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Cranking Up the Excitement: How to Catch Bass with a Crankbait

Cranking Up the Excitement: How to Catch Bass with a Crankbait

The crankbait. A legendary lure that's been a staple in bass fishing tackle boxes for decades. But with various shapes, sizes, and diving depths, how do you know which crankbait to use and how to fish it effectively to land that trophy bass?

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to crank up your bass fishing success.

Choosing Your Crankbait:

  • Depth: Crankbaits come in various diving depths, allowing you to target bass throughout the water column.
    • Shallow cranks (diving depth: 0-6 ft): Ideal for searching shallow cover like reeds, rocks, and weed beds.
    • Mid-depth cranks (diving depth: 6-12 ft): Perfect for ledges, drop-offs, and deeper weed lines.
    • Deep cranks (diving depth: 12+ ft): Explore deep structure and sunken timber.
  • Action: Consider the crankbait's wobble or wiggle as it retrieves.
    • Tight wobble: Creates a subtle vibration, effective for pressured fish.
    • Wide wobble: Produces a strong vibration and water displacement, attracting bass from afar.

Cranking Techniques:

  • Cast and retrieve: This is the most basic approach. Cast your crankbait out, let it dive to the desired depth, and then steadily reel it back.
  • Stop-and-go: Reel steadily, then pause for a second or two, mimicking a wounded baitfish and triggering strikes.
  • Jerking: Occasionally give your rod tip a sharp jerk to make the crankbait deflect erratically, imitating a fleeing baitfish.

Pro Tips:

  • Match the hatch: Choose crankbait colors that resemble the prevalent baitfish in your local waters.
  • Line choice: Braided line offers superior feel and transmits vibrations well. Consider fluorocarbon for its invisibility in clear water.
  • Vary your retrieve: Experiment with different retrieve speeds and actions to see what works best on the day.
  • Fish with confidence: Believe in your presentation and crankbait choice. Bass are often drawn to an angler's confidence.


Crankbaits are a versatile lure that can entice bass in a variety of conditions. By understanding the different types of crankbaits, mastering retrieval techniques, and incorporating these pro tips, you'll be well on your way to cranking up your bass fishing success. So, grab your rod, tie on a crankbait, and get ready to experience the thrill of catching a lunker bass!


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