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Dahitman44

crankin in the spring?

37 posts in this topic

Does anyone have luck running cranks during the day in early spring?

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Yep! Caught all of my fish last weekend on cranks and a few this weekend as well but with the conditions this weekend the livebait rig and a slower presentation was better.

Tunrevir~

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Use your trolling motor to go a tad slower, and pull smaller flashy baits. I like metallic Salmo Hornet's. Something like a metallic clown in a size 4. Try to run something in the 1.7-2 mph range early season and you should see results. It's a great time to start pulling, as the weed growth hasn't started or gotten very high on many lakes, so you can pull in 4-5' of water without much worry.

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does it make sense to crank during non-peak feeding times like middle of the day? Can that work in the spring?

thanks

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If your on a body of water thats stained or dirty, your midday bite may actually be better! The clear water lakes are going to produce better in morning and evening. Otherwise get on the windy side and run planner boards to get your lure out away from the boat.

Its a great time to use cranks any time of the day, but the conditions need to be right. Good luck.

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is the use of planner boats especially important now because of running so shallow and the shadow of the boat spooking the fish?

I have never used the boards - -how do they work?

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Hitman- I am just learning cranking myself and it seems that you can read everything written and still have questions. Youtube has alot of videos on planerboards, cranks, etc.. helps to see it in action rather than read about it. Youtube has a wealth of information on it, everything from fine tuning a lowrance to filleting fish. Type in walleye in the search bar and there are 3400 results!!

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In the last 10 years or so I have only caught walleyes with cranks if you consider husky jerk rapala's a crank bait, except on red lake I jig and once our minnows are gone I show my boat partners how you can get them on husky jerk-baits. We did very well on opener with them fished almost too slowly to get a good hook set. I just got tired of my bag of shinner minnows being dead by the time we got them to the lake and in our bucket and for what they cost I have saved hundreds of dollars. The trick is finding the right lake for that pattern, it took me years to narrow down which lakes it worked on best and time of day or should I say night and then having the confidence in what you are trying.

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Wow great information --

Musky -- can you tell me a little more about what you do and how you try to targhet them - -depth etc.

thanks so much

Hit

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So far the last few weekends we've caught all our walleyes in the murky river water on cranks, and all the walleyes in clear lake water on rigs with fatheads. The walleyes on the cranks were in the middle of the day and the live bait was closer to sundown. It's holding true to what slim said about the middle of the day for murky, and low light for clear.

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Oddly enough one of my favorite cranking lakes is crystal clear, and it's great midday. We get them in 5' of water all summer long on a nice sand/gravel bar. The trick is to get out enough to find a pattern that works.

Planers are not very useful this time of year, as the fish don't really give a hoot. They're hungry, and they want to pack on some pounds, and regain some energy. Honestly, they're not as finicky as most people think. If they're hungry, like they are all spring, you can run right over top of them and still catch 'em. Trick is figuring out where they are.... wink

Dahitman, usually from 3' down to 12' is a great starting point. During the dog-days of summer you may need to refine that some, but they're still going to be active on shallow weed flats, especially in the evening.

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I use cranks all year long, I dont have the paitence for live bait. Ive found that with cooler water temps a slow presentation is key, like a jerk-jerk pause, a few turns on the reel then another set of jerk-baits. my goto's are the xraps, minnowraps, shadraps, taildancers. ive also found that bottom contact is crucial. you may loose a few but thats the name of the game. I run 10 lb.braid to 20 lb. floro. for my crankin rods. cranks in the rip-rap in spring is a killer, anykind of structure is going to be key. well good luck

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Wow-- you guys-- I am learning a lot about cranking in the spring.

Anyone else have any thoughts or just things they have noticed?

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Troll in a lazy "S" shape, it allows the bait to do what it's intended for when you catch the slack on the turn-toward side. Strikes often happen when you go into the turn-away side as well, because the bait will speed up. i.e. when you turn toward the bait the line will slack up, and the bait will float, sink, suspend....

Use a line-counter, it's essential if you're going to get serious about trolling cranks. Okuma Convectors or Daiwa Sealines are fine.

Medium/moderate glass rods are going to suit you well, have one at your disposal and you'll never look at another plain-Jane casting rod again. St. Croix makes the bee's knee's with their Premier 8' telescoping glass trolling rod.

Teach yourself to use the rod holders, and try not to get excited and set the hook or rip a fish in. When you get hit, grab the rod out of the holder, and use a slow steady retrieve.

If you're serious about getting serious, hire a guide who specializes in cranks, or talk to a pro about it, as they're typically great at crankbait advice! Hands on is the best way to learn when it comes to cranks, trial and error....

