Have you ever tried fishing with crankbaits? In this tutorial, I will cover how to use crankbait to help you understand how to fish with crankbaits successfully. It is a favorite type of fishing lure used by many anglers to catch different species of fish especially the big predatory fish.
Crankbaits imitate baitfish and can be very productive all year round, if and when used in the proper manner. If you are not getting any bites on your crankbait, then you are probably fishing the wrong depth. For a beginner in using a crankbait, get yourself a collection of shallow, medium and deep diver crankbaits, when you go out fishing.
Table of Contents
What Does A CrankBait look Like?
These lures come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The have these characteristics in common:
Lip or Bill at the front: It is designed this way so as to help the bait to plane through the water and go down to a certain depth. Different crankbaits have a particular depth reach.
Always know the depth you will be fishing and carry the type of lure that will give you scope to that particular depth. When you are retrieving the bait, the lip will cause it to dive beneath the surface.
Two big treble hooks: The hooks hung from the bottom of the lure. You can attach hooks of different sizes to the bait, to ensnare your desired fish. You may tend to think that this disposition will lead to the lure getting snagged.
However, the design of crankbait is to travel with the head as the bill goes in, first. It, therefore, protects the hooks from getting snagged in cover. With treble hooks, the fish usually do the hook setting for you.
A spectrum of colors: Crankbaits come in a variety of colors. I wouldn’t say that a particular color works better than others as all crankbaits work. Sometimes bright colored baits work better, and other times it is the camouflaged ones.
It all depends on what the fish want on that day.
Importance Of Depth
You cannot hope to catch fish even with the “best” bait if you are fishing the wrong depth. Crankbaits can be used to fish, just below the surface and even depths of below 20 feet. How deep your lure will run depends on:
- The design of the lure: the bigger and longer the bill of your lure is, the deeper it will dive. Big bills in a lure result in a wider wobble as opposed to smaller bills. Large crankbaits will dive deeper into the water and also move faster.
- Line Size and your retrieving speed: for the bait to go deeper then you need to use a lighter line, longer casts and move slowly. A lightweight line of at least 10 pounds will give depth control.
If you opt to use a high stretch line, then, you lower the chances of the fish throwing out the treble hooks.
Knowing the depth at which your lure will run is more important that the choice of color of the bait. Fish will always relate to structure or cover, but they may be at different depths. Choose a lure that will run the depth of the location of the fish and let your bait knock and bump around the cover.
You need to master how to maneuver around obstacles do as not to snag your line. You use your bait to draw the fish from their hiding, and out into the open. Squarebill and shallow divers, crankbaits, work well around shallow cover.
Throw them around submerged wood, rocks, etc., and retrieve them fast. They are less likely to hang up as compared to the other types. As the lure deflects from a hard object, it will cause a reaction from the fish. Its body and lip usually absorb the impact posed by the deflection.
CrankBait Fishing Hacking Tips
When fishing with a crankbait, you only have to adopt pretty simple techniques; you cast out your line far and crank it once you get a bite. Here are few hacking tips to help you catch more fish with crankbaits effectively:
1. Keep The Tip Of Your Fishing Rod Low To The Water
Always hold the tip of your rod close to the water and at a 45o angle. This way, you will be able to drive the hooks down into the mouth of the fish and getting yourself a solid hookup once the fish strikes.
If the water is very shallow, then, this is an exception where you can use a high stick for your crankbait. It will help you avoid getting snagged in areas with thick vegetation cover. By placing your rod at an angle of 45o from the target, you increase your chances of landing a strike.
It is so because, in this position, the fish are more likely to get both hooks in their mouth. You will then have an extra 45o to lean in, set the hook and fight the fish.
2. Move The Bait Around
Crankbaits work best when in contact with solid edges. Once you cast your line and get it to touch with solid edges or cover; bump the lure around, knock it off stumps, etc. It will result in the bait stopping and darting around erratically.
It will coax out the fish that are in hiding and cause a reaction strike. If in that area there was a school of fish, once one gets stirred, the rest of the school gets fired up. Keep it in contact with the cover to draw out the fish.
To keep your bait from getting snagged in areas with thick cover, use a lure with a large lip.
3. Reel In Right
Once you feel a “pop” or “stop” on your crankbait, sweep to the side and slowly reel in your catch. Pause once in awhile as you reel in. If you feel a shake on the bait, pause, let the fish do as it likes, when it stops, continue reeling it in.
Remember to keep steady pressure on the fish. Most expert anglers use reels of 4:1 or 5: 1 gear ratio. It provides them with more power for cranking in big fish and also helps to slow down the bait.
Ensure that your choice, of fishing reel, has enough line capacity so as to be able to make longer casts. Move your rod properly so as to limit play, once you get a strike and reel in the fish slowly.
The outlined tips will help you on how to use crankbait, to be useful in your fishing. Crankbaits are useful contact lures. You need to bump them around, knock it off stumps to make it move in erratic motion.
The crankbaits’ erratic movement will result in a reaction from the fish around. They are great baits for predatory fish and are designed in a way that they resemble minnows, worms or even crayfish.
For you to be successful at fishing with crankbaits, always know the depth of the fish and use a lure whose descent matches this. Remember, the longer and wider the bill of your crankbait, the deeper it will sink.
Try using the above tips and tricks to get more bites on your crankbaits. Let us know of your experience.