Are you tired of going fishing and coming back with nothing to show for it? Do you want to know a surefire way to catch more fish every time you cast your line? Look no further than the trusty crankbait!
Crankbaits are an incredibly versatile type of lure that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, from shore or on a boat, using a crankbait can help you reel in some serious catches.
“Crankbaits are one of the most effective lures in any angler’s arsenal. Mastering their use is crucial for anyone looking to catch more fish.” -Professional Angler
In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for how to fish crankbaits like a pro. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right bait to casting techniques to retrieving methods. So grab your gear, get out there, and let’s catch some fish!
Understanding Crankbaits and Their Types
Crankbaits are one of the most popular lures used for fishing because of their versatility, durability, and effectiveness in catching various species of fish. Before learning how to fish with crankbaits, it is important to understand the anatomy of these lures and the different types available in the market.
The Anatomy of a Crankbait
A crankbait consists of several components that work together to attract and hook fish. The body of a crankbait is often made of hard plastic or wood, which enables it to withstand various forms of wear and tear. A lip attached to the front of the body serves as the diving mechanism, determining the depth and direction of the lure’s movement. Most crankbaits also feature hooks dangling from the belly or tail of the body, designed to snag any predators that may come across its path.
“Crankbaits are an excellent option for anglers targeting bass because they vibrate, wiggle and dive into the strike zone mimicking injured baitfish” -Josh Ward, Outdoor writer
Types of Crankbaits and Their Uses
There are several types of crankbaits available, each designed to meet specific purposes or fishing scenarios. Shallow-diving crankbaits, as their name suggests, only dive up to six feet below water level and provide good action when retrieved at low speeds. These lures are best suited for fishing shallow waters near structure or vegetation where predatory fish such as bass tend to hide.
In contrast, deep-diving crankbaits can reach depths of up to 25 feet depending on line weight and retrieve speed. They have large lips that cause them to dig deeper and stay longer underwater, making them ideal for fishing deep structures such as ledges, humps and drop-offs near underwater channels.
Lipless crankbaits, on the other hand, are versatile lures that can be used in both shallow and deep waters depending on their weight. They have a cylindrical body with no diving plane, which causes them to sink faster than other types of crankbaits. Lipless crankbaits are best used when targetting suspended fish or working through heavy cover where snagging is possible.
“Different types of crankbaits perform well under different circumstances, so it’s important for anglers to keep a variety of sizes and styles in their tackle box” -Mark Hicks, Professional Angler
How Crankbaits Mimic Prey and Attract Fish
The effectiveness of crankbaits lies in how they mimic prey, triggering predatory instincts in fish and prompting them to bite. The lip attached to the front of the lure produces an action known as wobbling, which mimics how baitfish swim naturally through the water.
This action coupled with the vibration created by the hooks embedded in the belly or tail of the lure creates ripples and sound waves that travel through the water, attracting fish within striking distance. Depending on your intended quarry, you may choose to select crankbaits with bright colors, translucent finishes or realistic patterns to match the local baitfish or stand out from its environment.
“Crankbaits do a great job of simulating fleeing baitfish, especially around rocks, wood, docks, or any structure bass use to ambush prey” -Brent Chapman, Professional Angler
To optimize the chances of success while using crankbaits, it is crucial to understand the species of fish you intend to catch, their feeding habits, and preferred habitat. Experimenting with different styles, retrieves, and speeds can also help you identify the most effective techniques for catching fish within your local waters. Remember to always keep an eye on conditions – such as water temperatures, clarity, or current changes – that could affect the behavior of fish.
- In summary, crankbaits are versatile lures used to catch a variety of fish species.
- The anatomy of a crankbait includes body material, diving mechanism, and hooks.
- The types of crankbaits include shallow-diving, deep-diving, and lipless, each suited for different fishing scenarios.
- Crankbaits mimic prey through their diving action and vibration, making them attractive to predatory fish.
