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Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Matt Reed spends most of his time off the tournament trail guiding at Falcon Lake in South Texas. Falcon is home to most of the biggest catches in MLF history, and is one of the best lakes in the country for quantity and quality when it comes to largemouth. In the winter, the highs are often in the 70s, and Reed spends his days cranking up monster largemouths.

The Winter Bite

Come wintertime on the border, the water temperature at Falcon is usually about 60 degrees, and Reed’s big-fish bite changes from a dragging bite to a cranking bite.

“What I see happen in the winter down here is, they’ll go from biting a Carolina rig or a football jig, and they roll into a crankbait bite,” Reed says. “I really don’t have a reason that happens, but it’s repeatable. It happens most years, and those fish down here, when they do that, they actually will come up on the rock a little shallower than they were when they were biting your jig or your Carolina rig.”

Reed says that the best rock for cranking is more vertical and larger than he’d fish in the summer. The verticality is important because it allows the fish to slide shallower or deeper with ease depending on the weather.

“The big fish tend to get in that 10- to 15-foot range, and before, they may have been in 15 to 20 feet,” Reed says. “I think that may be a precursor to the prespawn, but it’s in the dead of winter when it happens. I also think it may be about warmth, I think that shallower rock may have a little more heat, even in colored water.”

Tackling Up

For his winter cranking, Reed doesn’t do anything too out of the ordinary on the tackle front.

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