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Creekcrappie

What Am I Missing?

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I hear some guys saying to use tight wiggling crankbaits in cold water and wide wobbling crankbaits in the summer. Then I hear some guys saying to use wide wobbling lures in the winter and tight wobbling ones in the summer. What am I missing. I want to see what you guys say. Thanks.

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I don't use crankbaits in cold water.......I slow it down with a slow lure.

As far as tight vs wide wobble ......... I just use a wide wobble and switch to a tight wobble if they don't bite the first.

I was always under the impression they slow way down in cold and that meant I needed to slow down my presentation.....so I guess I would opt for the tight wiggle in cold water if I had to choose.

Those more knowledgeable will chime in soon.

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You raise a good point Creekcrappie, because there's a bit of contradiction in this area.

 

In the past we were constantly told that lure action should be faster in warmer water and slower in colder water.

With respect to 'forward speed' that is certainly true, but with respect to the lure's 'lateral action', the reverse is probably truer.

In other words, it's better to judge the seasonal use of a plug by the WIDTH of its wobble rather than the speed of its wobble.

 

Cool-Water

A lipless crank like the Spro Aruku Shad displays fast action but a NARROW stroke.

 

Warm-Water

A billed diver like the Bomber Fat-Free Shad displays slow action but a WIDE wobble.

 

Roger

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I've always felt that the narrow wobbling baits have a more subtle action which is why they're more effective in cold water. It isn't always the case though as I've done very well with squarebills and wide wobbling deep divers in cold weather. Personally I feel that speed is the most important part next to location. It doesn't matter how wide or narrow your bait wobbles, if you're fishing it too fast in cold water you're not going to get bit. That's why a wide wobbling bait like a Wiggle Wart can work so well in cold water, it still fishes correctly at very slow speeds, which allows fish to react to the bait even when they're moving very slowly. At the same time I've done very well with very narrow wobbling baits like a Shad Rap or DT6 in the warmer months also. 

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I've had good success using suspending crank baits (like a Rapala husky jerk) , and fish it slow with long pauses.....Tight wiggle , slow speed.....In warmer water a wider wobble fished faster .  

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A few years ago I had the chance to fish a fairly clear lake almost on a daily basis throughout the winter, and it really changed my thinking, and approach to "cold water lethargic fish"

 

What I witnessed first hand, in high thirty to low forty degree water, was not fish slugging along, uninterested in lures, in a cold blooded induced metabolic slow down, but highly active fish, darting along, aggressively following and chasing lures, but reluctant to commit to these lures. What ultimately caused these fish to commit (usually) was an aggressive action followed by a pause or reduced action. Which I think validates the effectiveness of jerkbaits, traps and blades. Once I started fishing this way instead of fishing finesse plastics, hair jigs and the like, I started actually enjoying fishing in cold months. The other thing I noticed, is that stable or rising water temp, made for better fishing (again usually). Your milage may vary.

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Ive noticed when fishing flies that my best action with streamers is winter. These flies are moving in massive movements most times to keep contact with the bait. I actually dont do that well on streamers in the summer.

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Some crank baits are better late winter/very early spring baits than others.  You've just got to experiment to find out what works for you.   My experience has been that I can occasionally git bit on wiggle warts and shad raps.  I have to throw the shad raps on very light line - currently I'm using 10 lb nanofil.  Wiggle warts for me are pretty much the same thing, I'll use 10 or 12 lb test, more often 10.  Any decent mono will work.  The good thing about wiggle warts is that I can throw them on bait casting gear with decent results.

 

Having said that, I think that jerk baits (specifically Lucky Craft Pointers) and jigs or shaky head worms are a better late winter/early spring option day in and day out.

 

Another early spring crank related to consider is that every spring, I will catch 1 or 2 big fish (5 to 8 lbs is big for me) throwing a rattle bait in 1 to 3 feet of water, late March or early April.  It seems to me, in the conservation lakes that I mostly fish that the big fish come up very shallow, very early and then go back down and then the regular pre-spawn - spawn - post spawn progression happens.   Throwing the rattle bait early in the year has never been a numbers game for me, but it has resulted in a big fish or two for me nearly every year for the past several years.

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