Winter can be the ideal cranking time

As winter sets in, the fishing slows, but we see plenty of suspending fish, and our ticket to success is by covering water with different looks and presentations from crank baits. The biggest thing is to understand is that you must become the keeper of the presentation. In other words, you have to do different things with the crank bait to get bass to react to it.
I know many folks just cast their crank bait and simply reel it back. Sometimes that works, but in the winter, presentation changes can make the difference in getting bites.  You own the presentation and must use your thoughts and knowledge to get the bass to react to your crank bait. In the winter, when there are plenty of suspending and slow reacting bass, you must make the bass react. You do this in many ways - what I can say here is hold nothing back from a creative standpoint to get that reaction. Stop and pull retrieves, swiping retrieves, yo-yo retrieves, speed retrieves and slow rolling retrieves all have a place in winter crank baiting. You have to find what works for you, on your lake, under the daily conditions.
As we all know, there are many types of crank baits and finding the one that works for you is as important as anything you can do. To me, it’s all about confidence; find your confidence crank bait . . . the one that you feel works best in the winter months. This is always a good starting point. Mine include a few different crank baits: rattle type baits, jerk baits and deep running crank baits. These three are my confidence crank baits, and when I head to the water during the winter bite I have a rod with each of these rigged as my starting point. The reason I do this has a lot to do with attacking different depths. Rattle baits attack multiple depths, jerk baits pull bass from the deep that are looking up, and deep running crank baits are great baits to stir the bottom. With these presentations I can quickly cover different depths, structure and suspending fish, which allows me to make quick changes, not only in the retrieve but the presentation.
Own your crank bait in the winter, and you will reap the benefits of it by catching more fish.
Captain Mike

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