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Questions Concerning Winds, Crankbaits, etc.

Posted: November 7th, 2012 by Bill Dance

I get several questions via Bill Dance Outdoors, my blog and my columns. And there are few things I enjoy more than sharing fishing information with fellow fishermen. One of the most recent questions asked, “What influences your winter fishing trips the most?” Well, I can answer that one quickly. It’s the wind and that applies year-round, not just in winter.

The Influence of Wind

Of all the things a fisherman deals with (cold, heat, fronts, water conditions, etc.) it is the wind that has the most influence for me. There are advantages of course, but there are things that can drive a bass angler CRAZY as well.

It can oxygenate the water and that’s a plus, especially when dissolved oxygen levels are a problem levels.

The wind can also affect water clarity and temperature, and depending on the time of year, this can make some areas more productive.

It can create currents, especially in narrow or shallow-water areas.

The wind also pushes plankton, collectively, into areas. This attracts baitfish which in turn attracts predators like bass…a food chain via wind. In such cases the wind basically creates a more productive area to fish.

But with all the advantages the wind will always have the aforementioned negatives as well. In winter, the wind chills you to the bone and cuts into comfort level. It’s easy enough to understand that an uncomfortable angler is not going to catch many bass. Even if he toughs it out, his concentration level is nowhere near what it takes to be ready for the fewer strikes you get in winter.

Crankbaits

I recently got a question from a reader asking if water temperature affected the running depth of a crankbait. And the answer is yes. Water temp will affect the running of a crankbait. The colder the water, the thicker or denser it is. So, obviously then a crankbait will dive deeper in “thinner” or warmer water. In fact, in many such situations this can mean an extra foot or two and that can make a big difference.

Other things that affect the running of a crankbait include: line size and diameter; lip position; body profile or shape; distance of cast; retrieve speed; material lure is made of; and finally, whether the crankbait model is a “floater” or “suspending” model.

Another recent question also involving crankbaits, asked, “What is more important in a crankbait, action or sound?” My answer depends on water clarity. If clear, I say action is important. If the water is stained, the sound the bait creates takes precedence.

Of course, the action of a bait is not worth a hoot until a bass can see it. And many times a bass never sees a bait until after it first is drawn to its sound from a distance. If the sound is attractive, a bass will come and check the lure out and respond with a strike.

As far as action goes, bear in mind a crankbait with a tight wiggle is better for bass that are more inactive, while a wide wobbling action is better for the more aggressive fish.

I’ll discuss a few more thoughts on crankbaits in a future, meanwhile, catch one for me!

Bill Dance

Tennessee

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