Hey fall trollers — water temps are finally starting to dip! Instead of tying on any ol’ crankbait, you can use the water temp to tell you which exact styles to run.
Brad Hawthorne’s logged a zillion hours pulling cranks in the fall, so of course it’s the first thing I nagged him about when I had the chance to hop in his boat. Few things:
> He always starts early fall with #5 Rapala Shad Raps ‘cuz they’ve caught more fish than any other bait in his boat…especially while water temps are 60-65. Bump up to a #6 or #7 as temps reach the lower end of that scale.
> Once the water hits 57-62 — and the weather is cooperating — he’ll put on BIG ol’ bent-lip #9 Shallow Shad Raps. Everything is going shallow and putting the feedbag on, including perch this size….
> Original Jointed Minnows are one of his favorite overlooked fall trolling bait when temps are in the 50-57 range and fish are on the chew. They run 5-7′ out the package, but Brad will pinch on a small splitshot up above the bait to get ’em down to the 8-10′ range.
> Frigid temps: Original Floaters are tough to beat. Brad’s caught fish on ’em in water as cold as 42 degrees. #PolarPlungeStatus
S’more details straight from Mr. Fall Cranky himself in this vid. Didn’t notice at the time he was wearing a play button mask….