A crankbait is a fishing lure that has an offset weight on the bottom, making it swim in a horizontal position. The fisherman can retrieve the lure by reeling in line until the bait makes contact with the water again. Crankbaits are used for catching fish such as bass or walleye because they have mouths that are shaped to be open at all times and scoop up prey from below. These baits come in many shapes and sizes depending on what type of fish you want to catch. The bigger crankbaits are used to catch big fish like muskies and pike.
The shorter ones are used for catching trout and bass. For each type of fish, there is a specific color that you want to use.
For example, if you were fishing with crankbaits using nightcrawlers as bait, you would want to go with a different color than the daytime. In the daytime, it’s best to use bright colored crankbaits while at night use dark colors like black or brown.
Why use crankbaits?
Crankbaits attract fish by fooling their lateral line system. Fish have a series of pores along the sides of their bodies that detect changes in pressure and movement. The vibrations and splashes from a crankbait trigger these sensors and cause the fish to strike at the “bait”.
What kind of crankbaits are there?
There are three basic kinds of crankbaits: lipless, rattling, and suspending. Lipless crankbaits have a bill but don’t rattle or wobble. Rattling crankbaits make noise when the retrieve is changed. Suspending lures (also called diving or sub-diving lures) have a weight molded into the body that allows them to dive below the surface when cast and retrieved, and suspend once they reach a certain depth.
What size crankbait should I use?
This question is like asking what size tire you should use on your car. It all depends on what you want to do. The most common crankbait sizes used are 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 ounce for freshwater use. You can go smaller or larger depending on your needs, but these three weights will cover the majority of situations.
For deep water, fishing use a large size (over 3/4 ounce). For fishing in heavy cover or other snag-infested areas use a small size (1/32 to 1/8 ounce).
How should I rig my crankbait?
This is another very common question. The answer depends on what you want to do with the lure. If you’re fishing spinnerbaits, jigs, or buzz baits then you want to rig your crankbait on a drop shot rig. This will allow the bait to twitch on the fall and give it more action on the slackline.
If you’re fishing with other types of lures then it’s best to use what is called a Carolina Rig. To do this you need to use a heavy-duty swivel about 8 inches up from the lure, then tie on a leader line using an Improved Clinch Knot. Next tie on another swivel slightly larger than the first. After that attach your mainline to the top swivel and your hook or jig to the bottom one. This gives you a highly versatile rig that can be used with many types of lures.
Where should I use crankbaits?
There are a number of different ways to fish a crankbait, but they all depend on where you want the lure to go. For example, if you’re fishing vegetation it’s best to have your line going through the center of the entire length of line between you and the lure. This will help prevent snagging on anything since you’ll be able to pull up at any time without having to worry about reels or other items. If you’re fishing open water then it’s best to keep your line near the surface so that fish can see it better.
How do I fish a crankbait?
Fishing with a crankbait is one of the easiest methods to use. A crankbait fishes best when it is (minimally) allowed to run 1-3 feet deep, but can be run as deep as 4-6 feet. Typically speaking the deeper you fish crankbaits, the more strikes you will get and fewer bites. But you must remember that if you run your crankbaits too deep, the fish will miss your lure more.
You can also fish a crankbait vertically or with a jigging technique. For vertical jigging simply allow your bait to sink and then pop it up 1-4 inches off the bottom, then drop it back down. Keep your rod tip high when jigging this way.
Use the stop-n-go method
This is one of the most effective ways to fish crankbaits. Cast out your lure and let it sink to the desired depth, slightly raising your rod tip so that the bait pauses. Then pop your rod tip back down and reel the lure to the surface where you then repeat the process. This is very effective for bass, northern pike, musky, walleye, etc.
Similar to vertical jigging, crankbaits can be used to mimic a fleeing prey fish by rolling the bait in the water column. This is often used when trying to imitate an injured or fleeing baitfish. Simply pop your rod tip up and reel down, then repeat in a fast-rolling motion until you get back to the boat or near where you are fishing.
Another way to fish crankbaits is with a Carolina rig. This method is most effective when fishing shallow water, weed lines, oyster bars, etc. (more about Carolina fishing rig)
A more commonly used method (for rigs) is the Texas rig. This rigging system is very similar to the Carolina rig in that you will be using swivels and monofilament lines, but mainly for bass fishing, you will use a bullet weight rather than a round one.
Fishing crankbaits is fun and one of the most versatile ways to fish for almost any species. They can be fished in a variety of ways and under almost all weather conditions. If you don’t have a lot of money, they are also very affordable and will last for many seasons if you take good care of them. I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to fish crankbaits and whether you should use them or not.
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