When it comes to crankbaits for bass fishing, they are one of the best artificial lures to catch bass. A crankbait is a type of fishing lure that is typically made of hard plastic or carved from wood. It is designed to look like a baitfish, crayfish, or other prey swimming.
What types of crankbaits are there?
Crankbaits today come in a variety of body shapes and widths, but the lure’s bill is the key feature that distinguishes a crankbait is a shallow, medium, or deep-diving plug. Crankbaits with square bills work best in shallow water from 1 to 4 feet deep, while a plug with a 1-inch bill will dive to about 10 feet deep. Crankbaits with longer bills have the ability to reach depths of up to 30 feet.
The time of year plays an important role in determining which style of crankbait to use. Although crankbaits will catch some bass all year, the best times to use these diving plugs are in the spring, summer, and fall. Let’s go over when and how to use the three main types of crankbaits.
When bass are in the shallows in the late fall and early spring, a square bill crankbait is an excellent choice. When the water is still cold in the early spring, the short bill crankbait can be slowly cranked through shallow brush. It can also be retrieved quickly to tickle the tops of submerged weed beds or deflect off of stumps and logs in warm water. The deflecting lure produces the same flash as a baitfish when it collides with a log and rolls on its side.
Spro Fat John
The Spro John Crews Fat John 60 Crankbait is more than just a larger, wider version of the well-known Little John. It has a slightly different body shape, a different bill, and a different line-tie angle. This produces a wobble similar to that of a traditional fat plug, but the Fat John is unique in that it also hunts 3-4 inches to each side on the retrieve, enticing bass even more. The Spro Fat John 60 Crankbait retains SPRO’s patented tungsten weight transfer system and is outfitted with larger #3 Gamakatsu hooks to help seal the deal.
How many of you have any of those big, thick wood cranks from back in the day stashed away in your tackle box? With each passing ye…
Strike King Square Bill
Designed by angling legend Kevin VanDam to his exact specifications. Ideal for shallow water fishing and power fishing. The squarebill design and distinct “hunting” action will cause the horse to “wander” with erratic movement while still running true. It also perfectly deflects off cover, enticing strikes. For a “silent” approach, the KVD series of baits are designed without internal rattles.
Designed by fishing star Kevin VanDam to his exact specifications. Perfect for power fishing in shallow water. The squarebill desig…
Bomber Lures Fat Free Shad
The Bomber Fat Free Shad Guppy crankbait is designed for shallow water fishing, particularly in cover. The Fat Free Shad Guppy has a kick-out paddle, or lip, that causes the bait to roll up and out of cover with minimal constant pressure. It dives to 6-feet on 10-pound line and has realistic eyes, XCalibur Tx3 trebles, and that fish-attracting Fat Free action. The Guppy, like the Fat Free Fingerling, runs in the 4 to 6 foot range. The Fat Free Guppy is built to last, so you can always rely on it to deliver when you need it the most.
The Bomber Fat Free Shad is now one of the most valuable battered batteries on the market. These crankbaits are one of the m…
Medium and Deep Diving Crankbaits
When the water temperature rises to the upper 40s to the low 50s in the spring, medium-diving crankbaits begin to shine in my neck of the woods. Early prespawn bass can be caught using these crankbaits along the deepest part of a bluff, and as the water warms, the other end of the bluff connecting to a flat becomes the best place to crank. When prespawn bass move to chunk rock shorelines or transition areas where the banks change from big rocks to pea gravel, medium divers are in their prime. In the major creeks, the fish tend to congregate on the last one or two deeper banks.
Deep cranking targets include ledges, humps, bluff ends, and channel swing points. Bass will move closer to the bottom as the water warms. Check your electronics for any sweet spots on the structure (logs, brush piles, shell beds, large boulders, etc.) and try to run your crankbait into it. More strikes will be triggered if your crankbait is deflected away from the sweet spot.
A long cast past your target allows the crankbait to dive deep enough to hit the sweet spot in the middle of your retrieve. Because line diameter affects the diving capability of a crankbait, use thinner line, such as 10- to 12-pound test, to allow your plugs to reach depths of 20 to 25 feet.
Strike King Pro-Model 5XD Series
Deep diving crankbaits are common, but the XD series’ unique curved bill allows the bait to dive deeper and faster, forever changing the deep diving crankbait game.
The Strike King Pro Model 5XD Crankbait has a newly constructed bill that allows it to go down to depths of 15 feet, which is 4-5 fe…
wLure Minnow Crankbait
If you need deep divers, as I did for the overly warm summer waters, these will suffice – even if two of them were unusable out of the box, I’d still buy them – but they weren’t, and they all look and function great. I’ve probably caught 6-8 largemouth bass on these, mostly the white and black ones. Hooks are sharp and strong, and one of them has been thoroughly tested, as previously stated. I even got one snagged in my bow line and was able to pull it out without bending or damaging it.
Why should you shop at wLure? There’s a Lot to Choose From When It Comes to Your Fishing Life wLure is a global inter…
Norman Lures Deep Little N
The lure will dive to it’s deepest depth the further from you it is. Meaning: The closer, the more shallow it will run, and farther away the deeper it will run true. The paint jobs are top-notch, and the action is thrilling. It’s no surprise that these have won professional tournaments.
Crankbaits are one of the most effective lures for swiftly covering a large area in order to discover hot spots and reduce dea…
Berkley teamed up with its world-class bait design engineers and a team of pro-anglers, including hard bait legend and expert David fritts, to simply create dream Baits. These hard baits capture the essence and action of artfully handcrafted wooden baits in a synthetic bait with exactness and durability. The balanced designs throw straight and far, and they are always ready to run right out of the box.
Normally, an excessive crankbait is the only option when explorering deep water with plugs, but with Berkley Dredger Crankb…
Catching a bass in shallow, medium or deep waters is always a funny intriguing game. We all love to catch the big ones and be cool in front of our friends and look like pro’s (with all the respect to the professionals reading this guide). This is Fishing Gadget’s choice of crankbaits for bass fishing that will definitely step up your game higher.
Related: Check out our guide for Best Fishing Lines for Trout