#12 – Crankbaits
The crankbait, also called a plug, is another great beginner lure. It’s a hard-body bait typically made of balsa wood or plastic. A plastic or metal lip is sometimes attached to the front of the lure to help it dive and wobble in the water. Two or more treble hooks hang from most crankbaits.
There are a few basic types:
Lipless Crankbaits, sometimes called “Rat-L-Traps” have no front lip (hence the name). They have a tight wobbling action and sink in the water. This type of crankbait is especially effective around weeds and vegetation. The open hooks may get caught up on weeds, but many anglers will tell you the action of ripping the lure through those weeds will elicit a violent reaction strike from nearby bass.
Shallow Running Crankbaits typically have a small bill at the mouth of the lure with a wider wobble action. They float on the surface and dive down to about 5 feet or less when reeled in. Work these around shallow rocks and trees on the shoreline. The same types of reaction strikes will occur when the crankbait deflects off of rocks and wood.
Medium to Deep Diving Crankbaits have longer bills that guide them further down into the water column. These lures are for the more advanced angler, but can be great for fishing deep structure or schools of suspended fish.
Start with a few lipless or shallow running crankbaits before moving up to deeper diving models. Work on changing up the speed and rhythm of your retrieve to find out what the fish are reacting to. Crankbaits are commonly defined as a “search bait” because they quickly cover a lot of water helping you to find bass. Practice throwing them around shallow cover and you are bound to hook into one!
There is an endless amount of info the cover on crankbaits. A&L will go over more advanced techniques and the best equipment to use in future posts.
For you crankin’ fools out there–What is you favorite type of crankbait to throw?