Learning a Crankbait

Anyone who knows me knows I love spinnerbaits. I own more of them then all other lures in my tackle boxes combined. Even plastics. After deciding I needed to learn some new baits and techniques I picked out the Crankbait. I told myself I was going to use a crankbait and crankbait only for my next 5 fishing trips. After deciding to stick with a shallow runner in Tennessee Shad I started reading everything I could on them. How to fish them, what water temps, everything.

Day 1
Overall productive. Mainly because I learned a whole lot of what not to do. Didn’t really catch anything or even have any strikes but chalked it up to a learning experience anyway.

Day 2
Now this is a different story. I quickly learned that I had much better luck bouncing them off cover like rocks and such and letting it die for a second. Finally caught 2 little ones that I’m not even sure how they got the crank in their mouth. Again a valuable learning experience.

Day 3
Its cold windy and looks like it’s going to rain. I’m thinking to myself this would be a perfect day for my spinnerbaits, but no I cant. I keep the same crankbait tied on and start playing around. Caught the first one within minutes. Not to bad, about a pound, I let him go. (As I do most of them.) Ok this could get interesting. Keep throwing it, running it around some suspended vegetation. After about an hour and a half I end up catching 9 decent little pond bass. “I’m starting to like this crankbait” I said to myself.

Day 4
Time to try it out on my local lake. Not a lot of real cover but some good rock banks. Another chance for me to try it out on a different scenario. Early morning kind of cool but tolerable. I decided to stay shallow in hopes some of the bigger fish might be getting ready to spawn. Didn’t catch anything for awhile and I begin to think that maybe my last trip was a fluke. I decide to run it a little deeper and further out. That’s where they were. Ended up catching 4 nice ones and then it happened. I learned the risk of a crankbait. I feel the tug and the wobble of the bait stop. I try to set the hook and begin the fight. Then all of a sudden. NO FISH. It didn’t jump, wasn’t fighting extremely hard or anything. What did I do wrong?

Day 5
I go to my place for all the info I need. UltimateBass.com. After talking to some of the great people here I learned that not only do the stock hooks leave something to be desired but you can change it to an array of different hooks.

I think to myself, “I’ll change them later.” I have a short lunch and decide to hit another local lake. Caught a couple more small ones. “Not to bad”, I say to myself. I throw it out one last time and begin my retrieve. You guessed it. A big fish on. My pole is bent in half, I loosen the drag a bit so he can play a bit. Then just as before, all of a sudden, NO FISH.

Being the obsessed and flamboyant individual I am. (I get a little into my fishing) I Throw my rod down on the ground and begin jumping up and down like a kangaroo, and throwing a tantrum like a 5 year old that doesn’t want to leave a birthday party.

Day 6
Back to the forums to ask some more questions. Yet again I get even more good advice along with some more people telling me to change the hooks. Yet again I decide to wait on changing them out.

I have 3 hours before I have to be at work. Going to try to get some catches on video today. Get out the camcorder set up and sure enough within 5 min I catch a nice little one. Then I miss one, but i saw it just bump it and it wasn’t very big. Move to another spot. Catch another good one. Miss another one. Of course I blame myself as I curse under my breath. Sun starts to break through the tree tops and a couple other people show up to do some crappie fishing. No harm to me.

I’ve still got a couple more spots to hit. Catch a couple more medium size fish and decide its about time for me to go to work, and as usual I decide to try one more spot.

About the fourth cast along this bank and all heck broke loose. I could tell it was a great fish. Tried to keep the tip down, line tight and everything. Get her within 3ft of the bank and she is a monster. She’ll go at least 7 lbs., about the time I see her, she rolls and my crankbait comes shooting out of her mouth like the space shuttle. Here comes the tantrum. I throw my rod down stomp around. Yell out loud (at the top of my lungs this time). Pick up the rod and wrap it around my knee with the intent of breaking it….. Wait stop it wasn’t the rods fault….. It was the crankbait’s. so I swing it around and slam it in the ground a couple times for good measure. All the while I have a family watching me laughing their rears off at this crazy guy getting amped up about a little fish. That was the last straw. I packed up and headed to work.

Now if you remember I originally said I was going to give the crankbait 5 trips. Well it has ended up at six trips and will result in many more. I learned that getting stuck on one bait severely limited me on the size and number of fish I could catch. So think about it next time you go out. is there something you don’t usually use? You never know it might become your favorite bait.

Oh and now that I’m done typing this up, I’m headed to the store to get those hooks changed out.

Camden Summers

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