Both for professional bass anglers and those who engage in crankbait fishing for recreational purposes, summertime is unarguably the best time to go bass fishing for obvious reasons. For starters, this period marks the end of the bass spawning season. Hence, they migrate in droves looking for food from shallow to deep waters. Due to their population at this time, they tend to be more aggressive in their search for food, and are more likely to be caught chasing baits like crankbaits.
Before embarking on a fishing expedition, there are 2 factors you need to take into consideration: the depth of the water and where you intend to fish (open waters like rivers, or lakes/reservoirs). These factors will help determine the type of fishing gear you should carry along. Many bass fishermen will tell you that a crankbait is the best bait you can use for bass fishing in any depth of water. This is because they act as natural “lures” for bass, resulting in a higher productivity ratio for those who use them in bass fishing.
Basic tips for selecting crankbaits
The ability to identify the different types of crankbaits is perhaps the first step towards productive cranking. When selecting crankbaits for your summertime cranking expedition, you should consider some fundamental factors like the color of the baits, the style/design, and the depth of dive. However, of the 3, the depth of dive is perhaps the most important factor to consider. Depth wise, crankbaits are categorized into 3: shallow divers, medium divers, and deep divers.
The depth to which your chosen crankbait will dive is also determined by other factors like bait design, size of the line, and cranking speed (for retrieval). To achieve greater cranking depth, run the crankbait more slowly using a lighter line with longer cast. Furthermore, crankbaits with longer bills are more suitable for luring deeper diving bass. For best results, a general rule of thumb is to adjust the depth with the height of the rod tip and the retrieval speed.
Ideal spots for bass crankbaiting
- Boulders and other large rocks: bass are more inclined to be found around these spots, and crankbaits have proven to be more effective here. This is because when they bounce off the rock surface, they tend to agitate the bass into a frenzy of activity.
- Ledges and drop-offs of various depths: for deep diving bass, these areas are ideal spots to go crankbaiting.
- Logs and clusters of debris: these clusters provide a lot of cover for bass which naturally flock there in droves.
- Mud flats and gravel banks: although these areas are naturally shallow, they hold a lot of natural bait for bass. Hence, you will almost always find bass here.
My favorite cranks
- Lucky Craft D20 – Ghost minnow (deep diver)
- Lucky Craft SKT 120DR – Ghost Baby Bluegill (magnum baits)
An important point to note is that big billed crankbaits are not very effective for cranking in areas with weeds, moss or grass unless you crank them over underwater weed beds or along the edges of weed banks.