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  • Pulling Cranks 101- The Good Parts Version - Page 1

    Pulling Cranks 101 By: Iwannafish (and lots of others)

    The first thing that I want to say is that I am no expert on the topic of pulling cranks. What I do know, I learned from the community. The boys down in Mississippi have been using this technique for many years, and they get the credit for all of the information that follows………

    Several years ago (2010 to be exact) Majflyboy started a thread on the Mississippi forum that simply refuses to die. It is called Pulling Cranks 101. Over the last four years that thread has grown to over 150 pages. A lot of really good information was buried deep in that thread. I encourage you to read it all if you ever find the time. A couple of weeks ago someone remarked that it would be great if there was some way to condense that thread into a more manageable document. I volunteered. What was I thinking?

    So, here it is. It is January of 2010, and Majflyboy has a simple question………

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    Majflyboy: OK, I can see lots of comments here and there on this subject, but haven't found a discussion that starts with 1-Here's a lake, you will need one of these, You get the picture. I need to know what type rod, reel, line, bait, rigging, drift sock, and anything else I didn't list. Not asking for your honey holes just the basics. Thanks for any help.
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    DonDon: Hope you got plenty of MONEY Maj. It's costly my friend. When it gets right, I'll show you but here are the basics. First FIND THE FISH. Deep summer patterns on the 3 COE lakes, Grenada, Sardis and Enid where the fish are suspended 12-25 foot deep are what you're looking for. You'll have from 4 to 8 poles out at a time and it's a lot easier if there's 2 people in the boat. That way when you get a fish on, someone can steer the boat. Not a have to but it makes it easier. I know I was pulling 6 on the Rez early this summer and had to steer and reel in 150 foot of line, about got some bad tangles. Longest line out is the very back, the get shallower as you go forward in the boat. Most times this past summer, I had the very back one's out to as much as 175 feet, then I come back about 20 to 30 feet with each set of poles. Go SLOW and take your time, from around 1.5 MPH to around 3 or so. The norm for me is about 2 MPH. Simple once you learn to make big long sweeping turns. I had 4 or 5 poles all tangled together more than once this past year.
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    Wannabe: If you want to start out on the cheap and build from there, here's the 4 colors of Bandit 300s I'd start with

    1) Black or Black Sparkle
    2) Mistake
    3) Awesome Pink
    4) Red - Texas Craw is a good one.

    Those are the 4 basic hues; everything else is just a variation of the above. Then you'll want to have some more colors....lots more colors.....and don’t forget about the 200s when they're up shallow....then you've got Wally Marshals when they want a snack, Norman DLNs for the big fish bite and don't forget about swim baits if you find some mean fish..............Well, you see where this leads right?
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    Yikes: Better add Mad Cow your list of basic colors. I didn't see anything on the list that covered white.
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    DonDon: Taco Salad, Root Beer, Pearl white and Khaki are some really good colors. Then add in a red snap swivel OR the DonDon special addition and you're in business.
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    Slabo: Here is how I have mine set up I use line counter reels Okuma Magda Pro 15dx
    The poles are B&M West point crappie poles 2 @ 12' & [email protected] 8' the short poles have been replaced with some uncle bucks 5' crappie rods. Because Bigger made fun of my little crappie rods The 5 footers work better too.

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    Biggerjigger: My setup is basically the same as Slabo's cept i use 2 14' 2 12' and 2 8' BnM Pro-Staff trolling rods with Okuma 15 line counters out the side. Awesome pink, spring craw chart, root-beer chart, and black with silver glitter are my favorites. Don’t forget the Salad Bar.

