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noob150

Confused About Crankbaits

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I have tried crankbaits multiple times without success.  I also don't typically care for them because I sometimes hit the bottom and they get get caught on weeds and I have to constantly clean the weeds off.  

 

I have been reading and it looks like crankbaits are supposed to be bounced off the bottom and ripped through weeds?

 

Is this true?  I have been trying to fish them so they don't hit the bottom or don't come in contact with any weeds.

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Weeds you want them to tick the tops not dive down into them.....this way when you make contact with the top and feel it touching the tips you can "rip" it free.  Squarebills work best when they bounce off structure/cover and normally get hit after refecting off of it.  Deep cranks, you want to fish cranks that will hit the bottom in the depth of water you're fishing.  So say your fishing in 8-10ft of water, you are wanting a crank that will dive to 10ft.  Depending on your line size the bait will hit bottom and dig a bit, but not hang up.  The bigger lips help keep it from hanging up and if it does feel hung, stopping it will cause the bait to float and back out.  I've had best success cranking when you can drive the bait and cause it to be bounced off the bottom (fishing points and drop offs) where fish are schooled up.  The bites normally came after driving the bait and feeling bottom then as it worked off the point and ledge to deeper water it was inhaled.  But if you tried to throw it out deeper the fish wouldn't react.  The contact with the bottom seemed to cause them to react as well as giving me a feel of where my bait was in relationship to the point and ledge. Biggest factor is choosing the right bait for the depth of the water you're wanting to fish as well as retrieve and having confidence in the bait you're using.

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Crankbaits can be fished without hitting anything but will be more effective when bounced off of structure such as rocks,wood, and even weeds..if you watch how a school of shad or a single shad moves it is rarely in a straight line and bumping cranks off of structure is the best way to imitate a bait fishes erratic action. You can also use your rod to give it the same action as well as current in the water. Be sure to fish a crankbait with a depth and a lip style to match your conditions, if you do feel it snagged in weed try snapping your rod straight up to rip it out and often you will get a reaction bite soon after, try to hit the edges of weeds rather than directly through the thickets...a square I'll crank is my favorite for rocks, wood, and even grass due to it's wider body and squared lip it will roll most times rather that getting hung up. If you do get hung up bad just let it sit for a minute and often times it will float up, practice with a cheap but effective crank such as a Bomber Square A and you will catch fish, my fav colors are brown craw, apple red craw, and shad patterns... Feel free to message me with anymore questions and I'll help as much as possible, tight lines bud and good luck cranking man!

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Weeds you want them to tick the tops not dive down into them.....this way when you make contact with the top and feel it touching the tips you can "rip" it free.  Squarebills work best when they bounce off structure/cover and normally get hit after refecting off of it.  Deep cranks, you want to fish cranks that will hit the bottom in the depth of water you're fishing.  So say your fishing in 8-10ft of water, you are wanting a crank that will dive to 10ft.  Depending on your line size the bait will hit bottom and dig a bit, but not hang up.  The bigger lips help keep it from hanging up and if it does feel hung, stopping it will cause the bait to float and back out.  I've had best success cranking when you can drive the bait and cause it to be bounced off the bottom (fishing points and drop offs) where fish are schooled up.  The bites normally came after driving the bait and feeling bottom then as it worked off the point and ledge to deeper water it was inhaled.  But if you tried to throw it out deeper the fish wouldn't react.  The contact with the bottom seemed to cause them to react as well as giving me a feel of where my bait was in relationship to the point and ledge. Biggest factor is choosing the right bait for the depth of the water you're wanting to fish as well as retrieve and having confidence in the bait you're using.

lol didn't see your post and I basically just typed out exactly what you said!

