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Capt. Mike Rauh

Crankbait Characteristics / Classifications

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When considering crankbaits, one can easily divide them all into the depth that they dive, color (high sun vs. low light), and sizes (representing the various natural bait in the water).  What other characteristics would you consider play into lure selection (i.e. - wobble, roll, rattle, etc..); and how would you separate the lure brand/model based on that classification.   I think knowledge of this is helpful when considering stealthy versus aggressive presentations.  Please consider adding a lure or two and their perceived characteristics.  I'll compile the information when done and ask Chad (aka BlueEye) to post on the site.

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Excellent topic!

Most of the walleye trips I guide are casting at night. This is the strategy i use in stickbait selection. As I work an area I start with stealth presentations and become more aggressive working the column top to bottom. As a pattern develops I zero in.

The rattle is a key factor along with water displacement for me. On the stealth end I use original floating rapalas. F13s and F18s have no rattle and move very little water. You can barely feel the wobble even on braid. This is my subtle presentation. Next would be the Bomber long a. The bomber has 2 small bbs and produces a moderate rattle and moderate wobble. The Yozuri crystal minnow is a more aggresive stick. It has a single, larger bb producing less of a rattle and more of a knock. In addition the crystal minnow is curved which produces more wobble and louder knocking. As I move down in the column the husky jerk is my subtle choice. It has very little action on its own and doesnt produce much of a rattle on its own. The Reef runner stick has a lot of wobble and thus more rattle. My most aggressive choice is the Rapala Clackin Minnow. Its a slow sink with a square bill that creates a lot of side to side action. The rattle is a single larger bb in a steel cylinder that produces a loud knocking.

For trolling I use deep divers mostly and classify them by the speeds which they can be trolled.

Reef runners are my top choice for slow as they really wobble even at the slowest of trolls. Next would be lure that work well at normal speeds...2 to 2.5. Lots of choices here...I like flicker minnows and flicker shads. They are cheap and effective. For reaction bites and searching I use Taildancers, deep taildancers, and a few saltwater bomber and rapalas as these troll as fast as you wanna try...i use them up 5 for tiger musky and 4 on eyes.

Another trick on aggressive versus subtle in trolling is setback distance. Im not talking distance from the boat for not spooking fish i mean where in the depth curve you fish the lure. In other words a lure has a tighter action with less line out. Steep dive curve equals aggressive action....shallow curve like leadcore produces a subtle action. Same goes off the riggers...run deep divers on short leads of riggers for a reaction bite....run a floating stick bait 100 plus feet back off the ball for subtlety. If fishing is good lots of techniques work...when you struggle a more aggressive/subtle approach is often necessary.

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We ran the flat fish kinda the same look, for salmon in the fall of the year with great success, I have some I'm going to try on LakeO. That's about Mark, 411 runs anymore, before he used Rapala lures and reef runners, must be a big check in the mail from Yakima!!!

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