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    Slabo: I don't recall this being said but you will also need a good gps so you can know your trolling speed. I use a handheld Garmin Rino130 it works great.
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    Majflyboy: Thanks guys. What kind of line would you spool onto those Okuma's & how do you actually rig the baits on? Anything special like swivels, etc??
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    Slabo: Maj, I use 10# test and I tie a snap swivel on mine so I can change out baits easy to switch colors. Those reels hold a bunch of line so the best bet is to buy some cheap line and use it for backing for the first couple of hundred feet then put you about 100 yards of good line on there and you will be good to go. There are some Bandit depth charts on here somewhere and that’s what the line counter reels are for it tells you how much line to let out for a certain depth.
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    Micropterus salmoides:
    ApproxBandit Depth (ft)
    100 200 300
    10------- 4 ----- 4.5 ----- 4
    20------- 5.5 ----- 6 ----- 7
    30------- 7 ----- 7.5 ----- 9
    40------- 8 ----- 8.5 ----- 10.5
    50------- 9 ----- 9.5 ----- 11.5
    60------- 9.5 ----- 10 ---- 12.5
    70------ 10 ----- 11 ---- 13.5
    80------ 10.5 ----- 12 ---- 14.5
    90------ 11 ----- 12.5 ---- 15
    110------ 11.25 ----- 13 ---- 16.5
    125------ 11.5 ----- 13.5 ---- 17
    150------ 12 ----- 14.0 ---- 17.5

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    Majflyboy: The charts are good but what speed are they based on??
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    Yikess: Speed won't change the depth they are designed to run. It will affect how quickly they get there, the pitch of the rattle and the tightness of the wiggle.
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    EZPoleholder: I think it is something like from .7 to 3.0 mph they will reach these depths. And I guess it depends on what speed the crappie want on a given day. This should prove to be a lot of fun, can hardly wait on the 60+ water temp to try this out.
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    Wish4fish:Ok Majfly here is another question. I have done a lot of reading on cranks and people say that the crank dives based on the lb of line used. If you notice the bandit charts say 10 lb test. Is this true for pulling cranks? Will 12 lb test run the cranks shallower and 8 lb test go deeper? This makes since when casting and retrieving but if you are pulling these lures for long times I think they will run to their depth no matter what lb line used. If this is true then will braid that is 10 lb test 2 lb diameter run them deeper than 10 mono?A lot of you guys use braid pullin the cranks but I think I'm gonna stick with mono because it stretches and I think that will result in fewer hang-ups.
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    Yikes:Okumas will hold a lot of line so spool some junk line on the core tobuild up space then add the good stuff. I'm using 10# P-line hi-vis and I only spool about 350 feet of it on each one. P-Line is expensive and I can't see wasting money to spool on line that will never get used. Also, the line counter reels are the most accurate when they are full so don't cheap out by not filling your spools.
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    DonDon: Maj, you don't HAVE TO have line counter reels. I pulled cranks all last summer, maybe 15-20 times and I use the tried and true method.5. 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. That's how I get my depth; pull out 5 feet of line at a time. This works just as good as any line counter. Heck, I asked PStone how much line he let out and he said he let it out until the fish started biting. On the line, I use the 20 lb high vis Braid,to many stumps out there and at 5 bucks a pop for a bandit, it COULD get expensive. The reason for the high vis line is when I'm making a turn, I can see where my lines are so I don't get them crossed. So it's NOT for seeing a bite like jigging, you'll know when you get a bite, well most of the times. I have looked back and seen a fish skiing across the top of the water without seeing my rod bending.
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    Doop:how important is it to have a bait caster style reel when pullingcranks? I'm just getting into crappie fishing and all of the rods I would use for crappies are spinning reels. I guess I have one baitcaster on a medium action rod I would use for crappies...but the rest are on spinning rods and reels.

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    Wannabe:Doop, bait casters are not required.........however, they're generally more durable, have more cranking power for hauling in fish,more line capacity, and they're a bit easier to handle when free spooling line out. That being said, you could use an empty peanut can if ya wanted and it'd be fine. A full peanut can would just be plain silly though.
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    Iuse 30-8 power pro line but where I troll there is a lot of structure that loves to eat crank baits. If I fished the Big 4 all the time I would use 10 lb mono like slab said.