- To increase chances of success, anglers should choose appropriate crankbaits, consider time and condition variables and experiment with various styles and techniques.
Choosing the Right Crankbait for Your Fishing Spot
Crankbaits are a versatile and effective lure choice for a variety of fishing situations. However, selecting the right one can be a challenge, as there are numerous factors to consider. Here are some tips on how to choose the best crankbait for your specific fishing spot.
Matching the Hatch: Choosing the Right Color and Size
One of the most important considerations when choosing a crankbait is selecting the right color and size. It’s essential to “match the hatch,” or mimic the natural prey that fish in your area are feeding on.
In clear water conditions, using natural-colored crankbaits with realistic patterns will typically yield the best results. In murky or stained water conditions, however, brighter or more vibrant colors may prove more effective at catching fish. Chartreuse, neon green, and orange are all good options for these conditions.
The size of your crankbait is also crucial. Generally speaking, you should choose a smaller bait when targeting smallmouth bass and larger bait when targeting pike or musky. Still, it’s always wise to research what type of fish are in your specific body of water and adjust accordingly.
Diving Depth and Water Clarity: Factors to Consider
Diving depth is another critical factor when selecting a crankbait. Different types of lures have varying abilities to dive down into the water column, so knowing the depth of your target species is key.
If you’re fishing in shallow water, a square-billed crankbait can work well because it can deflect off rocks and other structures without snagging. Conversely, if you’re fishing in deep water, a round-billed or long-billed crankbait is better suited because it can dive deeper with less resistance.
Water clarity is another critical consideration. In clear water, fish will be more wary and likely to scrutinize your lure. A more natural-looking crankbait that blends in with the surroundings is often the best option. Conversely, in murky water conditions, brighter colors can help attract attention and generate bites.
Crankbait Shape and Action: Finding the Right Fit
The shape and action of your crankbait are also crucial factors to consider. Every type of crankbait has a unique set of actions designed to imitate specific types of baitfish. Some lures wobble, while others dart or swim erratically, so you’ll want to choose a shape and action that matches the particular prey species in your fishing spot.
When selecting a crankbait’s action, it’s essential to patch it carefully to your retrieve speed. Most anglers use a medium-paced retrieve when fishing crankbaits, but sometimes twitching or jerking the bait can entice even the most reluctant fish to bite. Experimentation with different techniques is often necessary to find what works best for the given situation.
“A crankbait should feel alive: You’re trying to make the bait look like it’s swimming along naturally, then all of a sudden something triggers the strike.” – Greg Hackney
Choosing the right crankbait for your specific fishing spot requires careful consideration of several different factors. Matching the hatch, paying attention to diving depth and water clarity, and selecting the proper shape and action can all impact your success on the water. With practice and experience, however, you’ll be able to select the perfect crankbait for any fishing scenario.
Mastering the Retrieve Technique for Different Crankbaits
Crankbaits are one of the most versatile lures in a fisherman’s tackle box. They mimic different prey species and can attract various types of gamefish. However, to maximize their effectiveness, you need to learn how to retrieve them properly. Below are some essential techniques for different crankbaits:
Slow Rolling: A Technique for Deep Diving Crankbaits
If you’re targeting deepwater predators like bass, walleye, or pike, using slow rolling could do the trick. This technique involves achieving a controlled reel-in speed that lets the lure move at the right depth range. Slow rolling allows your crankbait to bump off structure while maintaining its realistic wobbling action, which can trigger strikes from inactive fish.
“When the water is cold or when the fish are barely active, slow cranking is always good,” said professional angler, Mike Iaconelli.
Burn and Pause: A Technique for Shallow Diving Crankbaits
Shallow diving crankbaits are great for fishing near the surface, but they require quick movements to elicit a bite. One of the best ways to achieve this movement is through burning and pausing. It involves reeling in your bait quickly and then suddenly stopping for about two seconds, causing it to dart erratically before resuming the retrieve.
