With the lack of cover to work around, I would watch for any open water schooling activity and then throw the jerk bait. With the crankbait you might look at your rod and line size. You can let a lipless bait fall and it will stay pretty much at that depth on the retrieve until it starts getting back to the boat. With a diving crankbait, part of your retrieve is getting it down and part of it the bait is coming up again leaving only a portion where the bait is running at it's intended depth. Make sure you can make very long cast and watch your line size so you can get the bait at the depth you want it.

Good Luck!

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