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Crankbait confusion


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Hello Guys,
I need some suggestions when casting crankbaits along weed edges (milfoil) for bass -- a common techique for many guys.

My problem: I keep getting weeded. Every cast becomes non-productive. I cannot seem to master "ripping" the cranks out of the weeds.

I am "ripping" with my rod in a sideways motion when possible. I tend to pull the lure with hard, long sideways motion Should I be "popping" the lure with a shorter motion?

My gear should be fine for this. I am using a bait casting reel (12 pound) and medium action 6 ft., 6 inch rod. Lures are rattle-traps, wiggle warts, and standard diving raps.

I am focusing on 6 to 8 feet of water, with milfoil usually just becoming visible beneath the water. My depth finder usually reads this types of weeds as the beginning of the weed line.

I'd love some suggestions here, since I know this is a productive technique, and I get impatient working the edges with plastics.

Please jump with in your thoughts, everyone.


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You have found a great technique, especially for this time of year when the bass are coming into a post-spawn stage. I also know the frustration you are having. Here are some tips for you to try.

First, I would use a little heavier rod for cranking shallow heavy cover. I like to use a 6 1/2 to 7 foot medium/heavy Gapen rod spooled with at least 12 pound line (I usually use 15 lb Berkley Big Game). I like the heavier rod and line because it makes it easier to rip (try using a shorter, quicker rip) the lure through the weeds and also I can horse a bigger fish out of the weeds if I need to. You don't lose much action with the heavier line, but you do lose running depth, but the way it sounds, you don't need to be running more than 4 feet or so anyhow.

Another thing you could try is using 20 lb Berkley Fireline. With the thin diameter and no strech, it really slices through weeds well.

If you are fishing the weed edge, try casting parallel to the weed edge. It may take a couple casts to find the sweetspot, but when you do, you can retrieve your bait along the edge and be in the strike zone a lot longer than if you cast perpendicular to the weeds. If you are fishing a weed flat, try to adjust your cranking speed so you just tick the tops of the weeds.

Give this a try and you should have better luck cranking shallow cover.
Good luck! smile.gif

Adam Johnson

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Here's a tip I read in Bassing Times from The Master From Michigan KVD on Rattlebaits in the weeds. Remove the Back treble,using only a high quality treble such as a Mustads Triple Grip on the front.

He made this modification during a tourny on a grassy FL lake and found that he tended to catch as many fish but less grass.

I decided to try it. It is amazing how weedless the bait becomes (except in pencil reeds). I found pitching this way along the weedlins and into weed pockets to be a fun way to fish and productive. In fact my Big Bass of the season so far was caught this very way the 1st day I was out experimenting with it. Now I have a whole tray in my "Trap Box" dedicated to the weedy one's.

Another Tip- When using Lipped Baits, use those with a fat body, wide wobbel, and high bouyancy. Such as a Bomber Fat A or Storm Mag Wart. I've had some spectacular results on the Fat A.

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