Feelin "Cranky" in May!

By: Jim Root , 6:49 PM GMT on May 13, 2014

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My buddy Ron is a pretty decent angler. He might be as good a "shaky-header" as I've ever seen and he has taught me a ton over the years about fishing deep. But the major weakness in his game has always been crankin'. He picks on me a lot, calls me "JVD", "cranky", but he doesn't say anything when I'm slammin fish after fish in front of him.

Last year he's started crankin a lot right out of the gate, and the text I got from him tonight was "Man I can not believe how deadly crankbaits are in cold water, you were right".

Just because it's cold in the early morning, doesn't mean the fish aren't active this time of year. Shallow running crankbaits are deadly right now for largemouth AND smallmouth (lm, sm) because the water is warming up rapidly and the fish are preparing to spawn and feeding often. Green crayfish, shad, and even red crayfish (depending on the day) have been catching fish HEAVY right now. Personally, I prefer the Livetarget crayfish cranks, and for shad I like the Rat-L-Trap Naturals Series. The wobble is really tight, and I really like that in grassy areas.

I'm finding the smallies really shallow right now. Less than 3 feet of water, and in moving water they're in less than a foot. Don't expect them to stay there long, as they will often move deeper to spawn (8-15 feet) unlike their green cousins. Largies can be hit or miss in terms of depth. Start in the 4-8 foot range and work your way in. If it's cloudy and overcast they'll probably be be on the outer edge of that, if it's sunny and blue bird sky they're likely going to be tucked up against the shore looking for any shade they can find because the vegetation hasn't grown up enough yet and most people haven't put their docks in.

Don't think that you have to fish slow this time of year. The water's cold, yes, but the fish are HOT. Burn your cranks and spinnerbaits. Don't be surprise if there are days when the fish aren't "crushing" your lure, they'll still hit it, but some days they just don't attack it.

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About JimRoot

Bringing the science of weather to the sport of fishing. I'll discuss how weather affects what the fish are doing and how to catch them!

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