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Thread: How to choose a crankbait

  1. #1

    Default How to choose a crankbait

    When does a crankbait work over other baits? I know it sounds like an odd question, but is there a time when you go to it first?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    I generally like them most when water temps are up and they are activly feeding on bait.
    2017 Ironman winner
    2019 Polar Bear winner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blacksburg, VA (for now)


    I agree w/ Carl in part - when fish are actively chasing baitfish a crankbait can be deadly. I have the most success crankin' when water temps are 45-55. A squarebill or medium runner can be deadly in early spring as fish are starting to come up. In the fall, when temps drop below 65 or so, that same squarebill crankbait can once again be the go-to presentation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Ashburn, VA


    oh Rodney, you ask a question that is very deep.

    1) what is a crankbait? The answer I use is with one you cast out and crank in. So, it might have a bill, it might be a chatter, a spinnerbait, an arig, a swimjig, a jerkbait, and to blow yours and others mind, a biffle rig and a heavy football jig that is just cast out and let to hit bottom, then swam in, bouncing its way in (biffle rig is this too).

    2) typically crankbaits mean those balsa or plastic lures under the crankbait section of Tacklewarehouse. I can go with that, but the nuances are interesting to people like me

    3) So, there are people who fish the TW version of a crankbait in all temps, from 30's to whatever. The colder, then typically the tighter the wobble (more subtle as its cold and a wide wobble would not be a natural looking presentation, but hold that thought...even the best crankbait fisherman have their own theories and to be the best student, you have to read them all and make your own decisions.

    4) You need to understand the ongoing biology of the lake/river/pond you are fishing as Carl hints at. What is the predominant forage and how do various bass feed? I have discovered that if you fish under blueback herring schools on Lake Anna you can catch a ton of different species. LMB will select and even behave very pelagic-ally. All the Striper guys catch big LMB trolling for Stripers. If you read books about identifying fish based on how they school and how they associate to their prey, Stripers for example will be level with a school, while LMB will be below and slash up. What do alot of Striper guys complain about catching as they troll on Lake Anna for Stripers? CATFISH. They love to follow baitfish pods. They can follow by their smell (fish poop right?)....Aaron Martins was famously out with a writer and suddenly stopped his boat as they were running up a lake and when asked why, he said he could smell the shad!!!

    Summary - I know, lots of deets, many more I didn't take on things????? Stay OPEN MINDED in this sport. In reality, very very few people actually know WHY a bass hit their lure. There are biologist who will say there is no such thing as a "reaction strike". I happen to believe this (drum roll please): Sometimes you have to fish really slow to catch them and sometimes really fast and manytimes inbetween. DO NOT GET HABITUAL in this sport. Everytime out when you find a pod of active bass, take a moment to quit catching them and try a few different techniques to see how they react. The famous Guntersville ledge fishing pattern is all about crankbaits right? Or is it? its also often about bucktail jigs, flutter spoons and other deeper swimbaits.....There is a theme in professional bass fisherman that is like this: You can be the master of a technique and thrive on being the best at it (re: Denny Brauer, The Lane Brothers, even KVD is a moving bait specialist as I have read he wants to learn the 5 minute jig retrieve for cold water bass, etc). So, tie on a DD22 in 45 degree water in a lake with a large Gizzard Shad population and hold on, you won't catch many, but it may be the fish of a lifetime..

    Read everything you can by a true CB specialist, I would start with Tommy Horton....

    Good luck on your path to being a better fisherman...We are all on that same path...

    2011/2013 St Jude's Charity Tournament Champion
    Bass East Big Bass Challenge winner of 11-12 and 12-1 hours.

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