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Bass Fishing: Crankbait Lures
Crankbaits are among the favorite lures in the bass fishing world. The varieties of color, size, and brand seem almost endless. The way crankbaits work is they are designed to mimic a bait fish, (a fish that bass eat). The beauty of the crankbait is that all the fishermen has to do is cast and retrieve the line over and over and over again. The great advantage of crankbaits is that they can help you cover a lot of water which is a real time saver when you are looking for the bass. These baits are usually made from plastic, but some are made from balsa wood. They are very durable and if they are maintained can last for years.
The signature sign of a crankbait a clear bill on the front, the size and shape of which determines how far the crankbait will dive and how wide or narrow the wobble of the bait is. For example, very long and wide bills will dive very deep and have a wide wobble. On the bill there is a small fixed metal ring and a split ring attached to that. You tie your line to the split ring which leaves the bait more freedom to wobble.
When you are purchasing a crankbait it is very important to know where you are going to use it. For example if you are going to fish at your friends backyard pond, odds are that it won't be more than a few feet deep. Thus getting a bait that dives to 20 feet would scrape its way along the bottom and hook on any plants down there. The other important thing to consider is getting a bait that resembles the fish the bass are feeding on. This is known as “matching the hatch”. If your at the pond and you see lots of minnows in the water, chances are the bass are feeding on those minnows, so get a crankbait that looks like those minnows (or as close as you can). The second crankbait you look for is a shockingly bright, version of the first crankbait. If you got a lovely metallic gray minnow as your first, look for its polar opposite, something like a neon yellow. Why? Bass a territorial, so even if they aren't hungry they may attack just because your bait is near them, and a super bright lure might just do that. Once you have thrown your natural looking bait a while and caught nothing, switch up to the bright one. Sometimes you can get that bass angry enough to bite with when he wouldn't have otherwise.
If you are fishing in water that is very murky you may want to get a crankbait that rattles. These baits have little BBs in them that create noise when the bait wobbles back and forth. Bass have incredible vision underwater, where we can see only 1 foot ahead of us the bass can see 10 ft. But they can also feel the vibrations caused by the noise your crankbait makes, so they can call bass over that may be out of visual range of your bait.
Here are some tips for using crankbaits effectively
-Vary your retrieve, speed up then slow down. Reel fast then pause for 3 seconds. Try different things!
-When your trying different retrieves and you get a bite, remember what you were doing and try again.
-Crankbaits come with a range of depths on them like 4-6 feet, hold your rod high to get 4 and hold your rod low to make it go to 6.
-Make sure to clean off any plants that get hook on your bait, no bass will bite your lure if it has plants attached to it.
-The treble hooks on the lures are pretty small so don't set the hook too hard or you can just rip the hooks right out.
-Crankbaits are more effective when the water is warm. When the water is warm the bass are warm and that makes them more active and more willing to chase down your bait.
-If you can see a log or rock on the bottom, try to bump your bait of it, then pause for 3 seconds.