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Almost had my first crankbait catch today... almost!

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Just got back from a fishing trip. Had a good time, it wasn't even too windy or anything. I was focusing primarily on crankbaits today, and I darn near had some luck on one (finally)! I was running a lipless red eye crank that was colored somewhat like a bluegill, I actually just got it a few days ago from the BPS sale. I kept having fish interested in it in this one little area. I kept feeling bumps but it was them spitting it and I just couldn't set one. So I changed tactics a little, tossing it more to the side rather than in front of me and kept working it, carefully watching the line and keeping it tight. Finally I saw the line twitch a bit almost like a guitar string. I raised the pole as quick as I could, and hooked it! It felt nicer than all the ones I've had previously, but hard to say what weight it was. Probably not much, like 1-2 lbs at most. I got it to within 10 feet of the shore... and it happened. The fish did some olympian moves, and with a flop and a pirouette, my line went slack. The only glimpse I got of my fish was its tail as it flapped off my line (laughing at me). Oh well, at least I know two things now: 1.) I finally found the right crankbait for this area after much trial, error, and research. 2.) I've gotten better at working crankbaits. Maybe next time I can avenge my loss cause there will certainly be a next time!

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Nice almost catch.:) I’m planning on trying to use crankbaits more this year too because I usually just use plastics.

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Two colors of red eye shad for me.  White and black and silver black.  It's a spring bait for me and that means dirty water.  Some people like red.  Put some upgrade hooks on them and jack them.  Never give any line and keep the rod tip low to keep them from jumping.

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44 minutes ago, Angry John said:

Two colors of red eye shad for me.  White and black and silver black.  It's a spring bait for me and that means dirty water.  Some people like red.  Put some upgrade hooks on them and jack them.  Never give any line and keep the rod tip low to keep them from jumping.

Yep, it was right as I was starting to raise the rod to bring it over some debris that I knew was there... not sure I could've avoided it given the seaweed muck that was there. I don't think it was hooked very well either, think I just got it by the roof of the mouth. What do you meant by "jack them"? And what hooks would you recommend upgrading to? I will sometimes put stinger XLs on lures if I don't like the stickiness or size, but these hooks seemed to be okay for what I would typically deal with. However, I know for a fact this pond has up to 14" (or bigger) largemouth in it cause I have seen a recent pic from a guy I fished with once, so maybe I should change up a tad.

 

Also, water here is always murky... few inches visibility. I have a red eyed that is red with black stripes, but it's a 1/4 oz and smaller. No luck with that one yet. This one I was using was a 1/2 oz and I think it was the larger profile that attracted the bass that attacked it. I've kind of learned in this water you either need extremely vibrant/colorful, or dark. Either way, seems like larger seems to be better.

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depending on the cover the ewg style hook with the points that are tilted in are best.  I am in love with st-41 owners but there quite spendy.  I like the 1/2 oz size even the dinks will eat it.  I dont fish them deep so the weight is not a huge issue.  The spro shads are nice but more money.  Jack them means hit them and just start grinding.  If you have a moderate or moderate fast then the rod will soak up the bumps.  I fish them on a MHF mostly because they pick up a lot of junk and i just rip them to clean them off.  Once the head is turned they are all yours and i dont seem to rip out because i never let them turn and run.  If they get a good angle to fight you back then you may have to play them out.  In the mirky water you never know what size they will be and after some losses i would rather treat them all like a monster and get them landed pictures and let them go.

 

I posted a pick of my fiver i picked up on last wednsday i think in Memphis pond hoppers if you want to see the bait and fish.

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I've always had some crankbaits among my gear but never had any luck with them. But last summer I bought a Bill Lewis Purple Tiger Rat L Trap lipless crank and it has been a bass and white crappie slayer for me. Dick's was having a buy 2 get one free sale so I picked up a couple of standard silver Rat L Traps and this purple and lime green one on a whim.

 

This year my goal is to fish more square bill cranks. The lagoons are pretty shallow here with muddy and algae bottoms so deep diving cranks are useless. I bought a few Strike King square bills last week and hope to try them out soon. Unfortunately my son has travel baseball almost every weekend so I need to wait for Daylight Saving Time before I can get out there and fish.

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@Angry John ah gotcha that makes sense with the hooks being pointed in. Yeah the ones that came with it are pretty straight up if not pointed out a bit. I will definitely look into that! The way you describe jacking them is pretty much what I do usually. Set it and start reeling. Maybe I was too late or too early... but I definitely set with the intent of ripping it's face off since it was sort of an odd angle. I use a medium-fast rod btw. I have a hard time throwing these cranks with a medium-heavy, I pretty much only use a side or side-roll cast since my overhead sucks, so a medium-heavy doesn't set well.

 

@Koz I've been trying the square bills too. I have a hard time getting them to dive down enough. The fish here seem to want a slower approach, and the squares just don't get down very well when slow rolling. Still working on how to solve that one, but I have a few squares that should get the job done in the right spot. One I have gotten a bite on is a 12' diving Strike Pro that is basically tiger stripes. That one does slow roll very well, but it's a round bill and can get caught up easier. Another problem is that it's a narrower bait and doesn't have the thump of a broader body bait.

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You can put heavier hooks on the square bill and it will rise slower.  The bad is it will get hung up more maybe.  This will give you a little more depth when slow rolling.

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That's a good idea. Aside from a few bad spots most of this pond seems to work for most crankbaits. They always pick up some moss though, especially at about 10' and in. I was thinking about maybe putting some larger red hooks on there. Maybe the fish will think it's bleeding and injured? 

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Two weeks ago was the first time I caught two bass on a lipless red eye shad. I was so pumped. It was on the bluegill color. Usually I use jigs and shakey head. I was in a kayak so only had two reels. The jig got lost so I was forced to use lipless. Used a slow continuous reel speed and twice bass jumped on. First time I ever caught bass on a lipless or crankbait. I was beginning to think it only happened on tv 😂. Now the lipless is my new favorite. Good luck!

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Sounds like you were fishing it pretty slow, feel free to fish a lipless pretty aggressively. Also, all those ticks and taps may not have been fish, could've been some hidden structure. Good luck on catching you a crankbait hawg!!!

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Try a yo yo approach and see if maybe they will eat it better that way. Has worked for me in the past.

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Bummer.

 

But you are getting there.

 

Next time be sure to swing the rod to the left or right at waist height when setting the hook.

 

No slack in line after setting the hook.

 

And no braid. Use mono or fluorocarbon, only.

 

Now let's go back out there and kick some fannies with those One Eyed Shads. ;) 

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