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Lure Tip: How To Choose the Right Crankbait for Any Situation

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November 19, 2012

Lure Tip: How To Choose the Right Crankbait for Any Situation

By John Merwin

Used to be I had a lot of trouble with crankbaits. I had several different colors, styles, and brands, but I never used any one of them enough to get good at working it. The answer lay in a bit of organization.

So I bought a bunch of Bandit baits in sizes 100, 200, and 300. Each series dives to a different depth, but the baits are otherwise similar. I figured using one brand and style would make things easier.

Then I set a few small buoys at different known depths and anchored a short distance away. By casting beyond the buoys and retrieving the bait I would know if I was hitting bottom or not at a specific depth. I learned a lot this way.

I could then, when I marked some fish on the sonar, pick the size most appropriate for the fishes’ depth. That seems elemental, I guess, but it helped a lot.

I also learned eventually that it was often better to refrain from a simple, fast crank. What worked more often was fast cranking at first to get the lure down to depth, followed by cranks and twitches interspersed with full stops. Not enough of a stop to allow the lure to float upward, just a brief pause. And I then started to get many more strikes on that sort of intermittent retrieve. (The 9-pound largemouth in the photo was taken that way.)

So that’s my crankbait tale. I still don’t fish them as often as I probably should, but when I do at least I don’t feel totally ignorant.

Comments (3)

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I rarely fish water which is suitable for crankbaits. If I'm bass fishing, I'm in thick weed beds where only a weedless worm dare enter.

I hate to admit it but I learned from watching the pro's on TV how to use crankbaits to search for fish. I do not believe there is any other lure which will give you more cast per minute or cover as much water, both horizontally and vertically, than the crankbait.

Have always thought there should be more weedless type crankbaits.

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from RANGERMANZ20 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Great info on crankbaits, I have a love hate relationship with them. I use them to find fish early in the spring, but resort to either jerk baits or soft plastics to fill the live wells. I have had some good results even on Lake Okeechobee in Florida with lipless crankbaits near heavy grass, but I've found over the years that a Pop-R will get more action in the same area if fished slow. On Lake Eufala in GA deep running crankbaits work well into early summer for striped bass in the lower river feeding into the lake. Also pitching them into heavy brush for short retreives works well.

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from Aaronbassmaster wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

I find it is hard to find the right style and color crankbait on really sunny day with clear water... Can anybody help me out with that?

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I rarely fish water which is suitable for crankbaits. If I'm bass fishing, I'm in thick weed beds where only a weedless worm dare enter.

I hate to admit it but I learned from watching the pro's on TV how to use crankbaits to search for fish. I do not believe there is any other lure which will give you more cast per minute or cover as much water, both horizontally and vertically, than the crankbait.

Have always thought there should be more weedless type crankbaits.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RANGERMANZ20 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Great info on crankbaits, I have a love hate relationship with them. I use them to find fish early in the spring, but resort to either jerk baits or soft plastics to fill the live wells. I have had some good results even on Lake Okeechobee in Florida with lipless crankbaits near heavy grass, but I've found over the years that a Pop-R will get more action in the same area if fished slow. On Lake Eufala in GA deep running crankbaits work well into early summer for striped bass in the lower river feeding into the lake. Also pitching them into heavy brush for short retreives works well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Aaronbassmaster wrote 51 weeks 6 days ago

I find it is hard to find the right style and color crankbait on really sunny day with clear water... Can anybody help me out with that?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment