Crankbait Lures

Expert Author Amber McClellan

There are many crankbait lures and designs. They generally look like some sort of bait fish or crawfish. There are "lipless" crankbaits. They are typically more productive in weed and rock structure.

Typically crankbaits for largemouth bass should be 2-5 inches. Crankbaits are one of the most lifelike lures you can use. Fall is my favorite time to use crankbaits, especially shad and crawfish crankbaits. The bigger the lip on the crankbait, the deeper it will dive. I believe it's best to use heavier line (1214 lb. test) when using shallow running crankbaits, and lighter line (8lb. test) for deeprunning crankbaits. A lot of professionals will use 2025 lb. test when fishing shallowrunning crankbaits. One important thing is you want to make sure that the crankbait is running straight. I like to pause often when retrieving the crankbait, since it produces me more strikes. I also find it more productive to mainly retrieve the crankbait by pulling it in with the pole and reeling in the slack on the pause.

Shallow running crankbaits in summer are great. I have particularly caught a lot of bass using the Rebel Crawfish. Its important to remember to pick your size of crankbait according to generally how big the bait fish are in your location. Bass will often stick to one size. You'll want several sizes of the same crankbait and make sure you have crankbaits that run at different depths. Its a good idea to have some suspending crankbaits around that will stay at one depth when you stop reeling in. Some people like to use a wire snap. I like to just use a swivvle snap to connect my crankbaits to the line. They are quick for changing out crankbaits for example if you wanted to try a different size, depth, or color.

Top water crankbaits: 
-I like to use injured shad top water crankbaits.

Shallow running crankbaits: 
-Shallow diving crankbaits are either short-lipped crankbaits or lipless crankbaits.

Short-lipped crankbaits: 
-Most only dive 1-3 feet.

-I recommend thin crankbaits with flat sides in cold water, and rounder crankbaits that wobble in warmer water. -Some short-lipped crankbaits are long and skinny and some are short and fat. 
-Short-lipped crankbaits float when stopped. They should be fished slow.

Lipless Crankbaits: 
-I recommend using lipless crankbaits in shallow water, with a fast retrieve. -You can also let lipless crankbaits sink and fish for suspended bass. 
-You can get ones that sink or float at rest. Most of them sink.

Medium divers or mid-water crankbaits: 
-Medium divers go from about 5-12 feet deep.

Deep diving crankbaits: 
-These crankbaits can go down to 30 feet. They are most productive at 20 feet. You can use deep diving crankbaits for largemouth but I don't recommend it. I'd just stick to the jig & pig lures.

Things to remember about crankbaits: 
-The bigger the lip the deeper the crankbait will go. 
-The lip just determines how deep the lure will go. Some float and when you reel it in, they go down to what the lip is set for. 
-Some sink. The ones that sink will usually sink at a rate of one foot per second. So, if you know how deep the fish are these are great. 
-When picking your color and size of crankbait try to match what the body of watre your fishing on has to offer as far as bait fish and such. -Use natural colors in clear water and bright colors in dark water.

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