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I'm guessing you are fishing from shore, if not I apologize but I say that because shore anglers that are trying crankbaits typically have a hard time with them for the reasons you stated. Not every crankbait is going to work in your water, for example, if you are fishing a pond with a muck bottom, a deep diving bait isn't going to be your friend, instead opt for a bait that will call fish to the middle of the water column like a lipless bait. The best cranks and most effective for shore anglers, and beginners in general are shallow divers and lipless baits, while it takes some skill to get good with a square bill, that type of bait can be fished around the stuff you find close to the bank and it makes it easier for the beginner to understand what the bait is doing and how it feels. We all get snagged with them but when you start using them more and begin to catch fish, you'll begin to notice that most of your bites happen when pulling the bait free from weeds or after hitting a rock, it is pretty neat how you are just chucking and winding and you feel the bait banging bottom and then all of a sudden you the bait hit into a big rog which makes it run funny for a second and before it even gets back on track your rod instantly loads up and you have a fish on the line. What happens is the wobble and/or sound got the fish interested in your crank and it begins tracking it only to see it get to the rock and instantly change direction and that change in direction is what triggers the fish to bite as it mimics a minnow or baitfish trying to escape the predator. So start with a shallow diver or a lipless crankbait and try to master those because they will catch fish anywhere at any time and are easier to work if you happen to be a shore angler.

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I guess the guys bouncing of the bottom must have hard bottoms or rocks. My lakes are mostly muck , leaves or that slime grass. Hitting bottom fouls them every cast.

 

I use a crank that doesnt quite hit bottom and do pretty well. Usually a pretty fast way to fish with alot of cast to cover water unless water is cold.

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A lipped crankbait that is digging the bottom in weeks or muck is going to foul up...but a lipless crankbait can be kept off the bottom and ripped out of standing weeds to trigger a reaction strike. This technique has been very effective for me lately as the water cools and the bass feed up on shad. Just use a stiff rod and be ready to have a sore arm at the end of the day!

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With a lipped crank, you will catch SOME fish without hitting anything, but your crank will be MOST effective when it is hitting something. Whether its digging into the bottom, ripping out of weeds, bouncing of rocks and stumps, or crawling through deadfall. What this does is cause the action of the lure to change, or be "erratic", which is what causes a fish that is interested/following to strike your lure.Don't be afraid to get snagged or rip weeds w/your baits. It's annoying, but if you don't fish these area, you are missing out on a lot of fish, and a lot of dun!

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Cranking from shore can be really difficult. It is usually not a good tactic for bank fishing. Crankbaits have certain depths that they run at, granted they can run deeper or shallower depending on speed of retrieve, but that isn't using a crank to its potential. When you are on a boat you can position your boat so that you can work the crank the way it needs to be worked. From shore, you are at the mercy of the lakes bottom composition. For example, a shallow running crankbait might not bump anything for 1/3 of the cast, bump some bottom for another 1/3, then the last third it cld get caught in slimey grass, or the bank cld be too shallow for it to work. A shallow crankbait cld work well casting parallel to the bank, but then you are covering a lot of High potential area with one or two casts, hoping that the crankbait is the right lure to catch them that day. This can be a big issue if you are fishing a smaller pond with not a lot of shore access (most places where you can shore fish have limited access). So most of the time, shore fishing, it is a better option to slow down and milk the spots you do have with a jig or soft plastic. This is because these weedless baits will mostly not foul during a cast or flip, not ruining a potential fish holding spot. And because you have limited spots, you don't want to ruin the few spots you do have by running a crank through it while it is covered in weeds, leaves, slime, or anything else. 

 

I experimented with cranking from shore this spring when there wasn't much grass to catch. I had it pretty much limited to using a small squarebill on a long bank of laydowns, the bank was maybe 1/2 mile long and this was the only part on the lake where I found using a crankbait was the best option. It was the best option because although it had a lot of good looking laydowns, there weren't many fish there, and because it was 1/2 mile long, I had to cover the water quickly. 

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You don't need to bounce a crankbait off the bottom or cover, or tick the weeds with it. The quick change in speed and/or direction is what triggers most strikes, which can be accomplished (though not as productively) through the use of the reel and rod tip.  This is a technique I often use on suspended fish, but I don't see why using a bait that runs shallower than the depth of the muck bottom you describe in that fashion wouldn't produce. The advantage over a lipless crank is the fact that they float and will often times back out of a snag if given slack line and once the bait reaches it's running depth, you can experiment with different retrieve speeds while maintaining depth.

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If you are fishing weedy areas with a treble hook deep diving crankbait you are using the wrong lure.

Treble hooks snag weeds, diving bills snag weeds. Either fish the weed edges or tops or change to a chatterbait or Scrounger jig, better for weedy areas.

Tom

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Start with a Rapala DT-4 in Bluegill or Silver or RedCraw. It's a good bait to get started with.

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