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Matt--Do you prefer braid or mono when trolling with those glass rods?

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I run mono. I've done all of my depth checking on my own, and have my own "trolling bible" down. Every bait and line amount I checked was with mono, so I've stuck with it, and will use the same diameter and test mono on my normal setups probably forever. I do have one rod rigged with 20 lb. Fireline as well, and this is a digging set up. The thinner diameter cuts through the water faster, making the bait dig quicker and harder. I've also found that braids foul up much easier than mono... I also have my leadcore sets, but those are a whole other thread... wink

If you set up one rod with 10 lb. mono, and another with 17 lb. mono, you'll get two completely different sets due to diameter changes. That exta foot or even 6" can make a huge difference...

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Wow I didn't know that there was a whole science behind crankin' I started doing it last year and I had some success but not as much as I would have liked. Thanks for those posting the info will help a lot.

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I mainly fish the hour before dark until roughly 1 - 2 in the AM, hence why I generally have the lake to myself. I fished so shallow Saturday night I trimmed my outboard out of the water and went solely with the minnkota and thankfully as windy as it was we were protected by the high bank on the north/northwest side of the lake. I use suspending rapalas only. The lakes weeds are slow to grow early in the year so we were as shallow as possible yet I made a few passes in the 8-10 feet of water as well. I do my best after dark on clear water, really clear water lakes. 51 degree water so I fished only north side, out of the wind, trying to fish the warmest water possible, about every 25 feet I rattle my bait with a rod snap, hoping to attract them to my bait, then little rips here and there and bang. These walleyes really move shallow early after dark in clear water assuming the baitfish they want to eat is there also in shallow a bit warmer water plus the just starting to grow weeds are there for a bit of cover. There you go except 1 color seems to produce 3-1 over the others, maybe it's just faith in it, but the 1 took me a decade of switching colors to figure out. smile

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The line used often depends on a number of factors. I fish a lot of weedbeds when trolling so I use medium moderate action rods for my set up. Braid works well for this as a quick snap of the rods will usually clear any weeds picked up and you don't need to reel in as often as you do with mono line. The snap of the rod can alsi trigger fish once the lure clears.

I don't use line counters but have developed a system to meter line out that works for me. I agree that the line counters are the way to go and the quality has gotten so much better that I may be making the switch soon. The older models were so big, heavy and the drags systems were suspect. Not an issue anymore as the option Matt layed out are great reels.

Btw,

Cranks put a lot of eyes in the boat for me this weekend. wink

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A bit more and how I got tuned into the pattern, friend owns resort on TenMile Lake, can't fish daytime too busy, so after dark we go, I've also caught some nice crappies, smallmouth,largemouth and pike after dark why ? But, after the weedline is developed I have to go outside it with a diving crank then, but early on like till June 10th roughly, my suspending husky jerk does the job. Tried my suspending on Cass lake, no bites, went to a diving, had a limit in an hour fishing the same breakline, so it depends on the lake a bunch, time of year, weedline and growth, as summer wears on I try to hit those lakes that are more rocky then weedy and I'm usually busy targeting muskies. Last bit, if you've got a spot producing, you can anchor from it and cast to it also or cast rip rap or rocky walleye looking shorelines with em. Right now they seemed scattered so we kept trolling, if we keep getting hit in the same spot a few times we stop and cast if no go back on the troll.

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Thanks Matt...I've switched to mono this year as well. Went with braids for two years and just found too many fish coming un-buttoned with the braid. Other reasons as well. Thanks for the great info.

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so this spring -- what should I start with? If it is miday and nothing else is working and we are either on a clear lake or a medium clear (10 feet down)

Should we troll where we mark fish -- say 14feet or go shallow and look for midday feeders?

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5-12' of water right now is where we're finding most of our active fish. A Salmo Hornet in the shallow water and a Salmo Bullhead or a Rapala Taildancer out deeper. Move slower, 1.7ish, let back about 76' of line... wink

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I pull all year long. Just because I like it. I still use live bait on certain waters at certain times but I prefer cranks. Somebody had mentioned earlier the use of line counters. I think this is crucial. Line counters allow you to develop a consistent presentation with you bait. When I fish under 8 ft. I still use an open face because I can get the lure back in the water faster.The only other thing that I would add is that people sometimes get hung up on a precise depth. For example, "2 feet off the bottom" IMO you are looking at getting your bait into a zone. Generally speaking that zone is two feet above or below the fish. Speed matters but the slow in cold water rule gets broken all the time. Pulling cranks is a whole different type of fishing. Just like fishing with dry flyes in a stream is different than lake fishing with live bait.

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