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    Vollmer Vollmer's Avatar
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    Owner Post Founder Of Nodak Angler | Community Owner Response

    Night Time Cranking

    Night time cranking is new to me. It strikes me as a a whole different animal.
    I have tried it a couple of times with minimal success, running in 10 fow.

    Has anyone tried it? Had luck? Any tips?

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    I expected this thread to be about something else.

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    When i fish with my old man we do a lot of early morning cranking before sunrise. Not quite the same as actual night time cranking, but it can be very effective.

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    Yes quite often in blue plate land. Don't have to deal with pleasure boaters...... I find that large flats and shallow running cranks work best. Color is based off of moon phase (full moon or bright night = darker colors). I also painted some cranks black that work well with a bright night. I have also pulled in deeper basins running cranks about 5 to 8 feet above the thermocline can also produce well. I find that if you pull cranks over fish, I believe they can see the crank or baits shadow or outline and bite to investigate, But could be very wrong on this theory.

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    Days are too long during summer for me to night fish. And usually if I'm by a lake during dark hours the booze is flowing through my veins

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    Train Hard. Hunt Easy

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    I'm out of the loop but I remember years ago some were doing well pulling reef runners at night along the HWY 83 rip rap later in the summer/fall . Does anyone drive through there and see boats at night ?

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    Vollmer Vollmer's Avatar
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    Owner Post Founder Of Nodak Angler | Community Owner Response

    Quote Originally Posted by Callem'In View Post
    I believe they can see the crank or baits shadow or outline
    I've heard this before, and it makes sense.

    Maybe I have been running too close to the bottom.

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    Had great success early morning around Bismarck most every year including this one. Obviously different animal on the river vs lake I’m sure. We were hitting all the community holes at 430 am and trolling scatter raps w trolling motor only and caught LOTS of piggies...til the first boats came in on plane around 630. Had several mornings this year w 6-10 fish over 27”, in fact had my biggest to date at 430 5 minutes into fishing, 33 1/2 @ 13#8 oz after dropping her eggs. Scatter rap minnow in 10’ pulling at 1.5

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    I have pulled cranks from sunset to sunrise and done well at times and not so well at others. Advantages are that your not battling the sun, no line at the ramps, and no other boats to fight. When netting, other boats don't always see you and come over trying to jump your spot. Negatives are that the bugs can get really bad because you are the light source that they are attracted to, boat control with the waves is a little more difficult due to the fact you cant see the waves if windy, and if there is any floating debris (logs) you don't see them while running out to or from your spots. Electronics are key.

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    the few times I have tried it the bugs have been beyond bad...might just have to suit up and give it another whirl ....

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    It takes a special breed to night fish.

    The late (early?) drive home afterward, etc. sucks and the next day is shot.

    Living on the lake I'd give it a go a lot more often.

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    I have done a fair amount of trolling after dark on Lake Erie. Personal best came hours after dark in early June. Late fall in shallow (5-12 feet) is a blast. I was planning on giving it a try on Sak this Friday, so I will post a report afterwards. Martinslanding has a valid point, the bugs crashing into the ears and nose is annoying to say the least.

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    The few times I did it was in August full moon. There were lots of smelt in the system then, (mid 90's) so I targeted suspended fish in 35-50 fow. I put on deep diving cranks, since I had no lead core. The one night I had great success, all fish were over 4lbs and I think we ended up with 6, but lost a couple due to my wife and at night. We were drinking too lol. Also we left when the wife wanted to go, it was really just getting good. I kept it simple by going deep, just stayed right off/next the moose flats in Mobridge in 35-50 feet. My cranks were running about 25.

    My brother was in a couples tournament a day before and our smallest fish was bigger than all but a couple fish brought in from the whole field. There was no slot in SD at that time

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    I hate night fishing open water, but it can be very effective in certain systems. Rabbit choker land is full of night anglers.

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    Doug Stange used to have some good articles on Summer/Fall night fishing. Tried on Sak halfheartedly twice to no avail

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    I have a buddy that pulls cranks every full moon all night he has great success and caught his biggest walleye doin this he goes out and marks a long line like miles in the day and just stays on course at night

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    I've never had much luck on Sak at night. Cranks or anything else. Have had some good luck in other bodies of water at night cranking though.

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    Late fall night time cranking on the Saskatchewan River coming out of Lake Tobin in SK is very popular and can produce some real pigs. But not a comfortable way to fish when temps are near or below freezing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Ahab View Post
    I hate night fishing open water, but it can be very effective in certain systems. Rabbit choker land is full of night anglers.
    So true. I've driven across the damn on Lake Oahe and Peoria Flats looked like a city there were so many boats. Ha! Rabbit Choker...haven't heard that in a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Callem'In View Post
    Yes quite often in blue plate land. Don't have to deal with pleasure boaters...... I find that large flats and shallow running cranks work best. Color is based off of moon phase (full moon or bright night = darker colors). I also painted some cranks black that work well with a bright night. I have also pulled in deeper basins running cranks about 5 to 8 feet above the thermocline can also produce well. I find that if you pull cranks over fish, I believe they can see the crank or baits shadow or outline and bite to investigate, But could be very wrong on this theory.
    You're not wrong. the lure being above the fish is key. As shallow as two feet works in the tailrace.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by guywhofishes View Post
    It takes a special breed to night fish.

    The late (early?) drive home afterward, etc. sucks and the next day is shot.

    Living on the lake I'd give it a go a lot more often.
    The cooler temps and lack of a-holes more than makes up for it.

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