Move Around for More Action

May 20, 2014 by  

by Bob Jensen


When most anglers go fishing, they’re out there to feel a fish pull back on their line.  Usually, we hit the water with a plan for a specific species of fish, and some of the time, we’re successful— the fish are eating what we’re showing them.

At other times, the targeted species can be difficult.  It’s times like these that we have to make a decision.  We can switch tactics, or we can switch species.  Usually, if you’ve got your heart set on catching a particular species of fish, you need to try a different presentation or a different area.

Catch more fish

The key to crankbait success is putting the bait where the fish are. Do that and you will get bites.


But if you just want to catch a fish, from June until October, a great way to do this is to cover water by trolling with crankbaits.  You’ll catch walleye, northern pike or bass.  Muskies, crappies and even catfish will hit crankbaits.  Trolling with crankbaits is a fun and productive way to fish.  Here’s how you go about it.

A lot of crankbait trollers like a six and a half or seven foot casting rod/reel outfit.  Cabela’s Fish Eagle 50 trolling rods work great.  Spool up with ten or twelve pound test line.  Some like braid because it allows the baits to run a bit deeper, while others like monofilament because it’s more forgiving.

Probably the most important consideration is the bait’s running depth.  It’s critical that the bait is running at the level where the fish are, or a little higher.  Fish will move farther for a bait in clear water than they will in stained water, and they are much more likely to go up for a bait than go down.

Fish will usually be closer to the bottom in shallow water and will be more likely to suspend in deeper water.  The key is their food.  If they’re chasing suspended baitfish, they’ll be suspended.  If they’re after crawdads, they’ll be on the bottom.  You’ve got to put your bait where the fish are.

Color can be a consideration, as can lure size.  Get as many lines in the water as you can with a different bait on each line.  Let the fish show you what they want.  Spreading your lines with planer boards is a great way to experiment with different baits.  The boards made by Off Shore Tackle are easy to use, easy to read, and will help you put more fish in the boat.

Some crankbaits are built to excel in certain conditions.  Salmo Hornets seem to do an outstanding job in a variety of situations.  The new Rattlin’ 4.5 Hornet has been out-producing a lot of other crankbaits in the cold water so far this year.

Troll along weedlines, along and over points and reefs—just about anywhere you think a fish might live.  If you just keep in mind that you’ve got to get that bait in the fish’s strike zone, your chances of a successful day of catching will increase a lot.

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