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Ultimate Crankbait guide for catching bass

Crankbaits: The Ultimate Bass Fishing Lure

A Guide For Using Crankbaits To Catch Bass: Everything You Need To Kow

My entire life I have been bass fishing. My father would take me to fish the local ponds, and we would always catch bass. My dad always swore by a blue mirror Rapala crankbait. I always thought this was just a preference that my father preferred. Little did I know that a crankbait is one of the preferred lures of most bass anglers, amateur and professional. Crankbaits allow all anglers to be able to cover a larger area when fishing and different water depths need to find the fish. This makes it a useful and versatile lure that can be fished in any water depth, temperature, terrain or water clarity.


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The beauty of Crankbait lures, is they come in so many different shapes and sizes. The crankbaits body shape and widths help determine how much movement these lures will have in the water. Most crankbaits feature a one of a kind lip bill that gauges the different depths it will dive. There are just three different types of crankbait that should be fished at various depths: shallow crankbait, medium diving crankbait, and the deep diving crankbait. This depth at which these crankbaits dive determined on their bill style. The shallow running crankbaits often have a square bill. These are perfect for fishing the shallows around docks and banks. If you give a crankbait at least a 1" bill, then it will dive to medium depths. This is often perfect for fishing ledges, Deeper trees or a rock bed. The Deep divers have the largest bill of all crankbaits. These lures are known to reach depths of 30 to 40 feet deep.

The best thing about crankbaits is they will catch bass all year. Often time colors of the lure will be better for certain seasons as compared to others. Bass anglers often fish crankbaits a lot in the summer months when bass are the most active. In this blog, we take the time to go over each kind of crankbait in more depth and provide all anglers with a guide for picking the best crankbait for their next fishing trip.

Shallow Running Crankbaits

Because of the turnover of the lake in the fall and spring, it often pushes the bass into the shallows. The warmer water rises pushing, the colder water deeper. The bass will follow the warm water into the shallows making them prime targets for shallow running crankbaits. One of the best crankbaits to use during this time is a square bill. The square bill crankbait can be retrieved slowly when the water is cold but recommended fast retrieval through thick debris, weed beds and stumps and logs when the water is warmer. This fast retrieval allows for it to deflect off the stumps and logs to imitate baitfish flashing in the water when it bumps off the debris.

Most anglers like to pair their spinner baits with a square bill crankbait for that change up one-two punch. It ultimately depends on the weather and water conditions of when you fish what. The spinnerbait or better known as a blade bait is the lure of choice when the weather is suspect. On cloudy, windy days you can not go wrong with a blade bait. When it's sunny always use a square bill crankbait. The square bill is the lure of choice when the water is murky. The flash from the lure will always attract curious fish.

Now that you know when to fish the shallow water crankbait, what should you fish it on? My setup includes a Bass Pro Shops Tourney Special Rod and Reel Baitcast Combo. This set up has always satisfied my bass fishing needs. I often use 15 to 20-pound mono line made by ViciousBy choosing a little bit stronger of a line, it will handle the lure better. 

Medium Diving Crankbaits And When To Use Them

In the spring when the waters start to warm from freezing to 40-50 degree water the medium diving crankbaits are the best lure to use. These lures are some of the best to use when pre-spawn bass to rocky shorelines or shallow water. Depending on certain water conditions help determine what shape of crankbait you should use. In clear water, a flat style crankbait should be utilized. These produce a clean, fast movement that will trigger a response from most bass. In cloudy or murky water a wide crankbait that produces the greatest amount of wobble should be used.

The way the crankbait wobble is a clear determinate of the large mouths prey.  A large slow wobble across the bottom is a movement that often resembles a crawfish. It the lure wobbles fasts and tight then the bass may think of it as a shad. By know this you can know the speed and depth at which the lure should be retrieved at. Often another determinate is line strength. The smaller pound test allows for the crankbait to dive deeper so when using a medium diving crank bait ofter the test of choice is 10lb to 15lb.

Deep Diving Crankbaits In The Summer Months

Bass often head deep after spawning. They head deep in search of baitfish. They will often start feeling on baitfish known as shad. Because of this behavior, it is imperative to fish for bass with deepwater crankbaits in the summer months. Often anglers will search for specific targets to fish in the lake such as ledges and drop-off points. In these summer months as the water warms the bass often head toward the bottom. Target is throwing your crankbait near stumps, logs, brush piles and any other structure that can be found in deep water. Often when your crankbait deflects off the structure in the deeper water, it will cause the bass to take notice and increase your hook-up chances.

To ensure the crankbait dives to its deepest potential, a  long cast is required. The line thickness also plays into affect on how deep it will dive. The thinner the line, often the deeper the lure will travel. Another thing that affects crankbaits are the lips. The larger the lip often, the deeper it will dive.

Crankbait depths

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No matter what kind of crankbait you are using, we are confident that you will enjoy a long day of fishing. By using a crankbait, it will increase the number of hits you receive as well as increase your hook up ratio. We hope that you found this information to be useful and will help you on your next bass fishing tip. 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below or email us at Send us your best photos of bass caught on crankbaits to be featured on our social media pages.  



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