How to fish with crankbait lures for bass

How to fish with crankbait lures for bass

Ready to learn how to bait for bass? You may be looking for “How to Crank Lure Fishing” online as spring and summer are two main seasons for crank fishing.

Crank bait can be one of the most effective types of fishing lures because it allows you to cover a large area of ​​water in a short amount of time. In other words, they are great bait when you want to “survey” the bass or determine where the fish are staying during a period of time. Now is a good time to renew your fishing license and discover the fun of crank fishing.

What are crankbaits?

Crank baits are fishing lures that mimic different types of bait fish and have a plastic lip or line on the front that allows the bait to run at a certain depth. When learning how to fish with crank baits, there are three basic types of crank baits that you should familiarize yourself with.

  • Flat running crank baits. These crank baits have square plastic bills and run to depths of about 5 feet or less.
  • Middle crank bait. Run at depths of 8 to 12 feet and have round plastic bills.
  • Deep diving crank baits. Crank baits that have long, round plastic bills and run at depths of 12 feet or more.

Since many waterways have different depths and different types of structures, it is a good idea to keep a variety of crank baits in your tackle box that run at multiple depth ranges.

Steps to Crankbait Fishing

Just like when choosing other types of fishing bait, be sure to use a crank bait that reaches the same depth as a natural baitfish and is similar to the type of baitfish found in that particular habitat. It is not difficult to learn how to fish with crank bait. All you need to do is gather some information about where you want to fish.

  1. Determine the water depth. Once you know the approximate depth, you can choose a crank bait that will reach the right part of the water column.
  2. Pay close attention to the type of bait fish you see in the lake, reservoir, river, or pond you plan to fish in. Are there large populations of shade? Or do you see wild glimmers floating around the vegetation? Choose a crank bait that is most similar to the type of bait fish you notice.
  3. Choose the best fishing line for your chosen crank bait. The monofilament line is best when using shallow diving crank baits as it floats. The fluorocarbon fishing line is more appropriate when fishing deeper areas because the fluorocarbon line will sink.
  4. Make sure you have a rod and reel that are suitable for crank bait fishing. A medium-heavy 7-foot rod paired with a reel with a slower gear ratio (approx. 5: 1). The slower gear ratio will keep you from reeling in too fast and will help you get your crank bait to the depth required.

These are just a few basic guidelines that you can use to learn how to fish with crank bait. See the Freshwater Fishing Lures section to learn about other types of freshwater lures like jigs or spoons.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.