Tips for fishing with crankbaits & plugs - Stripers247.com Forums
 
Striped Bass Fishing Site Map | Contact Us | Fishing Log Software | Fishing Online | Advertise
to UPLOAD: please register or login

Go Back   Stripers247.com Forums > Sweetwater Stripers > Sweetwater Fishing -Freshwater Stripers
Forgot Password? Register Now!!

Sweetwater Fishing -Freshwater Stripers Freshwater fishing discussion. Articles on tactics and techniques for freshwater stripers as well as Bass & other species.


Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-07-2006, 03:34 PM
JakeF's Avatar
JakeF JakeF is offline
Moderator
Pro Staff
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 5,895
Default Tips for fishing with crankbaits & plugs

Until my move to the east coast, the majority of my fishing was for Large Mouth Bass using crankbaits and soft plastics. I also did quite a bit of night fishing for big catfish in the SE Missouri swamps, ponds, and rivers, but that's a different story.

Here are some things that I've found work really well with hard crankbaits for LMB, and over this past year I've found most of these same techniques also work pretty well with Striped Bass,, just on a larger scale. I still have a lot of experimenting and learning to do, but maybe this little write up will be helpful to some other newbies.

When I first started fishing, I would simply cast a crankbait out and reel it straight in. I did catch some fish that way, but over time I learned that changing the way you present your lure of choice will many times make more of a difference than anything else you can do. It all depends on what mood the fish are in and how active they are. Here are a few things you can try when the fish are being picky.

Don't try to rip their lips off
When I first started using crankbaits, I had a tendency to set the hook too aggressively, many times pulling the bait right out of the fish's mouth and missing a good hookset. Give the fish a chance to really grab it and use a strong steady pull to set the hooks. It helps to use a rod that's not too heavy. You want just the right amount of flex and forgiveness to set the hook firmly without ripping the lure free. I like a fairly sensitive tip so that I can feel the action of the lure and anything that it bumps against or that bumps it. This was my first year using braided lines and I love the kind of feedback that you get with low stretch line and a sensitive rod.

Making the connection
Many people prefer to tie their leader directly to the eye of the lure, which may be OK for some larger heavier baits, but if your leader has any stiffness to it at all, it can severely hamper the action of smaller lighter crankbaits. Another option would be to use a snap swivel or other quick release that clips onto the eye, but if the fish are spooky that extra hardware can mean the difference between a bent rod or a straight one. I prefer to use a small, but strong, split ring on the eye of the lure, then tie my leader directly to the split ring. This lets the lure freely wiggle back and forth the way God intented it to, while maintaining a constant pull direction and a minimum of distracting hardware.

Tune it up
If a crankbait is not tuned properly, it will not deliver the proper action nor be able to reach the depth it's designed for. I always check my cranks & plugs for proper tune when they're first new out of the box (many times they're not tuned properly from the factory), and after any particularly glorious fight. To check your crankbait and make sure that it is running true, release about 10 or so feet of line and draw the bait next to your boat or along a straight path on the bank. If the lure tries to run left or right, it needs to be adjusted. To adjust a crankbait, face the front of the lure towards you and bend the eye slightly in the opposite direction from the way the lure is tracking. Continue to check and adjust the lure until it runs perfectly straight. Now you're ready to fish!!

Stop & go
If you notice a fish just following your lure, simply stopping the reel action for a couple seconds then starting it again can many times trigger a strike. Try to keep as much slack out of the line as possible while your bait is parked at the stop light, but you basically want to just let it rest. Too much slack in your line will make it difficult to detect and quickly react to a strike when your bait is in the dead zone. If you're using a shallow running bait, watch the water behind it for swirls. This can be an indication of a following fish that is just waiting for your bait to stop moving for a second before it pounces.

Bottom Bouncing
When the upper water column is warm, many times the fish will hold tight to the bottom in a cooler layer of water. Try using a (cheap) dark colored crankbait that runs slightly deeper than the depth you're fishing. Let it bounce against the bottom in a jerky fashion. Not only will this add to the sound a crankbait is making and attact attention that way, but it will also stir up silt from the bottom, which imitates the look of a small lobster, crab or other bottom-hugging meal trying to escape. Let me emphasize using a CHEAP lure for this, because you'll inevetably get it hung up. I wouldn't recommend doing this with a $15-$20 plug.

Another bottom bouncing trick is to run a floating plug on a short flourocarbon leader tied to a small 3-Way swivel. Hang just enough weight from the bottom of the 3 way (with light test line) to keep it on the bottom as you bump it in. This can imitate a small fish following it's own meal on the bottom, many times triggering a strike reaction from the bigger fish you're targeting. Your cheap weight is tied on with a light test line so that if it get's hung up, you can break it free and your lure floats up and clear of the obstruction. These techniques seem to work especially well over a muddy or sandy bottom.

To Float or suspend
The choice between floating/diving baits and suspending models has much more to do with the presentation you will be using than anything else. I like to use suspending baits when the fish are sluggish. This lets you stop the lure at any point during the retrieve and sit it right in front of a fish's nose to trigger strikes.

Most floating cranks rise rapidly, which pushes them back towards any following fish when you pause the reel, creating more reaction strikes. This is especially effective when the fish are in a fiesty mood. Another benefit of using floating divers is that many times if it hits a snag it will float free when you relax the line.

