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Deadly Crankbait - In The Spring

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><> ><>        BASS MATTERS - April 26, 2006         ><> ><> 

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Hello Anglers,

If you are having a slow day on the water, first, stop and 
think about what you have been doing. What is the water 
depth and clarity? What type of cover or structure have you 
been fishing? What time of year is it? What lures have you 
been using? After answering this type of question, do 
something different. You usually need to make a big change, 
not a little change. 

Remember you can comment on any story or read comments   
by visiting: Bass Matters Blog

Enjoy a week of fishing!
email Brock

The Deadly Crankbait - In The Spring
by Justin Lucas

When I really start fishing tournaments again as early 
spring comes along, I can guarantee you that I will have a 
crank bait tied on, no matter what body of water I am on. 
The thing that makes a crank bait so deadly in spring is 
that fish will be getting very aggressive, as they pre pare 
to spawn, and it triggers fish into striking because, they 
don't have a good chance to look at it and it passes them 
by so quickly, that they hit it out of instinct. Let's go 
over some key areas, depths, line sizes, types of crank 
baits, and rod and reel combinations. Hopefully you will 
learn something new. 

As far as areas go the fish will be moving up through creek 
channels, points, and then into flats to spawn. Look on your 
graph for the more key areas than this. Look for a little 
ledge at which the depth changes quickly, or a different 
type of structure rather than the main structure around. 
These little areas that you can find on your graph may mean 
the difference in catching a fish or not. So, pay attention 
to your graph and if something looks different to you, don't 
hesitate to fish it. 

On the boat that I fish out of I use a Lowrance X-65 on the 
bow of the boat, where I can carefully examine the lake 
bottom through my graph. On the console of the boat I use a 
Garmin 160, it’s a little more simple than the X-65, so I 
use it just to find the depth of an area that looks good 
and then go to the X-65 from there. With the X-65 you can 
zoom in on a spot where you think there is a change in the 
bottom structure. Depth range is pretty simple as you will 
have fish normally from 10 to 30 feet, since some come up 
earlier than others. 

When you are looking at your graph, pay attention to weather 
the fish may be suspended or if they are off the bottom. If 
they are suspended I always throw a crank bait that I know 
runs the depth they are at, in a shad pattern, which they 
will probably be feeding on. If I am locating them on the 
bottom, I will always throw a crawdad colored crank. Make 
sure that you are hitting the bottom. I have found this to 
be very important. I experimented this one day. I went and 
had 2 of the same size and color crawdad crank baits. The 
only thing different was the depth at which they ran. One 
was hitting the bottom the whole time, and the other a foot 
or two off the bottom. I only had one hook up with the 
crank bait that ran above the bottom and I caught 7 fish 
with the one running along the bottom. 


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Just a slight change can make a big difference. Line size 
for me is very simple. I use 10lb. on all lakes and 12 or 14 
on shallow body's of water such as the California Delta. I 
feel that you always need to have the bait running at its 
maximum depth. If you want to change the depth at which you 
bait is running, change the bill of the bait before the line. 
As far as brands, I have been using McCoy and it has been 
great. It's green (which to me is a must) and it's super 
strong with a low diameter. 

I like to experiment a lot with crank baits on all the 
different brands. So far I have found that my favorite is 
any of the Professional Edge series by Norman Lures. They 
have great hooks on them and run true. Others that are close 
the this would be any of the Luhr Jensens, and for shallow 
water, you can't beat a Luhr Jensen Speed Trap. Also any of 
the Rapalas are good, but be sure to change the hooks on 
them, as they aren’t that great. 

As far as rod and reels stay with the standard crank baiting 
stuff. For rods either a 6'6" fiberglass rod or a 7' fiber-
glass rod. Also Bass Pro makes a great rod, for a great 
price called a "Crankin' Stick." If you are going to buy a 
rod just for cranking go fiberglass but, if you plan on 
fishing with spinner baits and rip baits, consider the 
"Crankin' Stick." 

With reels, the only important thing to remember is that you 
want a low gear ratio. The low gear ratio will get the bait 
down and hold it there a good steady pace. Also when you are 
on the water be sure to check your drag all the time. You 
want it to be somewhat loose, just to make sure that you 
don't pull the bait out of the fishes mouth, even though the 
fiberglass rod does a good job of this. 

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        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

Do you believe members of the Duke Lacrosse team raped the 
dancer at the party?

Question of the Week

                  FISHING JOKES CORNER

A guy thought he should get to know his fiancee's young 
nephew before the marriage. So he asked the 4-year old if 
he'd like to go fishing. When they got to the stream, the 
future uncle coached the boy on how to fish, how to bait a 
hook, just when to pull up and snag the fish & other nuances 
of fishing. Every couple of hours, he would tell the child 
that he was going upstream just a ways to scout out new 

He would then *relieve* himself and return back with the 
boy. When they got home, with lots of pan-fish, the Aunt 
asked her nephew if he learned anything about fishing. 
While her intended beamed proudly at the thought of the boy 
telling her all of the things he had taught him, her nephew 
said, "I sure did. If you want to catch fish, you have to 
pee on them first!"

Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
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