Whether or not you are aware fishing a crank-bait for bass is an extremely useful tactic and can be used year round. In this article I'm going to outline the different types of crank baits the depths they dive and my beliefs on when and where to use different applications of certain crankbaits.
There are many different types of crankbaits out there bandit,bomber,Norman,spro,storm, basscraft crankbaits, and many more with all these crankbait companies out there there is no shortage of lures to choose from if your an avid crankbait fisherman like myself it's my imagination of heaven on earth. With all these different companies comes different styles of crankbaits as well you have crankbaits that come with a square bill (commonly referred to as a squarebill) you also have crankbaits with a longer rounded off bill these crankbaits are designed to dive to deeper depths and achieve depths that squarebill crankbaits aren't designed to do a crankbait with a squarebill is better for deflecting off of cover and avoiding hang ups mostly designed for shallow fishing 1 to 6 maybe 8 feet.
You have plastic crankbaits balsa wood crankbaits hollow bodied crankbaits the list goes on.
Picking the right application for the day can seem tough but can be easily broken down and simplified as for myself I am a bandit crankbait and a basscraft crankbait fan two different styles of crankbaits both are second to none in catching fish. Bandit crankbaits are worldwide and make many styles including the squarebill crankbaits and crankbaits with longer rounded off bills as described above. Basscraft crankbaits on the other hand are a hand crafted hand painted custom balsa wood crankbait in which again both square bills and longer rounded off bills are offered. For me picking the correct application for my fishing conditions has become pretty easy and is essential in fishing tournaments or to just have fun. In clear sunny blue sky's and clear water I'm going to go for a natural look or as they like to say ( match the hatch) try to match the types of Crawdad or bait fish that your lakes bass are feeding on if they are feeding on shad obviously you're gonna wanna go with a shad colored bait or for me baby bass or bluegill colored crankbaits are ones you can't beat! In murky or muddy water I like a red,black,chartreuse or an off orange color is another one of my favorite which obviously vary by angler choices.
One of the trickier things that anglers get most commonly confused is when to throw plastic and when to throw balsa wood. I personally love a plastic style crankbait if I'm fishing a sandy flat bottom or a rocky bottom bank. a plastic crankbait has a different buoyancy than a balsa wood crankbait and floats up to the surface slower and seems to stay in the strike zone longer. I also like this application for fishing the edges and in light grass mats where a crankbait can be fished or drug through. I prefer a balsa wood bass craft crankbait usually a squarebill or SB 1.5 or 2.5 when fishing shallow wood, stumps, downed trees or around shallow rocks due to the fact buoyancy is different again and a balsa wood crankbait tends to float Up faster leaving less room and less time to possibly get hung up in a rock crevice or on the end of a log you misjudged that went a little deeper than you thought. Another thing I enjoy about a squarebill balsa wood crankbait is the way they can be painted or as they say ( foiled) which gives them the look of having scales just like a baitfish or other predator fish would have giving the bait a realistic look to it. Different applications are key to your success in crankbait fishing look at the types of cover and forage that your lake has to offer and this will tell you a lot about what application to choose. Pay attention to the shad baitfish and even the bluegill if you're fishing a grass mat or around grass and here a sucking or popping sound in the water more than likely its bluegill feeding on the top of the water in that case usually bass won't be far behind and a bluegill colored lure is going to be very helpful.
Now we're going to cover the depths and how everything works. On your squarebill crankbaits the longer and wider the bill the deeper that bait is going to dive most squarebill crankbaits are designed to dive between 1 to 6 feet some do dive 8 to 10 feet. A squarebill crankbait is a very effective bait during pre spawn activities when the bass are extremely active and hungry before going to the beds to spawn. Largemouth bass typically spawn in water temps between 68-72 degrees small mouth typically like it cooler between 59-60 degrees so if you're looking at temps on your depth finder in these ranges you're more thank likely going to find the fish on beds spawning. A crankbait with a longer rounded off bill is designed to Dive deeper than a squarebill and usually has a tighter wobble or swim action to it. These crankbaits can dive from 4 all the way up to 25-30 feet with new technology. Today's technology has crankbaits diving deeper than ever and we all know in the summer time when the bass stage deep you can't beat a deep diving crankbait for me I have a huge variation of favorites for deep diving crankbaits and summer fishing I like the strike king 8XD and 10XD I also like the basscraft crankbaits DD and DD2 Jr. Also another favorite is the Norman DD22 in all various colors based on the conditions and water I'm fishing. I really hope you guys enjoyed this article and I hope your next time on the water choosing the right crankbait and the right application is now easier for you than it was before hand. Tight lines and bent rods