Bass fishing with crankbaits is a popular technique among anglers, and for good reason. These lures can mimic the movement of natural prey and entice bass to strike. If you’re new to fishing with crankbaits, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started. Let’s dive tight into it …!

What is a crankbait?

A crankbait is a type of fishing lure designed to imitate the movement and appearance of a swimming baitfish, typically made of hard plastic or wood with a lip on the front that causes the lure to dive and swim erratically when retrieved through the water.

Types of crankbaits

When bass fishing with crankbaits, there are several types to choose from. Each comes with its own unique features and benefits:

Shallow-diving crankbaits (1-6 feet)

Shallow-diving crankbaits are a type of fishing lure designed to dive to shallow depths, typically between 1 to 6 feet. They are usually smaller in size and have a thinner profile, which makes them more subtle and natural-looking in the water. Shallow-diving crankbaits are designed for use in shallow waters, such as near shorelines or around docks.

They are effective in catching bass as they can mimic the movement and appearance of prey such as small fish or crawfish. These lures can be retrieved at a slow, steady pace or jerked and twitched to create an erratic action that can trigger strikes from nearby fish.

Medium-diving crankbaits (6-12 feet)

Medium-diving crankbaits are fishing lures designed to dive to deeper depths, typically between 6 to 12 feet. They are larger in size and have a larger lip than shallow-diving crankbaits, allowing them to reach greater depths. These lures are effective in a variety of fishing situations, including around submerged structures, ledges, and drop-offs.

Medium-diving crankbaits can be retrieved at a steady pace or jerked and paused to create an erratic action that can trigger strikes from nearby fish. They can mimic the movement and appearance of baitfish or crawfish, making them a valuable addition to any angler’s tackle box.

Deep-diving crankbaits (12-25 feet)

Deep-diving crankbaits are a type of fishing lure that is specifically designed to reach deeper depths, typically ranging between 12 to 25 feet or more. These lures are equipped with a larger lip than medium-diving crankbaits, enabling them to dive down to greater depths. They are highly effective when used in deep-water structures, ledges, and drop-offs.

Generally, deep-diving crankbaits are larger in size than both shallow and medium-diving crankbaits, and can resemble the movement and appearance of larger baitfish or crayfish. Retrieval methods can vary, but are usually a steady retrieve or a stop-and-go method, producing an irregular action that can entice nearby fish to strike.

Lipless crankbaits (1-25+ feet)

Lipless crankbaits are fishing lures that don’t have a diving lip, instead they have a flat or slightly curved head. These lures are typically made from hard plastic or metal, and are versatile enough to be used in a variety of fishing situations, such as shallow or deep water, and around structures or open water.

Lipless crankbaits can be retrieved at different speeds, and their unique design produces a vibrating action that can attract nearby fish. These lures can mimic the movement and appearance of baitfish or crawfish, making them a great choice for bass fishing!

Choosing the right crankbait for bass fishing

Choosing the right crankbait for bass fishing can be a daunting task, as there are numerous options available in the market. However, considering a few important factors can help you make the right choice.

Water Depth

Firstly, water depth is a crucial factor to consider. The depth at which you intend to fish will determine the type of crankbait you should choose. For instance, if you are fishing in shallow water, a shallow-diving crankbait will be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are fishing in deeper water, a deep-diving crankbait will be more effective.

Water Clarity

Secondly, water clarity is another important factor. In clear water, natural colors and patterns are more effective, whereas in murky water, brighter and flashier colors are better.

Cover and Structure

Thirdly, the type of cover and structure you will be fishing around should also be considered. For instance, if you are fishing around rocks, a floating or suspending crankbait that can bounce off the rocks is ideal. On the other hand, if you are fishing around heavy cover like fallen trees, a lipless crankbait that can easily pass through the branches is more effective.

Water Temperature

Lastly, consider the temperature of the water. In colder water, a slower retrieve with a smaller crankbait may be more effective, while in warmer water, a faster retrieve with a larger crankbait may be more effective!

How to fish with crankbaits

  1. Casting: Cast your crankbait out and allow it to sink to the desired depth. Retrieve the lure using a steady, medium-paced retrieve, and pause periodically to allow the lure to float back up to the surface. Repeat this process until you feel a strike.
  2. Trolling: Trolling with crankbaits involves slowly moving the boat while dragging the lure behind it. Use a depth finder to locate the fish and adjust the depth of your lure accordingly. Vary the speed of your retrieve until you find what works best.
  3. Jerking: This technique involves jerking the lure with quick, sharp movements of the rod tip. This can create an erratic motion that can trigger strikes from aggressive bass.
  4. Stop-and-go retrieve: This technique involves retrieving the lure with a few quick cranks, then pausing for a few seconds before repeating. This can mimic the behavior of injured prey and can be effective at attracting bass.

10 Tips for successful crankbait fishing

1. Choose the right rod and reel

A medium-heavy or heavy rod with a fast action tip is best for crankbait fishing. A baitcasting reel with a high gear ratio will allow for quick retrieval speeds.

2. Vary your retrieve

Experiment with different retrieve speeds and techniques until you find what works best for the conditions you’re fishing in.

3. Fish around structure

Crankbaits are effective around structure such as rocks, stumps, and fallen trees. Cast your bait around the structure, and vary your retrieve to mimic the movement of prey!

4. Keep your line tight

When fishing with a crankbait, it’s important to keep your line tight at all times. This will help you feel the bite and set the hook quickly.

5. Fish at the right time

Bass are most active during certain times of day, such as early morning and late afternoon. Plan your fishing trips accordingly to increase your chances of catching bass.

6. Stay alert

Bass can be elusive, so it’s important to stay alert and keep an eye out for signs of fish activity, such as jumping or splashing.

7. Pay attention to the season

Different types of crankbaits may work better during different seasons. In the spring, for example, lipless crankbaits may be more effective as bass are more active and feeding on shad.

8. Use the right line

Choose a line that matches the weight and diving depth of your crankbait. Fluorocarbon or braided lines can provide better sensitivity and allow you to feel the lure’s movement in the water.

9. Change up your colors

Experiment with different colors to find what the fish are biting on. Sometimes a bright, flashy color is best, while other times a more natural color works better!

10. Practice catch-and-release

As with any fishing technique, it’s important to practice catch-and-release to help preserve the bass population for future generations of anglers.

In a Nutshell: Bass Fishing With Crankbaits

In conclusion, fishing with crankbaits for bass can be a fun and effective way to catch fish. By choosing the right type of crankbait, matching it to the water depth and conditions, and using the right techniques, you can increase your chances of catching trophy-sized bass. Remember to stay alert, pay attention to the weather and season, and be patient. Within no time you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful crankbait fisherman.

Have fun, tight lines and enjoy the great outdoors!

Amazing Links

  1. Ready to discover the surprising world of largemouth bass? Check out our article on “50 fun and shocking facts about largemouth bass” and get hooked! Link: 50 Fun Facts About Bass
  2. Want to make sure the bass you catch survive and thrive? Learn the right way to catch and release them with our informative guide. Link: How To Catch And Release Bass
  3. Are you curious about what largemouth bass eat? Our article “What do Bass eat?” has all the answers and might just surprise you. Link: What Do Largemouth Bass Eat

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