Will Petty – Pre-Spawn Cranking – Story 3.15.12

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Pre-Spawn Cranking

By will Petty

One of my favorite techniques in the early spring time is throwing a mid depth crankbait around secondary points.  Cranking has been a long time, pre-spawn staple for all bass fishermen but there is more to it than randomly bombing your crankbait across any and every point that you come across.  When done right, tournaments will be won and personal best stringers will be caught.
There are certain things that I look for to make sure that I spend more time in productive water.  Before any other decisions are made, I first want to know what the water temperature is.  I really like cranking points in the spring when the water is in the mid-fifties and the fish have started moving from their wintering areas towards where they will spawn.  They will typically progress from primary points to secondary points and then into their spawning pockets so I really want to visualize where they are coming from and where they are heading.  This will make your time spent on the water much more efficient.  Secondly, I prefer to fish in areas that have some color to the water.  By fishing stained water, I can fish a little shallower and the pattern holds up much better with the changing conditions.  Finally, I want to look for secondary points that are at the mouth of spawning pockets.  The larger the spawning area, the more fish that will pass by the point going to spawn thus it is a higher percentage area.
In order to be able to take full advantage of this technique, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment.  I have had great success with Spro Little John MD crankbaits tied to either twelve pound Sunline Reaction FC flurocarbon or eleven pound Sunline Defier copolymer.  In colder water, I prefer flurocarbon as it causes the Little John to suspend.  When the water temperature is warmer, I feel that I get more bites with the copolymer since it allows the Little John to slowly rise.  I really try to keep color selection to a minimum but I want to have a crawdad color and a shad color to cover whatever conditions I run across.  Personally, the two that I have had the most success on are the Fire Craw and Nasty Shad but Spro produces numerous excellent colors that will work just fine so pick the ones that give you the most confidence.  The rod and reel that you throw my Little Johns on is very important to me as well.  Some people like a graphite rod for cranking but I prefer a composite blank and have had great success with Quantum’s Tour KVD Cranking rods paired with the new Quantum EXO reels.
In the next few weeks, the fish will either be set up on secondary points or will be heading in that direction.  So grab your crankbait box and start targeting secondary points.  It might surprise you by what you catch.  Hopefully you will surprise your buddies back at the ramp!

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