How to Fish a Crankbait – Useful Tips for All Seasons

Crankbaits have a reputation of catching all kinds of fishes in any season. Whether in summer or winter, these particular lures will have no problem catching a fish or two. Crankbaits work best in catching predatory fishes, the kind that preys on other smaller fish. 

You could tell the lure is a crankbait based on its extended plastic lip. I prefer to use this kind of lure because it can go down the water to at least 20 feet or more.

You should know that there are four major types of crankbaits available. The Shallow Divers are lures used for water depths of around two to eight feet. But the Squarebills only works on a maximum water level of five feet.

These two are ideal for fishing in the dock areas, those around rocks, submerged woods and shallow grass patches. On the other hand, I used medium divers when fishing on the water with depths below 10 feet. Anything deeper than that and I will have to use a deep diver.

Things That You Will Need

Aside from the crankbaits, you will need several fishing lines, cranking gear, and modifying hooks. Here are the specific requirements you will need for each one.

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    Crankbaits

If you are looking for a bigger fish to catch, use crankbaits as a lure. They can tempt any kind of fish that can other eat species such as baitfish or crayfish. Crankbaits can put these predatory fishes into a feeding frenzy which is why these lures are very popular among anglers.

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    Fishing Lines

The diameter and size of the fishing line will determine how deep your lure can go. This is important because you can gauge what kind of fish you can catch based on lure’s depth. Just remember if you want the crankbait to dive deeper, use thinner fishing lines.

The type of fishing line also determines how deep your crankbait can go. Remember, you need a stretchable line which means braided lines are out. This particular line’s lack of stretch is the reason why fishes find it easier to get off the hook.

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    Cranking Gears

Specific rods and reels will only work on certain crankbaits. Knowing which one to use will help you have more successful catches.

You will need a reel that could handle a long line for better casting distance. A gear ratio of around 5.4:1 is perfect for crankbaits. This particular gear ratio helps you to cast the baits slower while giving you more power retrieving the catch.

Pick a rod that’s long enough for you to cast at a great distance that will allow the crankbait to dive at its maximum depth. Typically, you need a rod between seven to eight feet.

You need an action rod that will make the lure dive to its deepest depth. Choose a medium-heavy rod with moderate action because they provide a balanced backbone and it’s flexible enough. 

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    Hooks

There are various types of treble hooks that you can use for your crankbaits. You can cast a lure shallower or deeper based on the weight and thickness of the treble hook.

Bear in mind, that using the wrong hook for a particular crankbait will unlikely catch you any fish. Experiment with different types and sizes to see which one works for your lures.

Steps on How to Fish a Crankbait

1. Choose the Right Crankbait

As mentioned earlier, there are four types of crankbaits for different water depths. A squarebill and shallow diver is perfect for underwater depths of five to eight feet. Use the medium diver for depths deeper than that but below 10 feet.

The deep diver is reserved for really deep waters just like the ones shown on the video.


2. Technique for Each Type of Crankbaits

Don’t be concern about the shallow divers getting hung up. Of course, they do tend to hang up but if you reel them quickly, this won’t be a problem. The deflection is an invitation for the fishes that the lure is there for the taking.

For fishing holes that has a depth of lesser than 10 feet, cast the medium diver at least 10 feet long. The lure will drop to the bottom of the water but it will stir the fishes and trigger a strike.

Sinking the deep diver down the bottom will require some effort. But once you are successful, the deflection or change in the retrieve will alert you of a bite. 


3. Adjust Your Angling Techniques for Each Season

In the Spring, the water is warm enough for you to do some faster cranking actions. The stop-and-go retrieve can also work.

Many large fishes in lakes will go to shallow waters, getting ready to spawn. A shallow diver such as a red crankbait with a fast retrieve will appear as an appealing crawfish to your prey.

Summer is the time where the water really warms up the metabolism of your target fish. You will need a deep diver since most of your targets are located there. You also need to it crank real fast once you get a bite.

Fall is the best time to catch fish with a crankbait. The baitfish is at its most active state which lures the predatory fish to hunt them down. A shad designed or white crankbait with a fast retrieve is perfect lure for cover water. Exercise patience until you find a good fishing spot.

In winter, you need a flat-sided crankbait with a slow and steady retrieve. Any wide lure is unlikely to work because of the cold temperature.

Additional Tips

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    Don’t forget to check your crankbait before casting the line. Sometimes a lure could be defective, damaged or gets strayed from catching a lot of fish. But straightening out a crankbait is a task you could do. All you need is some needle-nose pliers to tune the errant lure. 
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    Adjust the crooked crankbait line to the reverse direction where you want the lure to go. For example. If the lure is veering towards the left, turn the line towards the right.
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    Not all fishing lines are suitable for fishing using crankbaits. The braided and monofilament lines float in the water. On the other hand, fluorocarbon lines sink easily to the water. Braided lines are the worst for crankbaits since they don’t have that much stretch.
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    I used Monofilament for shallow water, especially around grass lines. For deeper waters, I prefer the fluorocarbon line. It has minimal stretching and sinking properties suitable for deep water fishing.
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    There are various rod actions you could choose from. But the best for crankbaits is the Fiberglass composite rod since it has the balance power for both casting and cranking.

Conclusion

Crankbaits are popular because you can use it in any season. They work well in shallow and deep waters. These kinds of lures are effective in catching predatory fishes.

In order to fully take advantage of them, you need to have each type in your tackle box. You also need to keep several types of fishing lines, crank gears, and hooks suited for each crankbait and season.

I hope this article on how to use crankbaits helps enrich your fishing experience. Please share your thoughts, ideas, or comments with regards to crankbaits on the comment section below.

John Morris
 

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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