Probably my personal favorite type of fishing lure, crankbaits are an excellent way to locate fish. When it comes to bass fishing, as I have said before, worms may work better to catch bigger fish, but crankbaits are easier and faster to work, thus giving you a better chance to find the fish. I love being able to canvas a half mile shorline in just a half hour or so. And don’t be mislead, crankbaits are very enticing baits, especially to largemouth bass. The bass in the photo here I personally caught on a ghost (white) colored, bomber suspending fat free shad. That fish came in at about 22 inches long.
Crankbaits Make, Size and Shape
Crankbaits tend to be short, wide and have a violent wobble. Their main bodies are made of either cedar or balsa wood, or of hard or foamed plastic. Crankbaits will have a lip, and the length, width and angle of that lip will determine how deep the crankbait will swim. Crankbait depths can be as little as 1-2 feet for shallow crankbaits, all the way up to 20 feet in some cases. Generally, bass fisherman like to use crankbaits that are 2 to 4 inches in length. In this regard, I am very similar, my favorite crankbaits are about 2 to 3 inches in length.
The standard crankbait will float on top of the water, and then dive as you begin to retrieve. Retrieve fast will cause the crankbait to dive to its lowest depth, while a slow retrieve will run the crankbait at a higher depth. However, some crankbaits are made to sink, and some, like the Bomber I talked you about above, are suspending, and therefore offer a great opportunity for stop and start retrieves, maintaining a certain desired depth.
Lure color always seems to be a heated debate amongst anglers. The color of the crainkbait that works the best on one day, may not work as well on another day. But for simplicity’s sake, when you are fishing clear water, natural or medium colored crankbaits will tend to work better. But if you are in murky water, brighter, or more vibrant colors will typically produce better results.
My favorite crankbait colors for catching bass are white and white with a splash of dark yellow. I generally fish lakes that have fairly clear water, and these lures are pretty natural in their appearance. I have had the most success fishing with white crankbaits that dive to 4 to 12 feet deep. Again, you need know what areas and depths you are fishing, in addition to know the temperature of the water, so that you can have an idea of where the fish will be, and at what depth they will be.
To sum it up, crankbaits are a great way to cover a lot of water in a very short period of time. They are used by many, many anglers including professionals, and have yielded some very nice catches. Crankbaits are simple because you don’t need any weights or complicated rigging, just tie them on to the end of your line, cast, and retrieve. Often, there isn’t any need for complicated retrieve, just simply cast, and retrieve at a set pace for the desired depth of the crankbait. And just to reiterate, I have probably caught more fish on crankbaits than any other type of lure…