“I often start with a high-speed approach interspersed with a pause on shallow-running baits,” said well-known outdoorsman- Jason Mitchell.
Wakebaiting: A Technique for Surface Crankbaits
A wakebait is a type of topwater crankbait designed to create a visible surface disturbance that simulates a fleeing prey species. It’s most effective in calm water conditions, and when the fish are aggressively feeding on topwater lures, you need to master wakebaiting. This technique simply involves pulling your bait slowly across the water, making a v-shaped wake behind it.
“Wakebaits are great because they have an amazing action and create a lot of commotion, which can draw attention from fish”, said Billy Campbell, professional angler.
Stop and Go: A Technique for Lipless Crankbaits
Lipless crankbaits can imitate different types of baitfish, including shad, herring, or blueback. They’re versatile enough to work in various depths and cover types, but using a stop-and-go retrieve technique may increase their effectiveness. To use this approach, reel in your lure quickly, then abruptly stop for several seconds as if the bait is trying to escape before continuing the retrieve.
Jonathan VanDam, the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Rookie of the Year, said “One of my favorite ways to catch smallies with lipless cranks is by constantly yo-yoing them off the bottom.”
The above techniques should be used according to specific situations and the type of bait you’re using. You’ll also want to experiment with different retrieves until you find what works best for you. Remember, fishing has more to do with instinct than anything else so trust your gut and let it guide your retrieve.
Optimizing Your Crankbait Fishing with the Right Equipment
The Right Rod and Reel for Crankbait Fishing
Before you head out to start your crankbait fishing adventure, it’s important to ensure that you have the right equipment. When it comes to the rod and reel setup for crankbait fishing, it’s all about balance and sensitivity.
The ideal rod length for crankbait fishing is between 6’6” and 7’6”. This gives you enough length for casting distance, as well as control during retrieves. As for the power of the rod, a medium-power rod is generally recommended for crankbait fishing. This will provide the required stiffness in the blank while still allowing for good bend and flexing to detect bites.
When selecting a reel for crankbait fishing, you want one that has a high gear ratio (at least 6:1) to retrieve quickly and keep up with fast-moving fish. A low profile baitcasting reel works best for this type of fishing due to its ability to handle heavier lines and lures without sacrificing accuracy or sensitivity.
Line Selection for Maximum Sensitivity and Control
Add to your balance and flexibility through line selection. The type of line you choose can vastly affect your ability to cast farther, feel even the subtlest of bites and effectively fight any fish on the end of your line.
Fluorocarbon and monofilament are both popular choices when it comes to crankbait fishing. Fluorocarbon offers great sensitivity and resistance to abrasion and tends to sink better than other types of line. Monofilament on the other hand offers more stretch which can hinder sensitivity but help those who may not possess such precise angling control.
Braid is also an option for crankbait fishing, but it has a much thinner diameter than the other lines and can potentially put too much strain on lighter action rods. This might make your crankbait performance worse while you’re using it.
Tools and Accessories for Successful Crankbait Fishing
Crankbait fishing isn’t just about having the right rod, reel, and line; there are also several tools and accessories that can help increase your chances of success.
A quality pair of pliers will come in handy for removing hooks from fish as well as bending or adjusting treble hooks if necessary. A landing net can also be beneficial for safely bringing in bigger fish from the water. Additionally polarized sunglasses can help you spot fish underwater and keep your eyes safe from harmful rays. Finally, carrying extra lures in varying depth levels and colors means you can quickly adjust to changes in water conditions which will improve your overall efficiency.
Modern Technology for Crankbait Fishing
The world of fishing technology keeps evolving, and there are several modern tools designed to aid an angler in their quest for successful crankbaiting.. One such tool includes sonar devices that provide information on water temperatures and depth contour maps. Having this knowledge on hand helps anglers to determine the most productive areas to explore and target specific fish species they want to catch.
