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Author Topic: How To: Use a Crankbait in Florida  (Read 1175 times)

SFL BassHunter

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How To: Use a Crankbait in Florida
« on: March 14, 2018, 08:43:11 AM »

While many of us throw mostly weedless baits and lures throughout the year, sometimes, just sometimes, the crank baits might come out to play. It's difficult for many of us because our waters are so full of vegetation. In many cases the vegetation reaches the surface, be it clumps of vegetation or vast areas of eel grass, or Kissimmee grass or whatever other type of grass you've got. Making treble baits difficult to use.

You've got your round square bills, flat sided square bills, your deep divers, lipless, and square billed wake baits. I may be missing some but these would be the usual suspects.

For those of you who throw crank baits what type of cranks do you prefer for this time of the year?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 05:19:53 PM by SFL BassHunter »
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TR21FL

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2018, 02:32:57 PM »

Lipless ripping it through moderate vegetation, such as hydrilla or eelgrass, pre and post spawn..

Regular deep crankbaits on shell beds and deep hydrilla in the heat of summer.

Some people make the mistake of fishing them too slow. You cannot, with any reel, reel faster than a bass can swim and catch it. Sometimes, it is only about the chase.
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SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 02:47:27 PM »

Lipless ripping it through moderate vegetation, such as hydrilla or eelgrass, pre and post spawn..

Regular deep crankbaits on shell beds and deep hydrilla in the heat of summer.

Some people make the mistake of fishing them too slow. You cannot, with any reel, reel faster than a bass can swim and catch it. Sometimes, it is only about the chase.

Good insight there.
Thanks Barry!

A question for you though, what Rod do you use when ripping them through vegetation?
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FlatsNBay

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 02:59:27 PM »

As most of you know, I love to fish a crankbait. I let the kind of water and depth dictate when and where I'll throw a crankbait. I'm generally looking for a clean or rocky bottom. Other places would be a ledge, drop off, culvert, running water, shell bar or point. I will see a particular situation where I will have to try a crankbait because it will just look and feel right. I'm not afraid to throw a crankbait around wood too. The other exception is hydrilla. That just screams lipless crankbait! As far as the type, I let the depth of the water or structure dictate what type. I generally will use a crankbait that runs deep enough to bounce along the bottom or target that you intend to fish. As an example, if the depth was 5' deep, I might start off with a Rapala DT 6 which normally runs about 6' deep. It will bump along the bottom nicely without digging down too much. If I was fishing a ledge, I would use a crankbait that will run deep enough to bounce along the top of the ledge. When fishing shallow water that is generally less than 5' a square bill shines for me. The square bill easily bounces off cover and objects because of the bill. Like I previously mentioned when fishing around hydrilla, a lipless crankbait works great because you can rip the bait out of the hydrilla and that causes a reaction strike. I also fish a lipless when bass are schooling and hitting baitfish on top. You can rocket  a lipless out long distances to the schoollies and they will smoke it!

As far as selecting a particular brand of bait, I think it boils down to personal preference. You will have to experiment with various actions ocassionally to see what they want. Sometimes a wide wobble will work better, sometimes a tight wobble, sometimes a high floating bait, or sometimes a suspending crankbait.

For colors and noise, I tend to use very natural greens and silvers for clear water. My favorites are bluegill patterns for super clear water such as Bandits and Rapala because they are so green and natural looking. For dirty or dark tannic water, I tend to use shad patterns or any variation of chartreuse. When I get onto a school of fish, I cycle through different baits, colors, actions and sound to continue the bite. I'm often amazed how just changing baits will often work.

I use a few different brands. My favorites lately are the Rapala DT series, Bandits, Strike King, Bomber, Bagley, and Storm. You name it!
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SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 03:16:12 PM »

Thanks for the info Flats! Always great reading your explanations! Very good info.

You know I recently read an article about taking sand paper to crank baits. The reason was that cranks out of the box come with a lot of gloss, and don't necessarily look realistic. The down side of course is that it gets rid of the protective clear coat.
Any of you guys try ever try that?
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TR21FL

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 04:20:19 PM »

Good insight there.
Thanks Barry!

A question for you though, what Rod do you use when ripping them through vegetation?
Rip lipless with 7'2" medium heavy regular bend (MHRB) with Tatula Type R 8.1 and 15or 17lb PLine or Yozuri hybrid (flouro coated mono) line.

I always throw lures with treble hooks on regular bend rods and hybrid line. I want the softer bend rods and line  stretch so I don't rip the normally smaller trebles hooks out of their mouths.

I throw squarebills and smaller cranks on a 7'2" MRB with Zillion SV 6.3 speed reel and big/deep cranks on a 7'7" MRB with Zillion Team Daiwa 4.9 speed crazy cranker. 

I prefer Rapala DT series crankbaits and Strike King Redeye Shad lipless and squarebills but my all time favorite is the old school Rebel Craw deep.

