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Soft plastics or Spinning

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Coming from a rock and surf background, I find Spinning and Cranking too much of a hit and miss affair, and without trying to offend anyone, a bit of a skill-less "art". I much prefer the exitement of feeling a knock on a worm and then the take, much like a Cob taking a pilchard.
The trouble is - most of my catches are on Spinners and Cranks.
For the last week - every day, even the 25th, I spent at least 4 hours on TWK in my Kicker - with nothing to show for it.
I intentionally only took plastics with me as I believe it is an art form that I need to learn by practice. I know I will catch by mindlessly tossing a spinner all over the dam, but that is not the route I want to go.
I tried every rig possible, and hooked on the plastics I know TWK bass take , eg Watermelon Dingers and Grubs. I spent 2 days at Greymead wall and timber, and 2 days in the reeds and grasses at Aphrodisiac shack. Nothing but 2 small knocks and 1 lost in the thick reeds.
I carry just about every plastic available but have only got a bit of confidence in my 2 "go too" baits.
I put on a white grub, fluke, cane thumper, horny toad etc. just for a few casts,
then I'm back to my go toos.
If I were on a smaller piece of water, boiling with bass, one could figure out which plastics work the best - of if there were a few guys on the water at the same time, each with a different plastic lure, on a different rig.
That would be an interesting exersise.
The piece of water I mentioned at Afrodisiac Shack, has all the potential to be fantastic bass waters. If anyone would like to join me in exploring this bay on kickers, please contact me.
Any other thoughts on the above would be welcome.
Quote:When I die, I want to go in my sleep like my father. Not screaming my head off like the passengers in his car
I know what you mean about the “knock knock” on plastic bait! For years that’s all I fished and I’ve come to realise that one has to master ALL the different techniques if you want to perform on the days that count… I use cranks when I have to and spinner baits rescued me at Albert Falls in a divisional when they would take nothing else… I wouldn’t have even tried them but Howie was on the boat with me and he had bag before I even had a bite! And then one has to use a jig when the jig bite is on!

When there is a frog bite you can win a comp just throwing a frog all day… it is most certainly a big fish bait!

Also the cane thumper can be devastating… we won inter-provincials this year partly thanks to a cane thumper bait, spinnerbait and swim jig.

I don’t know about anyone else but in Durbs the plastics bite isn’t nearly as good as the reaction baits… but that will change…. And when it does that will be the main bait to throw…

Don’t give up on plastics just yet… pattern the fish first and use what they want… the plastics bite will come on… the humble stick bait (Senko) accounts for the most bass caught in the world!
Regards Rob
Vice President SABAA Natal
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My thoughts on this:
With plastics, how ever rigged, you have the opportunity to hit deeper pockets than hard baits like cranks. You also need to slow down quite a bit, let the plastic do it's work in a spot rather than having a crank speeding past.
If a crank works use it. But also, never leave an area you worked with a crank with out following up with plastics. You might just find that your crank (or spinner) woke up a few bass who will now be looking around for some easy pickings.
Best way to learn plastics, leave your cranks and spinners at home and just go out with plastics.

I won't call cranks and spinners a 'skill less art'. You just lucky, and also unlucky when it does not work. It is an art on it's own to use properly to catch the big one at the right time.
Thanks for the come back so far. Don't get me wrong - I don't want to discard reaction baits, I just feel there is more finesse to plastics, thus, more to learn.
I forgot, I also love the action of a jig (spent many hours at the pool, amazed at how alive they can be) though I have never caught anything with one. I think a jig can also demand a lot of class and therefore should be packed in, along with the plastics.
Cheers and Heppie Heppie for 2014 :eusa_dance: :eusa_clap:
Thanks Rob, very imformative
I use my reaction baits to find the fish. I then slow down to plastics or a jig and work the area thoroughly. If you watch KVD or Martin de Kock, you will quickly learn that power fisherman that know what they are doing will out fish the worm draggers over a season. They also catch big fish!
Thanks to all for the input. All is being taken in.
Tomorrow I am only taking a few Dingers, Squirrel Tail worms, Cane Thumpers and Horny Toads - nothing else . . . . and then I'm going to drag the reeds and grasses very slowly.
If you are taking a Squirrel Tail then make sure you take a shaky head jig to fish it on! :-)
Regards Rob
Vice President SABAA Natal
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I'm sure you noticed that I've changed my avatar - I did it because the old one looked a bit agro (not suited to my personality at all - ja right) and I thought Karma would kick in with the green beauties.

I went out this morning at 5, only to find the grassy/reed spot I was geared up to fish on TWK, was locked.
No big deal - I went home to get a spinner and my favourite V Crank and went to the open water at Graymead - Karma is a bitch - I kicked around the bridge, the timber, both sides of the wall, the deep and the shallows, throwing everything I had, even the jiggy squirrel tail (thanks Robfisher) . . . . Nothing - not even a pull.
7 hours of kicking my little boat all over the dam, in the most fantastic weather imaginable . . . . Bugger F Nothing . . . Mombakkie.

I did come away with one thing though - a new found respect for cranks. Nevermind the fact that I didn't catch anything, I discovered that the same feeling of anticipation that I enjoy so much with plastics, can be achieved with cranks - and spinners as well. It all depends on how you work the crank - speed, depth, jerky or not, or even just letting it float around for a while - I found I was anticipating the strike at anytime - a great feeling - getting there is half the fun.

Maybe Karma is not such a bitch after all?
Enjoyable read, thanks guys - yes Bombasstic your comments have given me a lot to think about - sitting at Clanwilliam presently, and have been in two minds as well (plastics vs reaction baits) also thanks to Q for your input - going to work each pocket twice this afternoon and first thing tomorrow...
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I am hoping to come up to fish the Kick Boat Trail at CWM on the 12th. I've never fished there before so I'm looking forward to it. I'm just waiting on Bassmaster to pass on some info regarding the accomodation etc. so I can make arrangements.
How about you (ThinkBass) starting a new topic and give a report of what's happening there.
What shall I say....said it before... cranking is an art, not a science.
CBC - I have got a feeling you are right on the money with that one.
I was always under the impression it was a case of "throw it as far as possible and get it back as quick as possible" - Very boring!
Today I could actually picture the lure doing it's thing to entice the fish.

A while ago, you mentioned tuning your cranks to move left or right. I asked you about it and you said I wasn't old enough to know the secret.
Well . . . this afternoon I put the crank over the gas stove to bend the lip . . .
I tried it in the pool and now it just rolls over on it's back and dies. :eusa_doh:

Just kidding . . . . . .I'm old enough now. :bluegrab:
Ok I did not mean it in a nasty way when I said you are not old enough... everybody can get a crank to move only left or only right, but not left or right as you wish. I want you to think about is a clip attachment between the lure and the line....with a twitch of the rod the lure will run in a different direction. Now to figure this out might take a considerable bit of time and a lot of try and miss....hence the saying 'you are not old enough' You now have a start so work on it, get frustrated and when you give up, try again...
If at first you don't succeed, try again, if you still do not succeed, try again, if you then do not succeed, CROOK!!
Happy bassing.
Bombasstic Wrote:How about you (ThinkBass) starting a new topic and give a report of what's happening there.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm considering reporting back what I've observed in a separate thread, I've also gathered a lot of info from the other anglers here. Also, a lot of the local guys have been sharing advice and spots with me, and I've got another 5am start planned for tomorrow morning. (hoping the advice pays off... have been scouting the dam out little on the jet ski)
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