Basic Crankbait Techniques

When it comes to certain lures, some anglers are content with simply casting out and reeling in with a steady retrieve. Sure, they may vary their speeds here and there, and this tactic can and does catch fish, but it doesn’t fully utilize the effectiveness of the lure, especially when it comes to crankbaits. With such a specific design and action, it’s clear that crankbaits are made for a higher purpose than just a simple cast and retrieve pattern, and today I’ve outlined a few of the poplar and deadly techniques associated with these great lures.

Knocking on Structure

When fish are holding tight along the bottom, or to structure, using a crankbait that runs slightly deeper than the depth you’re fishing will enable you to bounce it against rocky bottoms and ridges. Not only will this add to the sound and water displacement of the crankbait, but it will also stir up the bottom, which imitates the image of a crawfish or other prey item trying to escape.

Grip It and Rip It

Ripping is a technique often associated with jerkbaits, but it can also be done with any crankbait. To do it properly, simply reel the lure in enough to bring it to the depth you want and begin pulling it in with an aggressive sweeping motion. Reel in the slack in between retrieves and constantly monitor the line for any indication that a fish has taken the bait.

Stop and Go

Often times a fish will hit a lure without actually hooking itself. When this happens, inexperienced anglers will feel the roll, try to set the hook, and reel in the lure quickly to recast after figuring out they haven’t hooked anything. Any time you get follow-ups while working crankbaits, simply stopping the reel action for a second then starting it again can trigger those fish into striking. When doing this, you’ll also need to keep as much slack off the line as possible and watch the line carefully to detect strikes when the lure is at rest.

Most anglers only experience the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crankbaits and fail to realize the lure’s true potential. If you’ve been finding your usual cast-and-retrieve crankbait fishing to be losing its appeal on the water, then perhaps it’s time you implemented the tactics outlined above. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting when it comes to fishing and utilizing different crankbait techniques can yield great rewards!