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    Majflyboy: G-3, does that mean that you fish from the front? Would you use the same type equipment? Let the line out as far as pulling? Use spider rig?
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    Jimfish:I push em also from the front of the boat. I use 5 poles and a 2 oz.wt with a 30 in trailer and a snap swivel. I fish in shallow water a lot.
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    slabberdave: When you push crank baits do you put your weight on bottom? or do you use a inline weight?
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    Wannabe: Online about 3 to 4 feet above the bait. Any closer and it will affect the action. I typically use 2 ounces. Even at that. It doesn't get quite as deep as the ones off the back. But if you slow down to under 1.5 they will get deeper than the ones in the back.
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    Majflyboy:WB, are you putting the weights on the lines out the back of the boator just if pushing from the front? Also, the red hooks, are they treble hooks or single hooks?
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    Wannabe: Only use weights on the front. Need something to keep them down so they won't tangle with the lines from the side or get in the prop in a turn. Red hooks - they talking trebles. Bandit 300s standard are #6front and back if you want to replace them. I have heard of folks replacing one or both with singles though due to concerns about deep hooked fish. I figure they'd prolly cost you a couple or three missed fish per day or more, but probably would avoid 2 or 3 fish kills as a trade-off. Not scientific of course JMHO.
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    DonDon:Red hook help, but you can also use red snap swivels as well to justadd some red paint to the cranks. I HATE changing out hooks so I don’t usually do it. I have another trick that I do and it does work just as good if not better for adding red. Maj, here's the tricky part about adding weight. They actually did a study on it and you can get your cranks down deeper and not lose action in your crank if you'll put a 1 oz weight about 12-15 feet (they said 20 though) above the crank with a inline swivel as a stopper for the egg sinker.You need it to slide though is the key. You can get about 20% deeper if you run the 1 oz weight on it if my memory serves me correct. Then again it is fun to have 150 foot of line out and you're trying to skia 2 pound crappie back to the boat
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    Wannabe: Lord, will this thread never end!!!!

    Maj,get you some BnM Pro Staff Trollers and be done.

    Line- Get you some 10# Stren Original in gold and be done. Tried 'em all.Can't beat it for the price. Can beat it on performance, but not by much.

    Weights - It's gonna be a cluster to have a 12' rod with 15' of line behind the weight and be in a 16' boat. But if you do it,let me know, I want to take pics.

    Also, keep in mind if you put a weight above a barrel swivel for a stopper; be sure to keep a check on the line at the knot on the top side. The weight can abrade the line over time and occasionally pretty quickly if there's a rough spot from the pour.

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    TheBear:put a glass or plastic bead between the weight and swivel. This will keep the weight from wearing your knot (line) at the swivel. Just like rigging a Carolina rig for bass.

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    Doublegobble00:I got something... What are some techniques for pulling cranks when it is cold. Do you slow down below 1.6 mph and use 200 series to run shallow? Or do you continue to pull fast like 2.0 mph? What shouldyou change when the weather gets cooler? Also, how long can you pull cranks?
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    G:I use only 300's I pull from 1.6 to 1.9 mph. Have been fishing 20 fow running 65 ft. of line out (10lb. mono). I would have to look at my chart to tell you how deep that would be. OK.....about 13 Ft. When the weather finally turns cold it will be time to hang the cranks up and go to jigs and minnows.
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    Wannabe:Right now (December) most everybody is spider rigging either jigs andminners or straight minners. There's prolly some die hards out there that are single poling deep structure though. Got a buddy here in Grenada that was still pulling Cranks Dec 1 and catching some fish though, but the majority will wait to pull a crank starting in June through maybe October.
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    Yikes: When the water temperature hits 60 degrees it's on, I don't carewhat day of the year it is. That seems a long way from the 38 degrees I saw Sunday.
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    Majflyboy:What kind of finder are you installing? I ordered a 778c combo today & will add 998si with interlink later.Looks like a good unit for me to learn on.
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    G: Dang Maj...If you keep on your gonna have more money tied up in your boat rigging and your trolling stuff etc. than you do in your boat.:p I don't blame you though...ya only live once
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    G:If you were going to buy some new poles for pulling crankbaits....what would you recommend? What lengths etc.
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    Yikes:That depends. Have you decided if you’re going to push from the front, pull down the sides or off the back?
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    DonDon:After reading some of Yikes posts and seeing him starting at 60degrees pulling, I'm thinking about running some 200's during theSpawn at the Rez. Usually I fish around the Pelahatchie Causeway agood bit due to the wind and that'd let me cover water faster. Iusually get on them around 5-8 foot deep in 10-12 FOW so a 200 backsay 50-75 feet outta do the trick
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    Anybody got a Valium?

