Crankbaits in detail fall under the category of power fishing lures, because of how much water you can cover with them in a short amount of time. This is a significant advantage to fishermen looking to locate and catch fish quickly, like tournament anglers for example.
Selecting the best crankbait is a more involved process than with most other bass lures. There are many factors to consider on these baits. But the most important factor is how deep do you want it to dive. Crankbaits can run from just barely below the surface to as deep as twenty feet.
Crankbaits in detail classification isn’t black and white, but we still need to break them up. How else would we talk about them? We’ll start with shallow runners then dive a little deeper.
Shallow diving crankbaits perform best in around one to four feet of water. The lips on these models are small, and create very little resistance against the water when retrieved. This is what keeps them running shallow while still giving them a wobbling action. The line attaches to the nose on shallow divers, which also keeps them running shallow.
Shallow diving crankbaits perform best in around one to four feet of water.
Shallow diving crankbaits are ideal for working shorelines that have gradual slopes. They are the best crankbait for targeting boat docks, fallen trees, and other cover that is typically found in shallow water.
Medium divers are best used on drop-offs, between shorelines and the deeper parts of the lake. They are great on sunny days when bass go a little deeper to escape the sun, or to find cooler water.
The crankbaits shape dictates how you should present the lure to bass. Since wide wobbling crankbaits best imitate crawfish, you should crank your plug down to the bottom to deflect it off the rocks. Retrieving a thin-sided crankbait at high speeds triggers strikes from staging bass.
…wide wobbling crankbaits best imitate crawfish…
When the water temperature rises into the low 50’s. Work the shad-imitating crankbait over the tops and around the edges of standing timber and along windy banks where baitfish are present.
Deep diving crankbaits can get down as deep at twenty feet. These baits are a little more advanced than the shallower running models though.
Key targets for deep cranking include ledges, humps, bluff-ends and channel-swing points.
Key targets for deep cranking include ledges, humps, bluff-ends and channel-swing points. As the water warms, bass will move closer to the bottom. Check your electronics to find any sweet spot (logs, brush piles, shell beds, big boulders, etc.) on the structure and try to run your crankbait into it. Deflecting your crankbait off the sweet spot will trigger more strikes.
Making a long cast past your target will enable the crankbait to dive deep enough to hit the sweet spot in the middle of your retrieve. Since line diameter affects a crankbait’s diving capability, use thinner line such as 10 to 12 lb test Fluorocarbon to enable your plugs to reach depths of 20 to 25 feet.
Lipless crankbaits are much different looking than conventional crankbaits. Mainly because they don’t have a lip to create their action. They have a very tight wobble that is better described as a vibrating action.
…excellent for fishing in grass, since they travel quickly and can be ripped through the vegetation…
Since tight wobbles are better in cold water, these are very well known for being great cold water baits. They are also excellent for fishing in grass, since they travel quickly and can be ripped through the vegetation much easier.
But with a lipless crankbait it’s more of a vibrating action than a wobble, some anglers actually call them vibrating baits. The action is more similar to a blade bait than a crankbait.