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Chris

Crankbaits..ask away!

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If you have a specific question about using crankbaits I will try my best to answer them. Time to get the skunk out of the boat and get you catching fish on them. ;)

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I know ripping cranks through grass is a good technique, but I always have the problem of too much grass and not enough ripping the crank out of it.  Should I only go through really thin grass, or just barely graze it?  Would alot sharper hooks help?

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In general most guys use braid and lipless crankbaits to do this technique. The reason is that if you use a regular crankbait the lip will dig in and you get a chunk of salad. What your trying to do is slow down the bait just enough till you feel the grass then rip the bait and snap the rod to free any grass that might be clinging to your hook. If you are using a regular crankbait you just want to tick the tops of the grass. I feel that a wood crankbait is a better choice if your just ticking the grass because if it gets stuck it tends to float out better. Make sure you beef up your line ;)

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Chris, can you say something about the different degrees of wobble to different cranks and what each is best used for? And how about flat vs. fat?

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The wider the wobble the more water the bait displaces. Think of it kinda like a spinnerbait. Most guys use a Colorado blade for muddy water if it was a crankbait a wide wobble would be comparable. In stained water most guys use an Indiana blade a medium wobble would be comparable. In clear water a willow spinnerbait works a tight wiggle would be comparable.

Tight wiggle would be like a Bomber model A

medium would be like a Bandit

wide wiggle would be like a Deep little N

* In cold clear water super tight wiggle tends to produce well.

* thin crankbaits with a wider wobble displaces more water than a round wide wobbler.

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Ok, how about cranking in deep open water????  I understand working the banks, grass, ,etc...... (although with no success)  but just for life of me figure out how to get them to bite when they are hanging in 12-15 ft. of water .....  I understand using small dia. line and deep cranks to get to the fish,,, but I never even get a hit...   I would be better off, just slinging rocks out there,, maybe one would hit the fish in the head as it sinks....

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What I try to find is where the bass are hanging on something either below bait or on some sort of structure or with structure close by like off of an edge. Bass that are just suspended without these elements are hard to catch because they are in a neutral mood. If you are fishing a group of suspended fish hanging under a school of shad then it just a matter of figuring out depth..the depth the bass are at and the depth the lure is running. You want to use a crankbait that runs deeper than your target depth. The reason why is because of line drag. In order for a crankbait to reach it's max depth it need enough running room to dig it's way to the depth which means long casts. If you are marking fish at 15 ft scoot off away from those fish and give yourself about a boat length (20' out). The reason why I say that is because when the lure reaches it's max depth the closer it gets to the boat the more depth it looses as it makes it's climb back to the rod tip. The deepest that bait will run will be about a boat length away from your boat before it looses depth. You also want to use a suspending crankbait because your not going to be fighting the buoyancy of the bait as much and you can slow it down more.

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Chris, what are some good suspending crankbaits? Also, are there other times when suspending cranks perform better?

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I usually weight mine much like a jerkbait. By the time I am done with a crankbait they all suspend about the same. I do this because I might want to have a bait that slowly floats up or one that sits dead still this way I can also adjust to the water temp because the temp will effect how much weight it takes to make the bait suspend. I fish them in cold water like late fall, early spring, winter, bedding fish.

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I also like suspending crankbaits around standing timber because you can bring the bait to the flooded trunk of the tree and ram the bait and then pause the bait and ram it again and continue doing that till the bait hits a corner on the lip and moves around it. Your just knocking the bait up against the tree till something takes it or it works it's way around it. :;)

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Chris ive noticed on a lot of crankabits and floaters etc, i see a round black circle or dot on the side of them? why ios this?. what is this dot used for?

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It is a false eye shad and bluegill both have a false eye. Many believe that by putting one on a crankbait it looks more natural and feel that a bass might target their attack at the eye. Some tournament fishermen will take out a black sharpie and mark up the sides of the crankbait because they feel that it draws the focus of the attack to the black marks.

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Do you ever change the size of the hooks on your Cranks. If so when and why.

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Yep, I change hooks all the time. In heavy cover I change to triple grip hooks because it tends not to hang up as much as round bend hooks. By the same token if the fish are slashing at my bait I like to use round bend hooks. If the bass are slashing at my bait in heavy cover I change the front hook to short shank round bend hooks with a round body bait I want the hook to be covered by the bait so that the bait helps deflect objects. If I am using like a crappie Bill Norman crankbait I like to change out the back hook to a larger hook because it adds weight to the bait and you are able to cast it on a baitcaster easier. It also changes the vibration of the bait and feels more like a jointed bait. I also change sizes of hooks to a larger gap hook if the lure comes with a smaller hook because it helps hook the bass deep.

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When it comes to rocky bottoms, is there any bottom that is too rocky to bump your crankbait against due to hangups?  If so, where do you draw the line.

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I shave lips, cut lips, add rattles, glue rattles together to make them silent, drill out rattletraps and replace the bb's with a single splitshot, bend line tie eye to change action, shave and sand the body, re carve a bait totally, change colors, change split rings to the oval rings, drill out wood baits and pour lead in them, move placement of the line tie ring and a bunch of other stuff.

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senile1

Nope if I find that I am hanging up a bunch and the hooks are the problem then I change to a crankbait with a longer bill. The bill will act like a weed guard. If the bill is just getting lodged in the rock I change to a longer bill and a wood bait. Your not going to be smacking it against the rocks as much because of the bill and the wood will help float the bait out of hang ups. I just reel fast enough to keep contact and just tick the rock.

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When I want to follow the contour of the bottom or when I am fishing an uneven bottom. Also when I want to use the bill as a weedguard. Sometimes the bass want the bait to bang the bottom hard like in muddy water and a deep diver can be the ticket.

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I also like them for laydowns.

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When your crankbait is in contact with the bottom or targeted structure do you move the bait with the reel or rod tip? Keep cranking or pull with the rod...........Al

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Both, if I am running the bottom then I run the bottom with the reel and I don't drag the rod like as if I was fishing a Carolina rig. Around a spot that I feel that a bass might be I do sometimes move the crankbait with the rod to change the speed of the bait and change the vibration pattern. I also stop the bait sometimes and twitch the bait around cover a lot to draw a strike. In cold water I do drag the crankbait like a Carolina rig because I want the lure to pause a lot. If I am fishing a dock sometimes I do use the rod to aim the lure. In general open areas I use the reel to change the speed mostly stop and go with a very erratic tempo. If I am trying to reach a depth or a specific target like a finger off a point I use a straight retrieve. If I can see the object like standing timber I do use the rod to direct the lure to the object and depending on how hard I want to hit the object to force a strike depends on if I use the reel or the rod to strike it.

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In most cases you will hang up less on structure and hard cover with a straight retrieve. You let bait react to the cover or structure which in turn puts extra action to the bait on it's own without extra help. If you stop the bait sometimes the hooks will swing weird and hang up.

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When digging the bottom with a deeper diver why does the crank with the chewed up bill out perform a newer one.  I've always wondered this.  Some reason the chewed up and beat up cranks work better.

Also do you prefer flourocarbon line for throwing cranks in clear water?

A crankbait that says 12ft max with 10lb line how much on average would you gain/lose in depth if you +/- pound line by the next size?

Please explain uses

square bill

round bill

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