Innovative baits like Livetarget Sunfish Walking Bait have been developed with durable materials and life-like characteristics aimed at attracting more fish. Many models now include different mechanical vibrations that mimic baitfish movements and offer unprecedented realism that draws more bites—even when surrounding waters are stagnant.
“Fishing is much more than fish. It’s the great outdoors, being one with nature. It’s escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and just relaxing.” -Unknown
Learning to Read Water and Structure for Successful Crankbait Fishing
Crankbait fishing is a popular technique among anglers that involves using a lure with a diving lip to mimic the behavior of bait fish. It can be a highly effective method, but success often depends on being able to read the water and structure properly. Here’s what you need to know about identifying key structures and understanding water currents for successful crankbait fishing.
Identifying Key Structures and Features for Crankbait Fishing
To catch fish consistently with crankbaits, it’s important to be able to identify key structures such as drop-offs, points, ledges, weed beds, and rock piles. These areas are where predators like bass will congregate to hunt for food. The edges of these structures, where there is a change in depth or cover type, are usually where you’ll want to cast your crankbait because it creates an ambush point for the fish.
When assessing bodies of water, think about the season, time of day, and weather patterns to help determine where the fish may be located. For example, during warmer months when the water is shallow, look for vegetation, sunken logs, and rocky areas which provide shade and protection for fish from the heat of the sun. During cooler seasons, focus more on deeper areas near drop-offs and submerged cover, as fish tend to move towards these areas to seek out warmer water temperatures.
“Fishing without structure or contour lines is like hunting without a map.” -Mark Zona
Using technology such as fish finders and GPS systems can also be helpful in locating structure features underwater if visibility is low due to murky water conditions, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area you’re fishing in.
Understanding Water Currents and Their Effect on Crankbait Fishing
Understanding water currents is one of the keys to successful crankbait fishing. Fish will generally expend less energy in areas where there’s a current break, allowing them to more easily ambush prey that are being swept along by the flow. This means you want to focus your casts around structures that create current breaks such as rocks or points jutting out from the shore.
If you’re fishing in an area with strong currents, consider using a heavier crankbait so it can dive down quickly. Alternatively, if you’re trying to fish shallower waters in faster-moving currents, use a smaller and lighter weight crankbait to stay near the surface more effectively.
“Determine the direction and then set your sails.” -Sarah Palin
Additionally, pay attention to the speed and direction of water movements. For example, shallow headwaters may have slower moving water compared to deep pools downstream where water flows faster due to gravity. If you identify these changes in water velocity, try changing up the speed at which you retrieve your crankbait to make it more attractive to the fish in those particular conditions.
Being able to read water and structure is key to successful crankbait fishing. Identifying key structures and understanding how water currents affect fish behavior can greatly improve your chances of catching more fish while using this popular technique.
Troubleshooting Common Problems and Solutions When Fishing with Crankbaits
How to Deal with Snags and Hang-Ups
One of the biggest problems when fishing with crankbaits is dealing with snags and hang-ups. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a lure to an underwater snag or debris.
To avoid this problem, try casting parallel to structures instead of directly at them. This will lessen your chances of getting snagged. Additionally, consider using a slow retrieve rather than a fast one, as it can give you more control over the lure and allow you to detect potential hazards before getting snagged.
If your lure does get stuck on something, don’t just yank on the line. Instead, slowly reel in the slack until you feel tension on the line, then gently pull from different angles to try and wiggle it free. If all else fails, cut the line and move on to a new spot. It’s not worth risking damaging your gear trying to save a lost lure.
Adjusting Your Crankbait for Changing Conditions
Crankbaits come in many variations, including different shapes, sizes, colors, and diving depths. Knowing how to adjust your lure to different conditions can make all the difference between a successful day on the water and coming up empty-handed.
