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KEVIN FORRESTER: So when is the right time to use a crankbait?




With last week''s article concerning crankbaits, there are questions on when to use certain crankbaits. 


Your basic choices are wooden crankbaits and plastic crankbaits and then flat-sided versus round cranks. 


The flat-sided crankbaits are tight wiggling lures that are made in both the wooden and plastic versions. 


Flat-sided lures are the most natural lure of choice, resembling all the shad in our river system. Mike Iaconelli was quoted in an article some time back about when to fish the flat-sided lures and when to fish the round-bodied ones. Iaconelli preferred starting with flat-sided lures when the water began cooling down to the fifty to sixty degree range. He went on to say that the other times would be when the water system he was fishing was heavily pressured by fishermen throwing a lot of crankbaits. 


Many professional anglers consider the flat-sided crankbaits as a finesse lure. 


Round bodied crankbaits have a wider wobble than flat-sided lures and put off a considerable amount of vibration. This works well in dirty water situations, helping a fish locate the lure faster and farther with its lateral line. These Bandit style lures have caught a lot of fish in our area and have cashed many checks. The problem is that most of us own them and the fish have seen many of them coming by. Fish can become conditioned to this and might pass up the meal. 


I prefer to start off natural and then make changes until I get a clue to what the fish are wanting. 


Plastic crankbaits, being the most common, rise quickly when you stop reeling. This is an advantage when fishing around the different types of cover. For instance, when you run the lure into a tree branch and quit reeling, the lure will stop, rise and actually back away from the cover.  


A wooden lure is more neutral, meaning that it is slower to rise to the top of the water. This can be a problem for anglers fishing around cover, but the slower rising bait will sometimes entice a fish close to commit to the lure. It is similar to dangling a lure in the fish''s face. 


Don''t get caught up in the sales pitch of lure colors. Many of the pro anglers have limited themselves to just a few colors but made sure they had those colors in different types, being wood, plastic, round, flat-sided and size. 


The biggest thing right now is size. 


All the pros say, "Match the hatch." The shad right now are somewhat small. The 2 1/2-inch sized lures are perfect in size from what we have been seeing lately.  


Crankbaits can pick away at a bank account in a hurry. Go through your tackle box and take an inventory of what you have. Find a couple of favorite colors and then go to a large tackle shop like Bass Pro Shops and find your color in a couple of different styles. You will find that there will be days when a flat-sided lure will catch many more fish than the round-bodied lures. 


The Thursday Night Tournaments, directed by Tony and Marian Parson, held its weekly tournament last week with a drop in participation, having nine boats (probably the MSU-Auburn game). 


Tony and Marian won the tourney with 3.66 pounds and Chris and Matt Wooten finished in second place with 2.99 pounds. 


There are only a couple more Thursday night tournaments left to qualify for the classic, which will be held on Oct. 9. For more information on these tournaments, call Parson at (662) 386-9629.



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