-Barry-

« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 08:02:33 PM by TR21PDCTampa »
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WTodd

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 04:36:11 PM »

Also vary your crank bait; donít just go down 10í and so oh well. Try shallower or deeper


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TR21FL

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 04:43:24 PM »

Favorite colors are black and gold lipless in darker tannic water and black silver in lighter water. Sometimes a sexy shad color works, too.

Like flats said, you just have to try different colors but I have favorites on waters I fish.

Rapala caribbean shad (fluorescent yellow, orange and blue or green) is my favorite deep crank color DT10 or DT12.

Favorite squarebill is black and chartreuse or sexy shad dependent on water color.

-Barry-

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FlatsNBay

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 04:56:52 PM »

Barry offers up some great info. I will have to try some copolymer for my crankbait fishing to see if I like it.

I use a composite crankbait rod that has a nice parabolic bend and a 6-1 ratio reel.

Rick, I haven't tried sanding any baits. I did see that article on Wired2fish on leaving your baits out in the sun so that they intentionally fade.
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Deadeye

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 08:51:52 PM »

While living in Pa I used crankbaits a lot. After moving big here not so much.

That has changed over the last two years or so. For one I like fishing them. Second they have produced for me when nothing else would.

Jerkbaits are another style of hard bait I have returned to. During these last cold months they are what gave me bites.

The other guys already gave great info. Vary your retrieve until you find what works that day. Steady pull. Stop and pause. Crank and Rip.

If it is real shallow and your working eelgrass cranking can be tough. Traps donít seem to rip out as easy for me as they do with other types of grasses. 
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Eternal Optimism. It's what drives me to fish. Next cast is THE cast that will provide the reason why I am here. Big Bass, Small Bass, No Bass-- Everyday and Every Time out learn something. What worked and what didn't and why. In the end go enough days and then, Today is the day that it will all come together and the Fish Gods will smile.

SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2018, 06:26:25 AM »

Thanks guys for the great information! There is certainly enough good info here for anyone who wants to get started cranking in Florida to do so!

I personally have 4 rods that I use. It all depends on where Iím fishing.
My main crank bait rod is a 13 Fishing Defy Black Crankbait Rod. Itís a 7í3Ē with a moderate taper. It handles lures from 1/4- 1 1/2
I like this rod and usually I use it in more open water situations. This rod also serves as my topwater rod. It does a good job with cranks and an ok job with topwater.
Since I am mostly a back seater I needed a rod that could handle all my hard baits from cranks to jerk to heavy topwaters.

When bank fishing or on the boat if I donít bring the Defy I usually go with a Cabelaís Arachnid 7í2Ē MHF. This rod feels more like itís between a Med and a MH to be honest but it works well for my cranks as long as I donít need to be ripping out of heavy vegetation.

If the vegetation is thick and ripping is in order. I tie my cranks onto my Dobyns Savvy 734. The rod has plenty of power to rip them out of the grass.

Sometimes I fish with my Champion 704 spinning and Iíll throw my cranks on that. Again this rod does a good job of ripping baits out of grass.

So my rod selection is a bit unconventional I think for cranking but so far itís gotten the job done for me.

The limitation of having either 1 rod on the bank or up to 4 rods on the back of the boat has kept me from really sticking with more conventional crank bait rods except the Defy of course.

I donít do any deep dive cranking since I never fish deep.

Black and Gold has been a fairly productive color for me. Academy H2O makes a nice gold crank that I like along with all the other colors I can think of.
I stick with those for the most part.
I do own some self tuning Arashi cranks that I really like. Very subtle colors and perfect for the clear waters I fish. Plus no need to tune them. So far they have swam true.

I also like the KVD 1.5 squarebills.

I donít catch a ton of fish on squarebills but I also donít fish them as much as I fish everything else.


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Florida Bass Fishing

TR21FL

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 02:29:38 PM »

Rick, I meant to tell you last night that you can knock the shine off of crankbaits with a real light coat of matte or flat clear enamel spray paint.

-Barry-

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SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 04:05:44 PM »

Rick, I meant to tell you last night that you can knock the shine off of crankbaits with a real light coat of matte or flat clear enamel spray paint.

-Barry-
I guess that's one way of doing it
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SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 09:21:46 AM »

How do you guys select what kind of wobble you want on your cranks?

Some have a tight action while others have a wide wobble. What factors do you take in to determine which to go with?
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Deadeye

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 09:28:48 AM »

How do you guys select what kind of wobble you want on your cranks?

Some have a tight action while others have a wide wobble. What factors do you take in to determine which to go with?


Whichever one is getting the most hits.

Sounds stupid I know, but true.
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Eternal Optimism. It's what drives me to fish. Next cast is THE cast that will provide the reason why I am here. Big Bass, Small Bass, No Bass-- Everyday and Every Time out learn something. What worked and what didn't and why. In the end go enough days and then, Today is the day that it will all come together and the Fish Gods will smile.

SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2018, 09:45:08 AM »


Whichever one is getting the most hits.

Sounds stupid I know, but true.

That's a true statement with any bait selection.  :-* So you're not wrong!

But I was looking for an answer more in line with prior to throwing your entire box of cranks lol.
Conditions, types of vegetation, structure, or water clarity. Curious if any of those factors determine the type of wobble you would use on your cranks.

I usually just grab a crank bait determined by color and depth and throw it.
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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 09:57:33 AM »

That's a true statement with any bait selection.  :-* So you're not wrong!

But I was looking for an answer more in line with prior to throwing your entire box of cranks lol.
Conditions, types of vegetation, structure, or water clarity. Curious if any of those factors determine the type of wobble you would use on your cranks.

I usually just grab a crank bait determined by color and depth and throw it.

Rick you may want to look into this product.

https://youtu.be/CHbDNDXULsw
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SFL BassHunter

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2018, 10:59:31 AM »

Looks interesting. Though not a fan of that type of weedless protector. I have had wacky rig hooks with that style of protector and I found that I lost or missed lots of fish. The metal band never quite pops loose correctly.
Also not sure what's keeping that thing from falling off the hook while you're fighting a fish.
Might be worth a look though.
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TR21FL

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2018, 03:42:44 PM »

That's a true statement with any bait selection.  :-* So you're not wrong!

But I was looking for an answer more in line with prior to throwing your entire box of cranks lol.
Conditions, types of vegetation, structure, or water clarity. Curious if any of those factors determine the type of wobble you would use on your cranks.

I usually just grab a crank bait determined by color and depth and throw it.
Color and depth have always been more important to me than wobble.

Rattle or no rattle can also make a difference. Especially with lipless crank baits. If you're catching fish in an area and you know they're still there changing from rattle to no rattle can sometimes keep them going.

-Barry-

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2018, 05:41:37 PM »

The colder the water the tighter the wobble. When it's really cold a tight wobbling bait like a shad rap, Lur Jensen speed trap or even the DT series work well. Another factor would be dirty water. I might favor a wider wobble bait that pushes alot of water. For every day applications, trial and error. If one type of wobble isn't working don't hesitate to switch to a different wobble if you know you are around fish.
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big g

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2018, 10:18:40 PM »

Rick you can take the shine off a crankbait if you actually use it.  All the times we have fished I never see you with a crankbait.  Lol :-* :-* :-*
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SFL BassHunter

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Florida Cranking
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2018, 04:15:08 AM »

Rick you can take the shine off a crankbait if you actually use it.  All the times we have fished I never see you with a crankbait.  Lol
I rarely use them from the boat. I use them more at Amelia. Vista, Weston and urban canals
Also we fish lox a lot. Canít get a crank bait through that thick stuff.
I donít like to use them when thereís tons of trash fish like on mm35. Otherwise Iíll hook up with every Oscar, Mayan, and Warmouth in the glades


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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2018, 10:16:17 AM »

When fishing Cranks you have to pick your water and your bait to throw.

You can Rip a lipless fairly easily through strands of Hydrilla or Coontail, but large clumps of either will make it a tough go.

Eelgrass tens to be a "tougher" grass and doesn't want to let go once grabbed.

Squarebills work great around wood and rock.

You can use Floating or Suspending baits over grass that has not come to the top, best is 1-3 feet under the surface. Basically the same as using Topwater baits just using them sub-surface.   

Open cuts or river channels are great for cranking. Everyone beats the bank edges but a ton of fish live out in the middle of the river. I have a friend that has a "spot" on the SJR that he anchors next to the pads and throws out into the middle. Lets the current drag the worm along the bottom and catches a ton of bass doing it.

Every Year about February the shad start to run in the River and at certain points there are Community Holes where the fish stack up to school each year to feast on the shad. Boats will be anchored all over the River and everyone is catching fish, mostly using live bait. But the guys that have the correct lure to crank it down to the bottom (think 15-20 ft) get the bigger Bass every time.
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Eternal Optimism. It's what drives me to fish. Next cast is THE cast that will provide the reason why I am here. Big Bass, Small Bass, No Bass-- Everyday and Every Time out learn something. What worked and what didn't and why. In the end go enough days and then, Today is the day that it will all come together and the Fish Gods will smile.

FlatsNBay

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2018, 11:40:38 AM »

Speaking of crankbait fishing in Florida, have you seen the recent video on YouTube of Mickey Ballzz with 49 lbs of bass for 5 fish? I think they all were caught  crankbaits. Pretty cool video.
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Bassinlou

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Re: Florida Cranking
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2018, 11:57:42 AM »

Speaking of crankbait fishing in Florida, have you seen the recent video on YouTube of Mickey Ballzz with 49 lbs of bass for 5 fish? I think they all were caught  crankbaits. Pretty cool video.
Yeah... 3 outings with catches over 40lbs the majority by deep cranking. Crazy!!
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