When fishing in clear water, use lures with natural colors that match the baitfish in the area. A smaller size may also be beneficial as it looks more natural in these types of situations. Conversely, murky or stained water calls for brighter colored lures to help fish locate them. Additionally, larger lures that create more vibration can help attract fish in these conditions.
Water temperature is another factor to consider. In colder temperatures, switch to a slower retrieve and smaller lures. Warmer water calls for faster retrieves and larger lures.
Lastly, the depth at which your crankbait dives can also impact its effectiveness. Understanding how deep the fish are feeding will help you choose the right lure, so be sure to experiment with different diving depths until you find what works best.
How to Set the Hook Properly When Using Crankbaits
A common mistake when fishing with crankbaits is not setting the hook properly. Without a good hookset, you’ll likely end up losing your catch.
To set the hook when using crankbaits, wait until you feel a solid pull on your rod before reeling in any slack. Once you feel tension, quickly snap your wrist upward while reeling in the line. This motion should drive the hook into the fish’s mouth. Be sure not to yank too hard or you may risk breaking the line or ripping the hook out of the fish’s mouth.
If you’re having trouble getting a good hookset, consider switching to a stiffer rod or upgrading your fishing line. Both can help improve your chances of successfully catching more fish.
“You never know what’s going to happen when you cast that little bait into the unknown.” – Joe Peterson
Crankbaits are an exciting way to fish, but they do require some skill and practice to get right. By learning how to deal with snags, adjusting your lure to changing conditions, and setting the hook correctly, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of success on your next trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a crankbait and how does it work?
A crankbait is a fishing lure designed to mimic the swimming motion of a baitfish. It has a diving lip that causes it to dive when retrieved and creates a wobbling action. The wobbling motion attracts predatory fish and triggers them to strike. The size and shape of the lip determine the depth and speed at which the lure dives. The hooks are positioned to catch fish when they strike the lure.
What are the different types of crankbaits and when should they be used?
There are several types of crankbaits, including shallow, medium, and deep divers. Shallow divers are used in depths up to 6 feet, medium divers in depths up to 12 feet, and deep divers in depths up to 20 feet or more. Lipless crankbaits are used in shallow water with weeds or rocky bottoms. Squarebill crankbaits are ideal for fishing around cover. Different colors and patterns are also used in different water and light conditions.
What kind of equipment is needed for crankbait fishing?
When fishing with crankbaits, you need a medium to medium-heavy rod with a fast action tip. A reel with a high gear ratio is needed to retrieve the lure quickly. Monofilament or fluorocarbon line is recommended. A variety of crankbaits in different sizes, shapes, and colors are needed to match the conditions. Needle-nose pliers are needed to remove hooks from fish. Polarized sunglasses are helpful for spotting fish and structure in the water.
How do you choose the right color crankbait for the conditions?
The color of the crankbait should match the natural prey in the water. In clear water, natural colors such as silver, gold, and brown are effective. In stained or murky water, bright colors such as chartreuse or orange are more visible. The light conditions also play a role in color selection. On sunny days, brighter colors are more visible, while on cloudy days, darker colors are more effective. Experimenting with different colors and patterns can help determine what works best in specific conditions.
What are some tips for retrieving and fishing crankbaits effectively?
Varying the speed and depth of the retrieve can trigger fish to strike. Jerking or twitching the rod tip can create an erratic action that mimics an injured baitfish. Bouncing the lure off rocks or structure can also attract fish. Pay attention to the feel of the lure and set the hook when you feel a fish strike. When fishing around cover, use a slow and steady retrieve to avoid getting snagged.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when fishing with crankbaits?
One common mistake is using the wrong size or type of crankbait for the conditions. Another mistake is retrieving the lure too quickly or too slowly. Setting the hook too early or too late can also result in missed strikes. Not paying attention to the feel of the lure or the surroundings can lead to getting snagged or losing fish. It’s important to be patient and persistent, and to adapt to changing conditions to be successful with crankbait fishing.