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papajoe222

Deep Cranks-Shallow Water Tip

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Most crankbait anglers know that those baits work best when they deflect off cover or the bottom. For years I have used cranks that run 12ft-14ft in 8ft-10ft of water for that very reason. 

As a byproduct of doing so, I've been forced to slow down my retrieve speed. 'Grinding' a crank across the bottom  is harder on this old body than deep cranking which I've all but put on the shelf, but by slowing down and using a bait with closer to neutral buoyancy I can bump the bottom, pause it, and repeat. There isn't the sharp, strike triggering deflection doing this, but many of my bigger fish have succumbed to this tactic. 

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2 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

bait with closer to neutral buoyancy

 

That describes the Berkely Dredgers except for the smallest 10.5 .

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Papajoe, are you saying that instead of grinding you just bump the bottom then pause for a slow rise?  How much grinding into the bottom are you doing?

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Adding suspend dots/strip to a rising crank can be killer.

I usually have to play around with how much to use to get it close to neutral.  Prefer to start with what I think may be a little too much and then peel a little off at a time to hit the juice.  Works better than trying to add some to a wet bait.

And contrary to so much of the common thinking, when crank bait fishing gravel or rock, a bait that totally sinks at rest, is not against the law.

Being a little heavy it casts well (especially in the wind), and I don't have to 'work" as hard to get & keep it 'down'.

Most importantly, I'm usually attempting to trigger strikes from big smallies that are looking for crayfish, so if my bait is On The Bottom, for a bit, even motionless, it's presenting a fairly natural appearance / action.  They have no problem slurping it right up.

Just say 'in.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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1 minute ago, A-Jay said:

Adding suspend dots/strip to a rising crank can be killer.

 

 

I'd agree. but beware in areas with alot of timber buoyancy is you friend and sometime the more the better. But for sure to the op that's the trick of cranking imo if you're not on bottom you ain't doing it right.

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Just now, clh121787 said:

 but beware in areas with alot of timber buoyancy is you friend and sometime the more the better. 

 

Along with a plug knocker - but I never mentioned timber and specifically noted gravel & rock.

A-Jay

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5 hours ago, IndianaOutdoors said:

Papajoe, are you saying that instead of grinding you just bump the bottom then pause for a slow rise?  How much grinding into the bottom are you doing?

Exactly. I crank it down until it hits bottom (I'll usually run it a few feet to kick up some bottom) then pause for a bit (I also experiment with how long I pause) wind it down until it bumps bottom again and repeat.  With a deep diving crank, you get the bait down to the bottom quick and it stays there, even if the depth increases a few feet you're still able to keep it down.

The time it takes to complete a cast can be upwards of a minute, so this isn't a tactic to use if you're trying to cover water, but it's a real killer when you know you've located fish, or have a lot of confidence in a spot.

One more thing. Although craw patterns work well doing this, I've also loaded the boat using shad colors at times, but honestly,IMO, the action is what the fish are submitting to.

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