The zig-zag move
If you've ever taken the time to watch smaller baitfish swimming against a current, you probably noticed that they don't usually swim in a straight boring line. They tend to zig-zag slightly back and forth against the current. Keep this in mind next time you wade out into a current or anchor up to start throwing your goodies. When you're covering the downstream side of your location, try working your rod left and right during your retreive, sweeping gently back and forth, with a little burst of speed when you change direction. Just imagine that your lure is that little fish swimming against the current and try to make it look natural. Because, otherwise, well,, it doesn't look natural.

I hope these tips help a little the next time you are tossing the hard stuff. Now go out and Catch That Monster!
cheers
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 02-07-2006, 03:52 PM
Sudsy's Avatar
Sudsy Sudsy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On the Hook, NJ
Posts: 3,471
Default

Great stuff

My favorite method is the "no retrieve retrieve". Toss the plug out and just twitch it, keeping enough tension to barely keep contact as it sweeps along in the current. This also works well with floating poppers (even at night).

Another favorite freshwater technique that translates well into the salt is the rock bouncing method. When fishing in a rocky area give a small rod sweep bumping your plug into a rock (be sure it's not too covered in mussels or weed or you'll just get stuck). Let it sit for a few seconds like a stunned baitfish. Most of the time, the hit is spectacular - but pay attention, sometimes it's nothing more than a gentle slurp off the surface.
__________________
"I just wanta play everyday despite small nagging injuries --
and go home to a woman who appreciates how full of crap I truly am"..... Crash Davis
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-07-2006, 04:15 PM
JakeF's Avatar
JakeF JakeF is offline
Moderator
Pro Staff
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 5,895
Default

Right on. Good tips. If anyone else has any tips, tricks, corrections, etc. Post away!

Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 02-07-2006, 07:59 PM
Striper777 Striper777 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,227
Default



Great info Bait
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-08-2006, 07:32 PM
merrillizer's Avatar
merrillizer merrillizer is offline
The Poacher Poacher - I poach poachers
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hampton, NH Marshland
Posts: 4,759
Default

Good stuff guys.

Fer Cranks, I often see the 1st rule overlooked......Wide Wobble for warm water and Tight Wobble for colder water. I dont fish with cranks alot these days, but when I did I always thought of this first.

I also like the tight wobble around grass and weeds, and the wide wobble around structure like fallen down logs. I had most of my crankbait success running shad tones along the length of a grass line, inside or outside. Most people probably wouldnt use them for this, but I found it was a quick and easy way to get down and find sweetspots and pockets. Other than that, I'd catch the occassional bass over a rockpile, but never really used em much in awhile. The places I frequent now for LMB, including my favorite small river and small pond, are not "crankbait friendly".

I love burning buzzbaits myself. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rooster Tails (inline spinners) are probably my go to "fishfinders".

We could probably move this to the Sweetwater forum?



Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-09-2006, 11:17 AM
JakeF's Avatar
JakeF JakeF is offline
Moderator
Pro Staff
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 5,895
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Bolt
We could probably move this to the Sweetwater forum?
Where ever you think it fits best bro.

Good tips too! I never knew about the varying the wobble type based on water temp. I'll have to experiment with that!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-09-2006, 06:32 PM
merrillizer's Avatar
merrillizer merrillizer is offline
The Poacher Poacher - I poach poachers
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Hampton, NH Marshland
Posts: 4,759
Default

I moved it over into here, the Sweetwater forum

I think your 1st tip is great, and also one that is overlooked alot. I constantly see the guys I fish with looking to set up a little too hard lol.

I used to have that tendency when I was studying and mastering the art of Buzzbaiting. This was a big problem, because not having patience when running a Buzzbait will surely make for missed fish, ALOT of missed fish lol. Took awhile to gain confidence in my patience, but it is much more productive. I also use red bleeder hooks as trailer hooks on most of my Buzzbaits. Not so much on the larger sizes, but on my Strike King Mini Pro's I use them religiously.



Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-12-2006, 04:12 PM
Salty Dog Salty Dog is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5
Default Plugs

When I fish plugs, the first thing I look for are some bait fish to see how they are swimming and reacting. I try to emulate their pattern but I add my own twist. I make that plug move like it's been slashed by a brute. I'll dart it along for a few yards, pause then wobble it like walking the dog. It's really effective when the water starts to warm up and the fish slow down a bit. Also, try adding a red rooster tail or skirt to the back hook. It seems to trigger the bigger fish on hot days.



Salty Dog

Fish On!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-13-2006, 08:21 AM
LittleCasino's Avatar
LittleCasino LittleCasino is offline
ISBA Chief
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis,IN
Posts: 1,573
Default

Great Info
__________________
Indiana Striped Bass Association




"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" George S. Patton






Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
crankbaits, fishing, plugs, tips

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bomber plugs for sale. jigfish Buy - Sell - Trade 0 08-27-2018 11:00 AM
Presentation Oddities richtrox View From The Beach 8 08-19-2011 10:23 PM
Econonomy of High Priced Plugs Striperjim Surfcasting Plugs and their history 2 04-05-2011 06:39 PM
Lefty's lures? BG5150 Plugs and Plug Building 35 10-10-2010 09:03 PM
Making your own wood plugs CaptainMorgan! Plugs and Plug Building 2 11-02-2005 08:06 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2013 Stripers247.com LLC
Affiliated Sites:   Noreast.com   Allcoast.com    2coolfishing.com