Early Nov. full moon means a fishing opportunity
This fall we will get the bonus full moon with open water. Our full moon will be Nov. 10. This gives us a chance to get out for some moonlight crank bait fishing on the open water one more time. With the sunset at 5 p.m. the moon will be up early and you can get several hours of fishing in after dark and still be home before 10 p.m. It will be cold after the sun sets so dress appropriately.
It's going to be the die-hard musky and walleye fisherman that will be out on chase. Most that will be successful will be focusing on shallow water in the 6-12ft depths. Concentrate efforts on large flats that extend out into main lake areas. Areas on the flats that have sharp breaks to deep water will be key areas. As we have discussed before, any areas on a flat that have transitions of rock, gravel, clam beds, depressions, or changes in weed types can be hot spots.
I recommend pulling speeds ranging from 1.8 mph to 2.8 mph. I am a firm believer in the use of line counter reels spooled with one of the no stretch "superlines" when pulling crank baits. These lines make reading the rod much easier, especially in the dark. It is easy to feel the vibration of the lure, and will easily telegraph if the bait has become fouled with the use of modern hard lines like fireline and powerpro. Baits run true, have maximum vibration, and will dive deeper with these lines than the will with monofilament lines.
Like anything else, it takes experimentation and practice to get really good at pulling crank baits and having good success.
Some little tricks that experience has taught me that may help you include: changing speeds with your throttle, putting the motor in and out of gear, zig zag (don't just pull in a straight line), change baits often to find out what's working. Remember your speed, setback distance, and location once fish have been contacted -- then repeat! Others can sometimes get you going in the right direction by telling you baits that are working, speed they are pulling, and the distance of their setback.
Remember that this is only a framework for your starting point. There are many variables. Different line counter reels have variations in distances that they read. How full the spool is will make a difference in the actual distance vs. what the line counter is reading. Line diameter will also create a variation in the depth the lure will run at a certain set back distance, as will speed. Your line counter will get you back exactly were you want your bait to be.
Always check to make sure the bait is running true next to the boat before sending it back to do its work. If it is not running true, you can tune the crank bait with a needle nose pliers by adjusting the front ring on the bill of the bait. When it is pulling straight it is ready.
So grab your cranking rods, your crank baits, warm clothes, flashlights, snacks, and get out and get your last moonlight open water trip in for the year during this next week.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)