Crankbaits are one of my favorite multi-species lures, but they don’t perform unless you use them properly. It’s key to set your crankbait at the correct depth, or in a tough bite or with less-aggressive fish, fish won’t chase it. Use your electronics to mark the location of fish, then put the crankbait in their zone.
The author says he enjoys using crankbaits when fishing for bass and walleyes.
We also need to match crankbaits with conditions. The size of your lure is important, and remember that its lip and body design imparts a specific vibration that triggers a strike. Fish feel a crankbait vibrate through their lateral line, but don’t forget the sight factor. A crankbait has an amazing profile, and that profile is a real factor in generating strikes.
During a tougher bite, use a smaller crankbait. Weather and fishing pressure play important roles here. Once you determine the size and style of crankbaits that fish demand, fine-tune your selection with color. Color is a major ingredient in catching fish, and it’s especially important when trying to match food sources. Sometimes we’ll see different conditions within the same lake, so be willing to change colors on the fly!
In dark water, use a larger crankbait. This produces a bigger silhouette that fish can see, and that means strikes.
People always ask for specific lures, and for walleye fishing, I employ Shad Raps, and the Rapala DT series performs well for bass.
Don’t just cast crankbaits, try them trolling, too. When trolling cranks, go in an S-pattern, stop, slowly pick up speed, then reverse the process. Apply those same rules with a cast and retrieve. Use a stop-and-go strategy, especially along a weed edge. When fishing walleyes (and bass) adjacent to structure and weedlines, you’ll find that fish will reposition themselves as sunlight and food sources change.
Good luck and keep on crankin’!
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