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It was a KICK-N (craw) opener

Dan Wood

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Catch-N Tackles Kick-N craw was hands down the hot bait for opener in our boat. This bait is one that I always have tied on during the spawn period.

We fished the Metro area on opener this year. The key on opener for us was to work deeper spawning areas and transition areas to these spawning grounds. We fished from 4-15’ of water. The best fish came off the deeper edges in the 10-15’ depths. With water temps a very cool 59 deg., the majority of the bass were not yet on their beds. Those that were, were deeper.

The bulky plastics are key to getting those strikes during the spawning period. Bass actually will pick the bait up to move it off the bed – not intentionally feeding, but rather to move the bait away from their territory. The short and bulky baits seem to be much more productive this time of year in aggravating the bass into picking up the bait and moving it off the nesting area.

I prefer to texas rig this bait with an unpegged standard worm weight. I typically will use 1/8 to 3/8 oz. weight, depending on depth, wind, and size of craw. The larger 4.5” baits slow the fall more and you can generally get away with a larger weight than the 3” baits. I switch between the 3" and 4.5" bait.

Here is a rigging illustration on the Kick-N craw (T-rigged and skin hooked).


Here are a few fish pics from opener – all on the Kick’N Craw…



As stated on the package, the Kick’N craw “catches anything that swims”. Below is a photo of one of the nice crappies that attacked the Kick’N craw as well as a dogfish… I thought I was working a nice bass when this dogfish hit.. I couldn’t see him, but I knew the nests were on this edge we were fishing… I hooked this fish twice before finally setting hard enough to hook through the tough mouth of his. A little disappointed to see this one, but it still put up a good battle smile.gif..

Crappie on Kick’N Craw
Dogfish on Kick’N Craw

Give the Kick’N craw a try if you haven’t already during the spawn and I think you just might have a new favorite. These work equally well all summer, but during the spawn is where they really out-produce other baits.


Here is a little better metro crappie. This was right at 1 pound (11.75") and my dad got her on a JR’s Tackle flu-flu jig.



(Not many crappies in shallow yet either, but they are definitely ready to come in and spawn if the weather ever turns). My prediction is that we will see a shorter spawn this year - once conditions (water temps) come up a bit more, the fish will be more than ready to spawn and should do so quickly.

Good luck and Good fishing!

[This message has been edited by Dan Wood (edited 06-02-2004).]

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Did you just locate the weedline at 10ft' and vertical jig along the edge -- basically running parallel to the edge.

Were you just hopping the jig off the bottom?

You seemed to be one of the few guys who fishing deeper, sort of pre-spawn fish.

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Yea, we were targeting mainly prespawn fish with some deeper spawners too. We were able to pull more and better fish off the deeper beds - 6-8' (just deep enough that you couldn't see fish, but you could tell the beds were there). We spent some time up shallow and didn't see any bass over maybe 2 lbs. in the shallow spawning areas yet. The majority were 8-12" fish. I'm sure some were in shallow, but the majority seemed to be a bit deeper yet.

We were pitching to sparse cover in the 4-6' depths and working it back to the boat (typically in 12-20'). A lot of fish came deeper on the way into the boat, but some were up in the 4-8' depths near or on the deeper beds.

Look for some good gravel/sand bottom mixed in with some cover and pitch to the light spots on the bottom. Fish this time of year will either be on those spots or very near.

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Texas rigged with an unpegged weight. 2/0 minimum hook size EWG. Cast to specific structure (often they will grab it on the initial fall). Pay attention to your line and when you have anything that doesn't feel right - set the hook. It is sometimes tough to tell when they pick it up, other times they will hit it hard. I bounce it slowly along the bottom for a ways and then pitch to another target. Keep moving and keep hitting specific targets.

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is it worthwhile to swim them any or just crawl/jump them on the bottom.

does it pay to cast straight out if you don't know/don't see structure or is it only shallow stuff/structure from shore to cast to?

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We were catching fish in 15'+ depths. It is a great deep water bait. I do still try to target structure though - in this case it was a deep weedline. Hop it down the slope of the bottom contour. It seems to be most effective near the bottom, but you can try experimenting with swimming it. You need to move slow enough so they can pick it up without feeling you though, or you'll have a tough time hooking-up with a t-rig. The slip weight is most effective worked off the bottom for this reason. The fish can pick up and not feel the resistance of the weight.

[This message has been edited by Dan Wood (edited 06-02-2004).]

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Awesome Dan! Congrats on the good fishing! Dan Wood knows his stuff about bass, I've personally seen him bring in some pigs! Whether its smallies or largemouth, Dan knows where to get em! He's definitely a great source of info to have here on FM!

Those Kick-n-craws are great! I like the small 1.5 inchers for crappies.

Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson Outdoors
Metro Area Ice Fishing, Team Catch-N, and more...

[email protected]
Catch-N Tackle and Bio Bait
Stone Legacy
JR's Tackle

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alright, you got me. i ordered a few kick n craw to try them out.

How would you recommend to fish them if one is a shore fisherman? Currently I texas weightless rig senkos.

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