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    DonDon:I have maybe 10-12 200's that I use on Ross Barnett. I don't need to run over 12 feet deep on the Rez due to the thermocline in the summer and want to get the bait on back away from the boat so I use the200's to get that done. This spring I'm gonna TRY it during the spawn, well, latter spawn when the water warms on up in the mod 60's.
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    Majflyboy:8 poles out, 5 or 6 fish on at a timeDoesn'tthat get a bit complicated? Do you keep the boat running same speed,slow down or stop?
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    Feelay:Whatever you do...DON'T stop!!!!
    Maj,8 poles is pushing it. I usually run 3 down each side, that is plenty to handle and a lot less headache. If ya get multiples on just pick one and reel it in, then go to the next one. Generally with a mouth full of trebles, they’re not going anywhere.
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    Biggerjigger:I agree ...... 6 poles is plenty, you don’t need any more confusion than that.
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    DonDon:4 is plenty. More than that and you'll work yourself to death. I pull8 when I can but you WILL get tangles so just don’t let your temper get to ya when you do. Just stay calm, reel the tangled one's in and just retie your cranks. Like Feelay said DON'T STOP, that's just a tangle waiting to happen. Ya get hung up on a stump? Just keep going and hope you get your crank back. That's one reason I use braided line, I don’t lose as many 5 dollar cranks
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. bigarm's Avatar
      bigarm -
      Great read Plenty of info Thanks
    1. broz's Avatar
      broz -
    1. Slab's Avatar
      Slab -
      More to come. Stay tuned.
    1. BAMA S's Avatar
      BAMA S -
      Good read...... Make sure your lake is suitable for cranking before dropping the coin for this method. My lake is loaded with blacks and cranking did not work for me this summer. I spent two days with Feelay on Sardis learning this method. Then I purchased all necessary equipment to pull cranks. My lake does not have a good consistent depth to pull either , it trends from 10' to 100' quickly. Not trying to be negative to this method , just trying to extend my lessons that I learned.
    1. majflyboy's Avatar
      majflyboy -
      Very good condescension.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good read
    1. majflyboy's Avatar
      majflyboy -
      I would up using 6 B n M Pro Trollers, 2 16', 2 12' and 2 8'. This gives me 4' of seperation on each rod. Also switches to Okuma 20DX's and 30b power pro braid.
    1. Mikie's Avatar
      Mikie -
      I love all the good info and like Bama S says know your lake. My lake has hybrid striped bass 18+lbs ;walleyes 12+lbs and huge blue and flathead catfish. They along with the crappie love to eat anything that looks like a shad so you may end up with tangled lines.
    1. CCcrappiejohn's Avatar
      CCcrappiejohn -
    1. Alboy79's Avatar
      Alboy79 -
      Good info on the artical, and good info in this post. Thanks all.
    1. NYHellbender's Avatar
      NYHellbender -
      Information Overload = Awesome!!!
    1. CUonthelake's Avatar
      CUonthelake -
      great lesson taught.
    1. brucec's Avatar
      brucec -
      Good info,thanks!!!!!!!!!
    1. Iwannafish's Avatar
      Iwannafish -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mikie View Post
      I love all the good info and like Bama S says know your lake. My lake has hybrid striped bass 18+lbs ;walleyes 12+lbs and huge blue and flathead catfish. They along with the crappie love to eat anything that looks like a shad so you may end up with tangled lines.
      We have crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, and catfish. Some quite large. Here also, you WILL (not may) end up with tangled lines. The best pullers will admit that they have had to simply cut and re-tie on more than one occasion. This is not a sit back and do nothing approach to crappie. It will work you, sometimes. And I agree with the "know your lake" point. That is the best starting point with any fishing tactic!
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      I'd buy this if it was in book form.........really! So much info to absorb for such an old man. Can you print it on waterproof paper? I'd have to carry the
      book with me when I fish. Thanks for this write up.
    1. Crappiegirl1's Avatar
      Crappiegirl1 -
      Plenty of information for this olé gal. I'm from back in the day long line with that 6 ft rod and reel. Loved it . Can reel that fish right up to the boat No nets lol
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